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Southport on cusp of becoming economic powerhouse

Emily Toxward | October 2017

With billions already committed to infrastructure works in Southport, the dynamic and vibrant urban centre is on the cusp of becoming a globally competitive CBD.

Already rich in cultural and economic diversity, the burgeoning suburb is set to undergo further revitalisation that is likely to spark economic growth and investment of epic proportions.

Steeped in history, and set to celebrate 100 years as a town next year, Southport is the home of the Gold Coast’s legal precinct, an ever-expanding medical industry and two globally recognised educational providers.

Brimming with opportunities and home to the bustling Gold Coast Chinatown and an eclectic array of national and international businesses and service providers, the CBD has the iconic and majestic Broadwater as a backdrop.

Running through the heart of Southport is the light rail system, one of the biggest public transport projects in the county. It connects the north to the south and will invariably offer businesses a seamless and congestion-free commute to Brisbane once it’s linked to the Helensvale Train Station.

According to John Howe, the Chairman of the Committee for Southport, an exciting future awaits Southport. And he should know, he set up his company, Integrated Event Delivery Management, in the CBD 35 years ago and it has grown it into a wildly successful international company.

“Southport is going through a strong period of urban regeneration with a range of residential products available. This is on the back of $5 billion of major infrastructure works that have been completed in the past five years,” he says.

“It is well connected from a communication viewpoint, with the major Gold Coast Telstra Exchange in the centre of the CBD. In fact, this exchange is currently being upgraded to house the first of the 5G wireless networks systems in Australia.”

Mr Howe said the suburb is within close range of two international and domestic airports, and by Christmas the $2.5 billion light rail system will connect the Southport CBD with Queensland’s major CBD in Brisbane.

He says this is where the Southport CBD and its connectedness will come into its own, because efficient and effective transport trunks are very important to businesses.

“As a suburb Southport has done the heavy lifting for 100 years and it’s more than just a business district. It’s the community hub of the Gold Coast that’s bookend by TAFE Queensland Gold Coast and Griffith University. They have 35,000 students between them and this number is set to grow dramatically.”

“But it’s not about changing Southport, it’s about adding to the incredible amenities, infrastructure and dynamic vibe that already exist. Suburbs that have the right infrastructure can’t help but be great, especially if it’s in the right areas such as medicine and education, as our CBD has.”

The City of Gold Coast is seeking insight from local business owners, residents, students and visitors to help it implement activities outlined in its CBD Program 2025. It outlines five big moves that are being initiated within the next four years to deliver its vision for the Southport area; that is creating a CBD that is truly unique for future generations to thrive and succeed.

Visit gchaveyoursay.com.au/CBD2017 to go in the draw to win a $400 voucher for the recently upgraded Australia Fair shopping centre in Southport, along with double passes to Event Cinemas. Interested parties can also visit the Chinatown Street Market, in Young and Davenport streets, on 4 November.

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