Gold Coast – We’re More Than Just Talk

Gold Coast – We’re More Than Just Talk

coastADC agrees that the Gold Coast needs to be positive and talk itself up as much as possible. The Gold Coast has so much to offer with its Surf, Sun, Sand, Water and Green behind the Gold. This is why it was the fastest growing City in Australia for 30 years. With good governance and leadership it can be again!

Nick Nichols
nicholsn@goldcoast.com.au

Open the window and let the air in. Some of us on the Gold Coast are feeling a little suffocated by negative sentiment.

The answer, according to one vocal town planner, is to talk ourselves up on a gust of confidence.

Peter Gray, the managing director of Property and Planning Solutions, is sick of negative press for the tourism strip – particularly if it comes from the city’s own voice, the Bulletin.

He has accused this esteemed publication – he actually didn’t use those words – and yours truly of sending the wrong message and, in turn, “giving negative vibes to Asian investment and people who may be here on business and looking to invest”.

He says the Coast is “growing back up again” and is the “next frontier” for post-GFC Australian property investment.

Well, the Bulleting put those comments to the test by asking the industry hardest hit by the economic downturn – the construction sector – how it saw its chances in the current climate.

Steve Harrison, the Gold Coast president of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, has acknowledged some good and some bad news.

As far as property bargains go, there are plenty on the Gold Coast, he says.

But as far as incentives for developers to get building again, that requires a longer-term view.

Other industry observers are convinced that the worst is over for property price falls on the Coast.

They say that because the Coast was the first market to be hit hard by the GFC, it will be the first to come out of it.

Mark Montague, who has been in charge of selling apartments at Southport Central since the beginning of last year, told the Bulletin last weekend that buyers from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide had been searching for bargains on the Coast over the past three months.

He says this was because property prices in the south had topped out and were heading lower.

Mr Montague conceded it was the cheaper apartments at Southport Central that were easier to sell at the moment, but he was hopeful the market for upper-end stock would improve in time.

Developer Con Nikiforides, who drove the Oracle project over the line before receivers entered the frame last year, says the city needs to pare back its highrise apartment stocks before even contemplating a return to property health.

This is a snapshot of opinion in the market at the moment – it’s promising, but tough.

But by all means, let’s talk it up, because the Coast has so much to offer – otherwise most of us wouldn’t be here.

The Gold Coast arguably has been built on boisterous spruiking over the past 40 years.

It was a brash voice that helped put this city on the development and tourism map.

It started with those cheeky Pyjama Party days in the ‘60s and followed up by the likes of former mayor Sir Bruce Small touring Sydney and Melbourne with bikini girls in tow in the ‘70s.

It was bikini girls again that drew national attention to the strip last weekend with a world record attempt that emphasized how the Coast really doesn’t take itself too seriously – and perhaps shouldn’t at times.

While the Coast is really good at selling the dream, it is economic reality that often lets us down.

But for many, that doesn’t matter when lifestyle is the perennial dividend.

It’s such an easy sell, isn’t it?

Source: The Gold Coast Bulletin, Pg. 22
5th October 2011