From the endless sunshine to the strong economy, the City of Gold Coast has primed itself as an idyllic destination for business relocation.
After so much uncertainty during the past couple of years, hitting the refresh button with a sea change to one of Australia’s finest destinations has never been easier.
Over the past 60 years, the Gold Coast has evolved into a single urban mass of about 600,000 people (including the wider Gold Coast and Tweed region) which was simply created out of the Australian need for lifestyle.
While it may be synonymous with relaxing beach getaways, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says the region offers so much more.
"The Gold Coast has long enjoyed a strong reputation as a holiday city, with a carefree attitude and vibe," he tells The CEO Magazine . "Those sentiments are not necessarily what a business looking to relocate or establish here may be seeking for their company or workforce.
"However, COVID-19 has shifted the conversation not only nationally, but internationally, when it comes to employee/employer work–life balance.
"Millions of employees have reassessed their lives during the rolling pandemic lockdowns."
"These are all competitive advantages which, when combined, with our renewed lifestyle advantage makes us a very attractive destination," Tate adds.
Ways businesses can benefit from the Gold Coast
Investing in the future
Driven by the Commonwealth Games, the City of Gold Coast’s gross domestic product growth rate peaked at 6.2 per cent in 2017/2018, and it has continued to experience economic growth every year since 2015.
While the region specialises in tourism and construction businesses, population growth has led to economic diversification, consequently reducing the overall impact of COVID-19, which heavily hit the tourism sector. In fact, the city was able to mitigate more than 80 per cent of economic risk imposed by the pandemic.
It may be the sixth largest city in Australia by population, but it also has one of the highest growth rates over the past five years – leading to more opportunities overall. And with the unemployment rate sitting at 4.5 per cent as on June 2021, the Gold Coast’s unemployment rate is lower than Sydney City (5%), Greater Brisbane (5.2%), Greater Adelaide (5%) and Greater Perth (4.9%).
"The cost of doing business here on the coast is relatively cheaper than in the major eastern seaboard capital cities," Tate says. "Commercial rents are lower, the commute to work is less, housing is cheaper, our world-class IT systems are secure and reliable, and the overheads of running an operation are not as challenging as cities like Melbourne or Sydney."
"Importantly, the Gold Coast has two international airports within 80 kilometres of each other plus heavy rail and road transport networks running parallel up the east coast," the Mayor says.
Kilometres of pristine beaches, fresh air, tropical hinterland and sunshine all year round make for an idyllic place to call home – and quality of life has become more important following COVID-19.
"Data is showing that retaining quality employees will be a key challenge for many employers going forward in a post-COVID era," Tate says. "That’s where I see our ‘competitive advantage’ as a lifestyle city increasing.
"Employers want happy employees, as they are more stimulated and engaged in the business."
As local demand grows by 13 per cent per annum, so does the importance of investing in the future.
A light rail project, ferry trials, road upgrades, a cultural precinct, sport infrastructure, optic fibre cables, the Gold Coast Airport and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct are among some of the major investments for the city.
The City of Gold Coast invested billions of dollars in preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, leaving a legacy for many years to come – just as Queensland will when the state hosts the 2032 Summer Olympics.
Interested in making a move to the Gold Coast? Find more information about relocation support and cash incentives provided by the City of Gold Coast’s Investment Attraction Program here.