City budget drives jobs for families

Published on 23 June 2021

Green Bridge opening event

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the 2021-22 City Budget was designed to ‘rocket-charge’ our local economy in tourism, innovation, arts, culture and education.

“Less than two months ago, I publicly commented on our city’s unemployment figure being around 6.1 percent,’’ he said.

“I made the commitment at the time that we were working hard to create new opportunities in tourism, the marine industry, construction, arts and culture, events and education. Today, I can advise that our city’s unemployment is at 4.7 percent.

“Council’s role is to create an environment where business can get on with its work without unnecessary red tape or bureaucracy. Today’s budget provides significant financial support that will allow our city’s small and medium sized businesses to thrive.’’

Key budget commitments include:

• Arts and culture - $33.7 million;

• Tourism marketing and management - $30.7 million;

• Tourist parks and campgrounds - $20.3 million; and

• Economic development - $15. 3 million.

“In the arts and cultural sector, we will spend $2.5 million on directly supporting our creative professionals and smaller arts businesses to grow and flourish, which will generate employment, tourism opportunities and a stronger creative economy. A further $770,000 will be spent on initiatives that build the Gold Coast as a Live Music city,’’ he said.

“This sector (arts/culture) is an emerging economic powerhouse, headed by our new cultural precinct. I thank all councillors for their Team Gold Coast approach in supporting our arts industry.’’

The City’s economic development unit will continue to deliver a range of trade and investment programs in 2021-22, focused on helping small and medium sized businesses.

“The City remains one of the most innovative in the country offering local businesses unparalleled access to international TradeStart initiatives, growth accelerators and market leading investment attraction programs that continue to keep the local economy way ahead,’’ he said.

“Investing in our tourist parks and campgrounds is a job-generating way of ensuring more people visit, stay, eat and play on the coast. The seven coast tourist parks have around 150,000 guests each year that stay 280,000 visitor nights. That inject more than $86.6 million into our economy.’’

“Similarly, we are spending $11.3 million on our lifeguard services and $32.4 million on our beaches and waterways. Having safe, clean and world-class beaches and waterways ensures millions of visitors can enjoy a Gold Coast experience. Individually, the ‘selfies’ these tourists take while out and about are worth hundreds of millions of dollars globally in free-to-air publicity.’’