New entity to inject billions into the Gold Coast

Published on 06 June 2024

Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.jpg

A new entity expected to inject $10 billion into the local economy and create thousands of jobs will be established by City of Gold Coast in coming months.

Council today resolved to establish Invest Gold Coast, a Council controlled entity that would maximise future investment decisions, increase transparency and provide independent strategic advice.

“Our city is rapidly becoming a destination-of-choice for industries looking at investing in the Coast,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“This new entity will provide council with the opportunity to scrutinise emerging opportunities as we look to deliver maximum value-for-money for ratepayers.

“It is essential proposals being put to the City from a range of industry sectors across the globe align with Council’s vision for the coast, residents and business.

“We know that right now, we are not capitalising on every opportunity out there.”

He said to ensure transparency at every level, Invest Gold Coast would be managed by a chief executive officer and report to an independent board of industry peers.

“Council will be the only shareholder which means our interests will always align with what is best for the city and ratepayers. The entity will not hold any funds and will be audited against council’s processes as well as the Queensland Audit Office.

“The entity will not be the decision-maker as each proposal must be brought back to council for full debate, including community input where appropriate.”

“Put simply, this is about good governance, the changes approved today will ensure that the Council has the most open and transparent investment approach of any Council in Australia.

Mayor Tate said the benefits of establishing Invest Gold Coast included:

  • Formulating a board of industry peers across relevant sectors such as accounting; finance; corporate risk; and commerce.
  • Appointing a CEO to report to the board and ultimately, Council.
  • Ensuring future investment proposals align with Council’s overall strategic objectives.
  • Streamlining processes so council assesses proposals in a timely manner.
  • Maximising potential ratepayer-returns on investments which meet the City’s broader economic objectives.

“The CEO will report to council through our committee process and there will be full transparency for the public, so everyone has confidence in the direction we are taking as well as the value of each proposal to the ratepayer.”

Council chief executive officer Tim Baker said the establishment of Invest Gold Coast was a key recommendation from a Deloitte review (March 2024).

That review was tasked to assess, and recommend, a preferred model for the provision of investment attraction.

“Deloitte found that while our current Invest Gold Coast unit within council was operating well, the city would be better serviced by a controlled entity providing greater speed and flexibility in their assessments as well as greater networking capabilities.

“As the city matures, we are fielding many investment opportunities and the challenge has always been to provide council, and councillors, with proposals that have been thoroughly assessed, market-reviewed and align with the council’s overall objectives.

“Delivering these in a timely manner is critical. A controlled entity can do that efficiently and transparently.

“Establishing this controlled entity will come at no extra cost to the ratepayer as we will utilise existing funds and resources within our council operations to fund this change.

The board will comprise:

Independent/non-executive Chairperson; two non-Gold Coast based directors with strong industry networks; two Gold Coast based directors (with strong industry networks in sectors not already represented by the EGC board); and the Mayor of Council of the City of Gold Coast (ex officio) as well as the current Council CEO (ex-officio).

All activities and functions of the entity will be audited through Council’s existing processes as well as the Qld Audit Office.