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Golden Growth: The Evolution of Australia’s Lifestyle Capital

By Andrew Bell

Issue 31 | Thursday 07 March 2024 | Golden Growth: The Evolution of Australia’s Lifestyle Capital

Hello, Andrew Bell here. Today, I’d like to delve into the journey of the Gold Coast over the past two centuries, as per the request of a journalist. In a nutshell, the Gold Coast began as a cluster of small townships in the mid-1800s, extending beyond Brisbane’s farmlands. As people traversed the area via horse and cart, they stumbled upon the breathtaking beaches we cherish today.

By the early 1920s, the Gold Coast had not only become a popular weekend destination for Brisbane locals but also garnered attention from holidaymakers within driving distance. This influx of tourists catalysed significant economic growth, culminating in the Gold Coast’s declaration as a city in 1959.

The late 1950s saw the arrival of Sir Bruce Small, a visionary marketer and developer from Melbourne. He envisioned transforming large swathes of land into Gold Coast canal estates, inspired by Miami Beach in Florida. Elected as Mayor in 1967, Small promised to elevate the Gold Coast into Australia’s premier resort city. His initiatives, including iconic promotions like the Meter Maids, propelled the city onto the national stage.

Over the next fifty years, the Gold Coast solidified its status as Australia’s favorite holiday destination, characterized by a surge in high-rise developments to accommodate the demand for holiday apartments near its renowned beaches. This growth was reflected in the population explosion from 23,000 to over 650,000, indicating not just a preference for holidaying but also for residency.

The city’s transformation into Australia’s lifestyle capital was accelerated by the 2018 Commonwealth Games. While initially reliant on tourism and construction, the Gold Coast’s economy diversified into various sectors, including education, healthcare, and IT, establishing itself as a thriving employment hub.

The lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games injected over $18 billion into the region, fueling extensive infrastructure development and refurbishments, such as the Gold Coast Light Rail and upgrades to major attractions like The Star Casino and Pacific Fair.

The onset of the 2020 pandemic further highlighted the Gold Coast’s allure, prompting a migration frenzy from major cities like Sydney and Melbourne. This influx, coupled with increased stays by visiting friends and family, resulted in soaring property demand and values.

Today, investing in Gold Coast real estate signifies more than mere property acquisition; it symbolises a gateway to an enhanced lifestyle. While foreign interest has waxed and waned over the years, the Gold Coast remains a magnet for investors worldwide.

In essence, the Gold Coast epitomises the Goldilocks principle—a perfect balance between offering essential amenities and retaining its charm amid growth. We’re witnessing Sir Bruce Small’s dream realised, embraced by a diverse array of people for countless reasons.

Lastly, I’d like to extend an invitation to an exclusive event featuring Harry Triguboff’s remarkable story—an opportunity not to be missed. For those intrigued by insights into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Anna Meares, the chef de mission, will also be sharing her expertise. With limited seats available, contact our Event Coordinator, Selena Carson, to secure your spot. Here’s to the weeks ahead, and I’ll catch up with you in a fortnight. Best wishes!

Warm Regards,

Andrew Bell, OAM
Chairman
The Ray White Surfers Paradise Group

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