The Gold Coast has a well-deserved reputation for fun. Our theme parks, beaches, night life, sports and attractions mean the options for joyful recreation are endless.
But – and excuse the analogy – like a wonderful reverse-mullet, while we’re all party at the front, at the back we’re all business.
And iconic businesses too: Ugg Since 1974, Digga, Vege Chip Co, Frosty Boy and Stratco. All proudly Gold Coast grown and based.
While we’re undoubtedly ‘Australia’s Playground’, the Gold Coast punches well above its weight when it comes to manufacturing. This presents a great opportunity to reignite our local economy post-COVID.
Manufacturing is the Gold Coast’s third largest sector by output – behind tourism and hospitality – contributing almost $7 billion to our city’s economy in 2018-19.
Our diverse local sector spans many industries: marine, food and beverage, furniture, automotive, machinery, textile, clothing and footwear.
Around 14,000 Gold Coasters are directly employed through the local manufacturing industry – with thousands of others working in-directly.
As a city, we back our tourism and hospitality businesses – it’s part of our lifestyle. But how many of us stop to consciously buy Australian (and locally) made products?
Of course, it’s not an either/or proposition – we need to support all Gold Coast businesses in any way we can. But, before you re-fresh your winter wardrobe, or re-stock your pantry, consider the best way you can support your city and our country.
One of the markers that our Government has set for the road out of this pandemic is to build an even stronger local manufacturing sector.
That is where the Gold Coast can draw confidence going forward.
As Minister for Industry, I have been working with industry since long before this crisis, to map the way forward and create the conditions for Australian manufacturing to grow.
Of course, this is not just a challenge for government or our businesses.
It’s a challenge we can all take up. We need you to seek out “Australian Made”. Because, I can assure you, if it boasts that iconic logo, it will stand the test of time.
This is our point of difference. As a proudly high-wage nation, we will always struggle to compete on cost. We have to compete on value.
We all need to invest in the future of our city. Let’s be known as Australian Made and Made For Fun: Party at the front, and business at the back!