Gold Coast marine industry gets $200m double-barrel boost

Written on the 5 October 2018 by Nick Nichols

Gold Coast marine industry gets $200m double-barrel boost

The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is about to get a $200 million capital injection from two major expansion projects announced within a day of each other.

Both developments, proposed by two prominent Gold Coast entrepreneurial families, are poised to create a major marine industry hub that is arguably the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Gold Coast City Marina, owned and operated by the Gay family, has announced a doubling of its existing 17ha facility on an adjacent 20ha site along the banks of the Coomera River in the city's north.

The expansion will boost the facility's existing marine re-fit capacity by 400 per cent, helping the Gold Coast gain market share in Australia's lucrative superyacht servicing market.

A second proposal by Tony Longhurst for The Boat Works slip yard and marina a little further upstream is expected to transform the facility into a state-of-the-art marina that will offer upmarket dining and retail facilities to rival nearby Sanctuary Cove.

Longhurst, whose brother Rodney owns and operates luxury boatbuilder Riviera just a few doors down the road and whose father John developed Dreamworld, is proposing to build Australia's first dry marina with storage for up to 200 boats of up to 100 feet long.

This will be complemented by a new 50 berth marina and waterfront village with boutiques and restaurants.

Artist impression of the Stage 2 project.


Work has already started on the first stage of the project which will add another 10ha to The Boat Works' footprint after Longhurst acquired an adjacent site previously used as a cane farm.

The expanded marine precinct, which is expected to create an extra 2000 jobs in the Gold Coast's booming northern suburbs, is being supported by a planned dredging program announced by the Gold Coast Waterways Authority and planned for next year.

"The Gold Coast will become the port of call for every type of boat from leisure craft to larger commercial vessels as they travel the east coast between Melbourne and Sydney and the Whitsundays," says Tony Longhurst.

"The benefits of this increased visitation will flow on to the south-east economy in the form of jobs and business in all sectors."

Meanwhile, Gold Coast City Marina (GCCCM) CEO Trenton Gay has been sitting on the 20ha site for the past 10 years.  It was bought at a time when the Gold Coast marine industry was taking in water due to the GFC.

However, the market has turned around dramatically since then, with Gay declaring the Gold Coast as the region's leading destination for marine refits and repairs.

GCCM currently accommodates more than 80 marine businesses on site, employing more than 700 skilled marine contractors servicing vessels ranging from tinnies to superyachts.

"Submissions for this site have been lodged with authorities and once approvals are in place, construction for the first stage will be imminent," Gay says.

"Once completed, GCCM will be able to further accommodate the growing size of our domestic fleet and those coming to the South Pacific region including superyachts, wide-beam catamarans and sailing yachts thanks to ground breaking new facilities including a 1000 tonne capacity lift and undercover refit and repair factories.

"With foreign flagged vessels now able to clear customs and immigration on the Gold Coast, we are seeing larger boats utilising our facilities."

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was onsite at The Boat Works this morning for the launch of preliminary works.

"The marine sector is enjoying considerable growth and this development will take us to the next level nationally and internationally," Tate says.

"We will become the number one port of choice along the entire east coast and I commend The Boat Works for opening up our marine service and logistics facilities to a global market."

The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is home to Australia's biggest luxury boat manufacturers, Riviera and Bill Barry-Cotter's Maritimo. It also is the central manufacturing base for the Telwater group which produces the Quintrex, Stacer and Savage recreational boat range.

The announcement comes at a time when the Gold Coast's northern suburbs are experienced a major population explosion throughout Pimpama and Coomera.


The growth has prompted Westfield to finally bring on development of the long-awaited $450 million Coomera Town Centre, which is set to open next week. This comes just weeks after another prominent Gold Coast family company, Rix Developments which is headed by Norm and Greg Rix, opened the $150 million Pimpama City shopping centre to service Australia's fastest growing suburb.

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Author: Nick Nichols

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