Moving forward faster

Written on the 11 August 2009

THE Gold Coast is leading a charge to find out how Queensland’s $12 billion a year development industry in the south-east quarter can afford to achieve the government’s massive building growth targets with so many ‘roadblocks’ in the way.

At least $3 billion a year of the estimated amount needed for new housing construction alone is required on the Gold Coast to build 130,000 new dwellings to meet the Bligh Government’s SEQ2031 growth targets.

But the planning and construction decision makers are facing barriers in these changing times and difficult economic circumstances.

Sustainable Development Gold Coast is calling an industry-wide full-day summit type conference at the Marriott resort on August 27 in a green paper style program seeking resolutions aimed at getting urgent action on the issues.

The Turning Point 2010 – Moving forward faster is being supported by key industry groups such as the Property Council of Australia (PCA), the Queensland Master Builders Association and Queensland Real Estate Institute to name some.

PCA Gold Coast chapter chairman Peter Trathen, who will speak at the event, has told Sustainable Development GC president Greg Short the whole industry faces a range of critically important economic and development process issues that need to be resolved and it’s why he’s supporting the initiative.

Town planner Short says the planning and construction sectors face an enormous task given conflicting state and local government strategies on handling almost rampant population growth.

“The estimated $12 billion in capital required across the whole southeast quarter – remembering that Gold Coast companies work in other parts of the south-east – includes the added cost of the private sector developing new era building for services, shopping centres and employment for the added population,” says Short.

As the managing director of 40-year-old property consulting and town planning firm Bennett & Bennett, he’s garnering the collective strengths of all players in the industry under the one roof at the one time.

“There hasn’t been an all-day Gold Coast organised conference of this type since the recession years of the early 1990s,” he said, referring to the timing of the Turning Point 2010 proposed gathering of expert opinions.

“There is considerable uncertainty about a financial system that will adequately service this massive challenge and the constraints to efficiency from ‘out of touch’ government procedures are high on the day-long agenda being covered by a range of highly respected industry experts,” he said.

A major bank will be among the line-up of key inputs with real concerns about where, and how, the money is coming from to meet business targets.

“A strong stream of capital is required and the industry wants answers,” he said.

Among the 16 speakers and a big four bank spokesman the line-up includes Australia’s foremost property industry analyst Michael Matusik, internationally recognised urban master planner Stephen Moore of Roberts Day; former Gold Coast deputy mayor and highly respected town planner David Power, former Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley, the QMBA’s industrial and governance expert John Crittall, Griffith University’s Professor Paul Burton and prominent senior architect Greg Forgan-Smith.

The seminar will take place at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort on August 27.
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