Southport. This is our decade. A time when the Gold Coast’s CBD moves confidently forward.

We’re moving towards Twenty 18, when we’ll not only celebrate Southport’s Centenary, but also host a large portion of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event ever staged on the Gold Coast. The Commonwealth Games and associated activity will inject an estimated $2 billion into our local economy, create significant demand in local construction and generate up to 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs. As home to the 29.4ha Athletes Village at Parklands and the $50m Gold Coast Aquatic Centre within the Broadwater Parklands, Southport is a Games epicentre. Alongside the exciting preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s largest event this decade, Southport is striding forwards as the Gold Coast’s centre for business.

The Queensland Government has also recently gazetted Southport as a Priority Development Area (PDA), a move that’s already stimulated a new generation of construction including the 55-storey Sundale mixed-use project. Under the PDA, the City of Gold Coast last year alone approved nearly 40 new projects worth almost $2bn, 7,000 new apartments and an increase of total commercial office space of more than 30%. The vibrant Chinatown precinct has delivered a splash of international flair to the suburb, while also proving a touchpoint of familiarity for the thousands of overseas students living and studying in Southport. The City of Gold Coast’s new masterplan ensures Southport is best positioned to leverage each opportunity the coming years will present towards its growth as CBD.

As we look towards Twenty 18, there’s time too to reflect on the kind of future and legacy we hope to create. Southport has come a long way since declaration as a town on April12, 1918. Southport is no longer a coastal summer resort; it’s a thriving centre for business, education, health and government, serviced by Queensland’s first light rail project. Our first Mayor, Edward Hicks, presided over the separation from Nerang Shire and Southport’s attainment of its own identity. Just seven years later, in 1925, then-Mayor Washington Waters spoke of rapid change, words that ring as true today as they must have then:

“The progress of Southport has been phenomenal, especially during the last decade. That is evident by the number of very fine up-to-date buildings, such as The Southport School, Star of the Sea Convent, St Hilda’s, the Southport State School, Post Office, Ambulance Centre, Regnant Picture Place and many fine up-to-date hotels and business premises.”

The progress of 2015 is just as remarkable: the new Gold Coast University Hospital, the G:Link connecting Southport with Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, Chinatown, the world-class Broadwater Parklands and Aquatic Centre. The State Electorate of Southport also extends west to the leafy suburbs of Parkwood and Arundel and the industrial estate of Molendinar, as well as the inner-CBD suburbs of Keebra Park and Ashmore. There are 14 quality schools in the electorate, offering a range of private and public education options.

With contributions from: Zakazhuka Marketing Communications 2015