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Landmark report highlights the Gold Coast’s regional strengths, opportunities and infrastructure gaps

RDA Gold Coast has partnered with Infrastructure Australia to develop the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, which highlights opportunities in health care, manufacturing and the knowledge sector to support the regionalisation trend that took hold during the pandemic and is reshaping the Gold Coast region.

The Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, developed in collaboration with the 48 Regional Development Australia committees, provides a lens to highlight the opportunities in our regions and prioritise investment in regional Australia.

Community consultation facilitated by RDA Gold Coast found that stakeholders in the Gold Coast region consider public transport, roads and telecommunications to be the most significant infrastructure gaps.

The report found that despite significant assets such as the Gold Coast Light Rail offering additional capacity and resulting in increased public transport use, the system currently faces other challenges including network coverage outside the coastal corridor, bus network delays and inconsistent travel times due to road congestion and transfer issues between modes.

RDA Gold Coast Chair Nick Scott said that with the expected population growth of the Gold Coast and an ageing population, access to efficient and reliable public transport will be critical.

"We need a first-class public transport system to reduce road congestion, help our residents connect to social and economic opportunities, and support the tourism industry, lifestyle and amenity that our region is famous for," he said.

RDA Gold Coast Director of Regional Development Estella Rodighiero added that telecommunications is another crucial area for development: "To support our burgeoning Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing sectors, we need region-wide access to high-quality digital connectivity with suitable bandwidth to support high-technology applications.

“As the report notes, this will help the Gold Coast leverage its strategic position to develop as a nation-leading technology and innovation hub."

Infrastructure Australia Chief of Policy & Research Peter Colacino said: “Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified the challenges and opportunities in providing infrastructure and services in Regional Australia. It found that Regional Australia is characterised by limited choice of infrastructure and associated services, with thin markets limiting the ability for service providers to participate.

“While Australia’s regions are each unique, they share many strengths. This report draws out of those strengths as the basis for communities to define their own identify as well as supporting increased collaboration and knowledge sharing between communities.

“We encourage all stakeholders to use this evidence base to bring forward solutions to local challenges and seize opportunities for growth, innovation and investment. This evidence base supports planning, and informed decision-making, to ensure we get the solutions right to close these gaps.

“Without further reform and investment, the quality of infrastructure and access to services in our regions will remain behind our fast-growing cities, constraining growth. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional population growth and changing patterns of trade are compounding these challenges,” Mr Colacino said.

Published alongside an interactive map, the report is a starting point for discussion between all parties to inform further planning, policy and investment solutions. Further consultation is being encouraged, with submissions open until 29 April 2022.

Media contacts:

Estella Rodighiero
Director of Regional Development
RDA Gold Coast
0411 558 834

Elizabeth Kelleher-Cook, Infrastructure Australia
0428 163 090


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