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RDA Gold Coast supporting communities during COVID-19

Media Release from The Hon Nola Marino MP
Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories

The Australian Government commends the outstanding work of RDA Gold Coast in supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by Chair Mr Nick Scott, RDA Gold Coast’s engagement with their community, businesses and all levels of Government has been vital in identifying emerging issues throughout the crisis and opportunities for the recovery phase.

This work is important to managing impacts and ensuring communities and businesses are able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. Key activities being undertaken by RDA Gold Coast include:

  • Conducting a business impact survey which provided valuable insights to inform the Gold Coast’s recovery
  • Using the survey to develop, with a number of proactive industry groups and committees, a roadmap which will guide the region’s response and highlight its strengths, economic drivers and innovators
  • Leading and running a manufacturing, business and investment project which will identify and showcase the region’s 2,700 manufacturing businesses that have diversified to adapt
  • Providing valuable feedback to government on the effectiveness of stimulus measures.

Regional Development Australia Committees (RDAs) have played and continue to play an important role in delivering sustainable infrastructure and services to their region. These Committees deliver important work in consulting with communities, promoting and participating in regional initiatives, and providing information and advice on their region to all levels of Government.

Since late March I have been holding regular teleconferences with RDA representatives three times a week. These conversations provided first-hand insights into how local communities are coping, and the impact and effectiveness of Government response measures. This local intelligence is provided directly to Government ministers and agencies to inform policymaking.

I want to thank the RDA Gold Coast committee members and staff for their work in driving positive change in your local communities.

RDA Gold Coast COVID-19 survey findings released

Survey Executive Summary

COVID-19 has been in Australia since January 2020.

The impacts on businesses due to the necessity of lockdown, social isolation and government restrictions have impacted negatively on businesses, community organisations and manufacturers. The unprecedented environment meant that businesses and industries had to pivot and respond to the changing environment in order to make their businesses more efficient, productive and sustainable into the future.

Tourism is a major economic driver for the Gold Coast, so the impact of the closure of the Queensland borders, cessation of international flights and the government regulations had an immediate impact on the region.

To assist in understanding the affects COVID-19 has had on Gold Coast businesses, Regional Development Australia Gold Coast recently undertook a survey.

This comprehensive study was undertaken to gain real time insights regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Gold Coast businesses, how businesses are reacting to government support packages, their current situation, and future projections.

Businesses stated the Government programs and stimulus packages have allowed them to continue to operate and maintain staff. Programs such as JobKeeper, Boosting Cash Flow for Employers, Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off and Payroll Tax Relief were all highlighted as being a key support during COVID-19.

A number of businesses are also taking this opportunity to upskill and reskill staff with several universities and the education sector developing short courses and mircro-credentials to support this upskilling.

As a result of COVID-19, businesses have been forced to immediately review their operating models to remain viable. This includes the potential for business to research and engage with Industry 4.0 applications, creating an environment which supports technology and embraces innovation.

Businesses diversified with a number able to rapidly restructure to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) urgent requirements. Gold Coast businesses are agile and are able to pivot to meet urgent needs. Manufacturers who historically have been reliant on one market to supply product, now recognise the need to diversify their domestic and international suppliers to respond to their future supply needs This is leading to new opportunities for our local domestic supply chains. The versatility of Gold Coast businesses to diversify to keep their businesses afloat and employees in a job has been very encouraging. The impact of Federal and State Government, and to a lesser extent Local Government, assistance has played a major part in the economic survival of most businesses to this point in time.

200 responses were received from Gold Coast businesses:

  • 94% of all organisations have initiated remote working practices
  • More than half have reduced their in-office staff by over 50%
  • 63% of respondents have been working from home since the end of March
  • Nearly 1 in 4 has the entirety of their staff working remotely.

Feedback on Federal Government Stimulus Packages:

  • Businesses are accessing JobKeeper – 58% (others wanted to but were not eligible)
  • Boosting Cash Flow for Employer – 30%
  • Temporary Relief for Financially Distressed Businesses – 5%
  • Instant Asset Write-Off – 9%
  • Backing Business Investment – 1%
  • Supporting Apprentices & Trainees – 7%
  • Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities – 0.5%
  • Supporting the Flow of Credit – 5%

Download Survey Findings >>

Patient Possibilities: Additive Manufacturing Showcase November 12

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is unlocking the power of personalised medicine

Improve your patient outcomes and attract new healthcare customers through learning how to personalise medical devices and implants, plan and customise surgical procedures, and design bespoke therapies.

Attend our AM showcase event and hear about a ground-breaking project that is printing life-size brain aneurysm models to help clinicians prepare for complex, life-saving endovascular procedures and for use in training specialists from around the world.

Learn from Dean Hartley, co-founder of Queensland company iOrthotics, now part of the Healthia group, about how they lead Australian industry in the custom design and manufacture of orthotic devices for podiatry patients utilising the latest in 3D printing technologies; and hear from Kyle Shapland, representing global additive manufacturing pioneer Materialise, about their leading software and technologies that are unlocking new possibilities for patients in almost every industry.

Brought to you by the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct, Griffith University, RDA Gold Coast and the Queensland Government

Tuesday 12 November 2019

9:00am - 11:00am, followed by an optional tour of the Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute (ADaPT)

HORIZON 2 Popup innovation lab, 9 Nexus Way, Southport

FREE, limited seating available, parking available

Download brochure to share with colleagues



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