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Gold Coast Light Rail

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

Two Gold Coast organisations secure $3.2 million from the Building Better Regions Fund

RDA Gold Coast is excited to announce that two local organisations have secured more than $3.2 million in funding from Round 5 of the Australian Government's Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), with the projects expected to pour a total of nearly $6.5 million into the local economy.

The $1.38 billion BBRF supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. The fund invests in projects located in or benefiting eligible areas outside the major capital cities.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will receive $2,627,500 towards the construction of a new Australiana-themed precinct, and the Nerang Community Bowls Club will receive $596,650 to extend their clubhouse and support community activities, with RDA Gold Coast Director Estella Rodighiero assisting with both applications.

This is welcome news for the Gold Coast, as no major funding has been received by the region under the BBRF in the past. 

Our Director attended the Nerang Bowls Club with Ms Angie Bell MP, Member for Moncrieff, and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary with The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Member for McPherson, for the official presentation of the grants.

More details below:

National Trust of Australia (Qld) Ltd (Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary) - Australiana Precinct 

This project will construct an Australiana-themed precinct at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. A grant of $2,627,500 was received towards a total cost of $5,255,000. This is the single largest grant the Sanctuary has ever received.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Left Photo: The Hon Karen Andrews MP with General Manager of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Michael Kelly. Right Photo: Michael Kelly, President Henry Smerdon AM and CEO Jayme Cuttriss.

Nerang Community Bowls Club Inc - Extend clubhouse to support bowls and community activities 

This project will extend the Bowls Clubhouse to include new bathrooms and a space for meetings. A grant of $596,650 was received towards a total cost of $1,193,300.

Nerang Bowls Club

Angie Bell MP with the Executive Committee from the Nerang Community Bowls Club.

Building Better Regions Fund Round 6

The Government has announced there will be a further round of BBRF Round 6. Details are expected to be released before the end of 2021.

There will be two funding streams – Infrastructure Projects and Community Investments. BBRF Infrastructure Projects stream in Round 5 focused on supporting regional tourism with $125 million committed to tourism-specific infrastructure upgrades.

BBRF Grant Writing and Information Workshops

RDA Gold Coast will conduct grant writing workshops for Round 6 applications in early 2022.

Subscribe to our newsletter and social media to keep up to date.

Gold Coast Industry 4.0

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Gold Coast has launched the Industry 4.0 Business and Investment Project, supported by our new website, to help build on the Gold Coast’s technology strengths and transform the economy into an internationally competitive innovation powerhouse.

‘Industry 4.0’ (or the Fourth Industrial Revolution) refers to the automation and digitization of supply chains, and includes technologies such as big data, robotics, computer-assisted manufacturing, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), additive manufacturing (3d printing), artificial intelligence, virtual reality, digital twin (virtual modelling), machine to machine communications, nanotechnology, blockchain, and sensor technologies.

Industry 4.0 sees businesses become increasingly automated and self-monitoring as machines can analyse and communicate with each other, improving efficiencies in the process.

RDA Gold Coast Director of Regional Development Estella Rodighiero said the project, developed in partnership with the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, City of Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, has identified significant Industry 4.0 capabilities across a number of key sectors on the Gold Coast.

These include advanced manufacturing, health and medical technology, space and aerospace, textiles, additive manufacturing, food technology, sport and film.

“We have an AI health cluster at Southport, an aerospace cluster on the northern Gold Coast, a textiles cluster at Yatala, medtech and bionics at Southport, film visual effects at Oxenford, a brewing cluster at Burleigh and additive manufacturing at Southport, just to name a few,” she said.

Supporting the development of these emerging clusters and attracting complementary supply chain businesses will be a key driver of new investment and the jobs of the future on the Gold Coast.

The report identifies other key competitive advantages for the Gold Coast including:

  • An advanced and collaborative university, TAFE and training sector, which includes Griffith University, Bond University and Southern Cross University
  • The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct fostering and attracting clusters of Industry 4.0 activity in the areas of medical technology, health AI and additive manufacturing
  • A lifestyle city that attracts knowledge workers and industry investment
  • World-class companies in the areas of space and aerospace, and advanced manufacturing
  • Collaborative government support from all three levels of government.

RDA Gold Coast Chair Nick Scott said current Gold Coast Industry 4.0 businesses are committed to adopting advanced technologies, and that innovations in one sector can be leveraged across other sectors.

And he noted that some surprising positives have emerged from COVID-19 pandemic: “COVID-19 has actually fast-tacked the adoption of digital technologies and cross-sector partnerships out of necessity, plus the importance of developing less vulnerable, Australia-based supply chains has also been recognised.”

Mr Scott went on to outline how RDA Gold Coast and its government partners will be using the Industry 4.0 project as a springboard to drive the transformation of regional businesses: “We’ll be identifying digital supply chain opportunities, helping to attract complementary supply chain businesses, encouraging collaboration and partnerships between industry and the education and training sectors, and reviewing current and future workforce skill requirements.”

To support these goals, RDA Gold Coast has developed a new Industry 4.0 website for the region, which includes information on grants, opportunities and resources, and a searchable directory of Gold Coast Industry 4.0 users and suppliers, including local tech champions such as Gilmore Space, MEXX Engineering, PWR Advanced Cooling Technologies, Austech VR, Coletek, Materialise, Datarwe and VirtuReal.
The directory can be searched by 14 different technology types, and Gold Coast businesses can upload their own details for inclusion in the directory.

“Businesses can also sign up for Gold Coast Industry 4.0 updates, as the project and associated technologies gather momentum. Our overall goal is to support the economy in the recovery from COVID-19 and see the Gold Coast become a world-class innovation capital,” Ms Rodighiero said.

For more information, go to

Workforce Needs Survey

The Australian Government understands there are a number of issues with businesses not being able to attract additional staff in areas prior to and post-COVID. To address this, they are looking to gain insight into current workforce issues with regard to job vacancies.

If you are currently seeking workers, please let RDA Gold Coast know via the short survey below.

It only takes a minute or two to complete. Responses will be shared with the Australian Government only.




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