As a community member vested in the lives of those living in the same place, I think it is our responsibility to know what changes will occur and consider the impacts those changes will have on our life, the life of our family, our businesses and future generations. The speakers and events that the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce hosts keeps me/us up to speed with major developments as well as accountable for contributing to (in the best way we can) our future lifestyle. While it may seem like ‘I’ can’t do much alone, I can with a Board of Influencers and a strong Chamber Membership base of movers and shakers. This morning, the Gold Coast Central Chamber host three speakers at a “Stand Up” breakfast at the Watermark Hotel. The guest speakers were; John Hogan – Managing Director of International Marina builder Superior Jetties (a two-time winner of the Gold Coast Business of the Year Award), a director of the Marina Industries Association and Chairman of the Global Marina Institute. Mr Hogan spoke about his vision for the future of the Gold Coast. Brian Donaldson – Community Consultation Program on The Spit Parkland and the Integrated Resort Development (ASF Proposal). Mr Donaldson’s company has been appointed by the Queensland Government to conduct two community consultation programs relating to future uses of Crown Land on The Spit. Louis Chien – Director of ASF, the company behind plans for a $3 billion integrated resort near Sea World. Mr Chien outlined his company’s plans for the development. The Chamber host this event as it is one of our key roles to keep all levels of Government honest – ensuring our members are effectively represented, consulted and educated with the express outcome being continual improvement. The consultation programs Mr Donaldson’s company is conducting aims to seek the views of community members, community organisations and local businesses about: 1. How best to improve and permanently protect public open space on The Spit; and 2. How an Integrated Resort Development (IRD) on The Spit could best benefit the Gold Coast and the broader community I enjoyed all of the views shared today. A stand out from Mr Hogan was the innovative concept of creating a renewable energy hub at sea using the change in tide -wow how awesome & forward thinking is that! Mr Donaldson shared the 50/50 views of the public on the planned developments and is obviously seeking further input as part of his consultation period. Mr Chien presented some very thought-provoking ideas. I am not going to debate here my thoughts on the developments or sway to any side but I did want to share something that Mr Chien said that I am 100% in support of. This idea is not something that just relates to this $3 billion project but can be applied to all facets of life. The Gold Coast is built on tourism so let’s get on with it and build. Let’s be driven by hope and innovations and dreams and ambition rather than fear. In saying that change needs to come from a place of understanding. Like any decision in life including how to move forward with this major development is to define the key problems & to develop solutions to those key problems. Positive growth occurs when there is a thorough plan in place to address the issues. For example, one of the key issues is the height restrictions on the Spit, the question here is simple – why is there an issue and how can that be addressed? Traffic is already an issue there but by the time this development is built, surely there will be a plan in place to address the expected growth? To close, I refer to the Nelson Mandela quote in the picture at the top, ‘may your choices reflect hopes, not your fears’. What is your opinion about the $3 billion integrated resort development plan & how will it impact your business, your life and the lives of your children? Food for thought for today, tomorrow and beyond.