Editor's message (6/7)

THE Gold Coast sporting landscape is about to erupt.

The city has matured to become a national sporting hub where top tier national franchises are all angling for a piece of the precious corporate pie. But is there enough to go around?

In this issue, we profile the newcomers to the cauldron – soccer club GC United and AFL team Gold Coast Football Club. The Titans have paved the way in the NRL, the Blaze have had a forgettable season in the NBL and the whistle is about to blow on key sponsorships across the codes.

For ostentatious billionaire Clive Palmer, owning the Coast’s first national soccer club is a walk on the pitch compared to his vast mining interests that hang on Chinese economic recovery. From his corporate box Palmer discusses how ‘football’ brings the citizens of the world together by celebrating what they have in common rather than what’s different. But when it comes to the business side the answer is simple – tax losses.

From the domestic landscape to those operating further abroad, we profile a raft of Gold Coast exporters that have successfully chipped away at key international markets.

Emerging in sectors of health, manufacturing and the creative industries, a new wave of innovators are pushing their products offshore. With large listed exporters like Billabong set to carve profits this year in the wake of a global decrease in retail spending, niche manufactures are having their day in the sun.

For Burleigh Heads-based MacMed Health Care, the journey overseas has begun after realising sales in the UK and New Zealand.

Another innovative Burleigh-based company’s ‘Leggo for big boys and girls’ masonry system has also cemented a niche in global construction markets.

Formblock is one of the world’s first commercially manufactured mortar-less masonry systems which, through the use of its unique plastic bridging mechanism, provides significant cost savings in time, steel, concrete, formwork and labour requirements. The product has been largely well-received by international markets after long periods of approvals and tests.

Business Gold Coast Advisory Board chair John Witheriff, says local business is benefitting with a TradeStart export adviser now working within Gold Coast City Council. In the six months to March 2009, local businesses working with the program had generated $9.5 million in export sales, which resulted in the creation of 70 full-time equivalent jobs.

In other news, Balmain Trilogy has assumed control of the sunken City Pacific’s $630 million First Mortgage Fund after it was appointed responsible entity. The majority of the 11,000 unitholders voted against City Pacific as responsible entity for the fund.
Balmain Trilogy is a joint venture between asset manager Trilogy Capital and loan originator Balmain Commercial.

And former financial powerhouse MFS was placed into liquidation last month under the Octaviar banner, a company once chaired by former Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock.

It has sunk with debts totaling around $2 billion with unsecured creditors left with between 1c and 4c in the dollar.
Jason Oxenbridge

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