EDITORS MESSAGE MAY

MAY 2010

WHILE economists and politicians are prone to talk up population surge as the key to economic growth, the fact is that for every 30,000 that move to the Coast each year, around half of them go back.

Given the dated and almost clichéd ‘population driving prosperity’ rhetoric, perhaps a more measured litmus test for recovery is consumer spending and nowhere will that be more evident than the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.

Despite a constrained shipping transport industry imposing challenges on international exhibitors, a strong global component is still confirmed for the 22nd event.

Organisers remain conservative in terms of beating or even meeting past international exhibitor records, but bookings to date have demonstrated resilience by the global marine community.

There will be 80 new releases and around 40,000 boating enthusiasts are expected to contribute towards revenues of more than $200 million over the four-day extravaganza.

Luxury manufacturers will have their day in the sun with Maritimo, Sunseeker and Riviera all launching new product. While the marine industry will display a shiny solidarity, the same cannot be said for our once auriferous tourism sector. Any positive sentiment floating around the sector must be treated with caution, according to economic commentator Ross Greenwood.

Greenwood sees no point in sugarcoating the issue and predicts further decline, citing one of the city’s key revenue generators as an ‘economic ‘drain’.

He says factors such as interest rate rises and a strong Australian dollar are being driven by Western Australia’s resource boom and the Reserve Bank and Federal Government are not considering the aftershock of interest rate hikes.

The comments come as Tourism Australia launches its ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign to offer Gold Coasters the opportunity to tell the world what’s unique and special about the region.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy says the campaign tapped into research that showed 96 per cent of Australians believe they know the secret to a great Australian holiday, while eight in 10 would like to help promote their country to the world.

And the man who learned a few secrets of his own working for the Packers is the subject of our leadership profile in this issue. With a career that involved executive schooling at corporate giants including Citicorp Investment and the Packer-owned Publishing Broadcasting Limited (PBL), David Cassidy has taken on a new challenge at the publicly listed Pacific Environment Limited.

For a city built on entrepreneurialism, it’s the challenges that drive our business community.

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