‘I want Celine Dion to take up residence here’
GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate is hoping a high-powered infrastructure agenda will help 2019 top 2018 as the city's biggest year.
With just 15 months to go until re-election, the mayor is preparing to run for a third term in city hall's top job and says he has big plans for the year.
After a tumultuous year, which saw the city host the Commonwealth Games, Cr Tate is taking stock of the year that was and turning his attention to the future.
What 2018 meant for the Gold Coast:
"If ever there was a fast year, this was it - it was more like a bullet train than a light rail," he said,
"If you look back a year you can see we have come a long way as a city and this region has a global reputation.
"This has been achieved through the hosting of our Commonwealth Games, trade and the broadening of our economy with the boosts to the education and medical industries.
"There has also been the continued growth and recognition of our film and television industry."
The 2018 Commonwealth Games:
"The highlight for many was the number of gold medals we won ahead of the Poms and that the athletes did so well on home ground," he said.
"But the gold winner for me goes to the volunteers, the game shapers. They shaped our games to the friendliest ever.
"Everyone knows how world-class they were."
HOTA and Cultural Precinct Stage 2:
"It's been awesome. And now you can see for the next year construction has commenced on the new green bridge. I am proud that I was able to get the cost of it down from $34 million to $19 million and it still as artist merit," he said.
"It will be another place where a lot of selfies will be able to be taken.
"The contemporary art gallery will be the biggest outside a capital city and this has commenced too and will be finished in October 2020.
"I always said this would be a 10 year project and once it is done we will look at other elements for the Home of the Arts".
Cruise Ship Terminal:
"I look forward to the conclusion of the Spit masterplan in June once this is signed off and gazetted I will come to council to reactivate the Port of Gold Coast project at Philip Park and look at doing an environmental impact study," he said.
"I am confident we can tick all the boxes and that this port will complement the newly built Brisbane port.
"Together we can have synergy, not unlike Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida."
Dive site off The Spit
"I want to see the dive precinct begin with a facility on which you can do a dive as a beginner or go further if you are experienced," he said.
"I am passionate about getting an underwater structure to attract marine life.
"I still haven't given up on the idea of an underwater cemetery and further investigation will take place into this."
Global Tourism Hub
"I look forward to the market testing for a global tourism hub - the Gold Coast deserves one of these and I would want to engage with the proponent to ensure they think bigger," he said.
"To those who criticise it - it is not about gaming, it is about tourism, like Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
"I want to see a world-class artist like Celine Dion be a resident artist and call the Gold Coast home."