"The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the biggest event Australia will see in the next decade," Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, Chairman, Nigel Chamier OAM, has told a CEDA audience on the Gold Coast.
The Games will have a positive economic impact worth an estimated $2 billion, he said.
"The development of the Gold Coast's Health and Knowledge Precinct which will incorporate the Games Village will create hundreds of jobs each year of construction," he said.
"In the long-term, the Health and Knowledge Precinct will generate thousands of permanent jobs in health, knowledge, innovation and services sectors contributing to the diversification of the region's economy and reducing a reliance on tourism."
Gold Coast City Council, Mayor, Tom Tate, discussed the economic development strategies for the Gold Coast and the legacy that this period of investment and development would leave. Mayor Tom Tate said the Games were a great motivation and detailed projects he wanted to see progressed and in place in advance of the Games.
He spoke about the Gold Coast light rail project - Queensland's first light rail project - and the plans for a new casino.
He also said it was "no longer a discussion about whether we get a cruise ship terminal, but where the cruise terminal will be".
Mr Chamier said that preparation for the Games is at the planning and consulting stage.
He outlined some of the milestones that have been achieved so far including:
In the next 12 months Mr Chamier said the following key function areas will be finalised:
He also emphasised the scope and scale of the event with over 1.5 million tickets to be available, an expected global TV audience of 1.5 billion and more than 3000 journalists and photographers who will deliver close to 100,000 media stories.
"Eighty-seven per cent of the Melbourne 2006 (Commonwealth Games) expenditure went to local firms and four of the major infrastructure projects," he said.
"The (Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth) Games exceeded the costs to the Victorian community with increased investment in capital works, operational expenditure by all levels of Government and tourist spending contributing to a positive stimulus of the economy."
KPMG, Managing Partner Gold Coast Private Enterprise, Paul G Steer, highlighted the Gold Coast is in a strong economic position to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
He said the Gold Coast can position itself in the services sector and can leverage off mining investment.
With changing global economic conditions, he expects GDP growth to return to trend over the second half of 2012.