It's "jobs, jobs, jobs" and the Gold Coast had some pretty tough competition to win over IBM. The investment incentive program offered by the city council's Economic Development and Tourism fund proved the winner.
IBM has nine development centres across Australia, IBM Australia's Development Laboratory director Glenn Wightwick said. The case for moving more work to the Gold Coast had strengthened.
The new roles would involve two teams; one working on information loss protection and the other on internet security software products. Gold Coast Economic Development and Tourism chair, Councillor Susie Douglas, said that the centre would help preserve diversity in the region's workforce.
As I read this article, it was once again obvious, what Shire Councils will pull out of the bag to ensure business development either is retained or comes afresh to their area. Every job counts.
In another recent illustration of this there has been a political storm and a community uproar with Telstra's plans to close the Grafton (NSW north coast) call centre, thus losing 120 jobs.
In a regional city the size of Grafton, this is a huge loss. That means 120 incomes being lost to the business community. It might mean people leaving the city. That in turn means fewer students at the schools, perhaps the hospital being downsized to the next level. The roll-on is phenomenal.
Despite the tourism industry, which is its mainstay, the Gold Coast is not an economic bed of roses. Tourist numbers have been struggling as international visitors have the high value of the Australian dollar to contend with.
"Australia's tourism industry hits rock bottom" was the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Compared to the capital cities and larger regional centres, the Gold Coast is not a major finance economic hub. The top dogs do well in real estate on the Gold Coast, but the smaller businesses are struggling at the moment.
The public services such as the schools and hospitals are the backbone of the community, and the tradesmen (as always) do reasonably well, but even they cannot charge the same high prices as those in the city, because ordinary wage earners are unable to pay.
Therefore the Gold Coast will jump at every opportunity to diversify its job market and this IBM centre is just 'what the doctor ordered'.
I hear the whispers in the business areas around me that are one thousand new arrivals on the Gold Coast every week to find their fortune; but that nearly as many leave the area, having failed to fulfil their dream.
The Pentecostal-style churches are booming in this area; there are more Pentecostal churches on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast than in any other part of the nation. The reasons are many, but they certainly reflect the image portrayed by these two large 'flashy' communities.
Rowland Croucher, Australia's leading theological and pastoral reflector in a recent interview with the Australian Missionary News IPTV explained there is large movement around and in and out of these Pentecostal churches.
There is a danger that the services offered by this style of worship is seen by many to be manipulative – that it appeals to the type of people who put an outward show of wealth and respectability before true faith and worship. At least some visitors to these churches get this impression.
In my view, that exemplifies the Gold Coast in so many of its dealings. Even if the majority of the congregations are sincere in their faith and commitment to Christianity, the transient nature of these congregations does not help to maintain a consistent or long-lasting Christian community.
IBM and similar IT commercial industries may be just the ticket to bring some consolidation to the Gold Coast in many different ways.