Beach hub for Games in trade


Commonwealth Games: Retired Olympic Champion Anna Meares joined her long-time British rival Victoria Pendleton as the baton left Buckingham Palace to begin it’s journey down under.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Game mascot Borobi at the Lady Cilentro Hospital with patient Josh. Pictures: Jack Tran

A DIPLOMATIC and business hub will be opened to foster trade during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games — right on the beach.

The government and council will look for a suitable venue, such as a surf club, to be turned into a new Commonwealth House for the Games in April next year.

With government ministers from around the Commonwealth expected in Queensland for the Games, it is hoped the new beachside residence will host trade and investment discussions between ministers and business leaders.

One-third of the world’s population — about 2.5 billion people — are members of the Commonwealth, which is expected to have trade between the 52 member countries totalling $1 trillion by 2020.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the search would get underway for a suitable location to host Commonwealth House right along the Gold Coast.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate attend a Commonwealth Games 2018 event at Australia House in London. Picture: David Dyson

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate attend a Commonwealth Games 2018 event at Australia House in London. Picture: David DysonSource:Supplied

“Whether it’s a new, dedicated structure established for the Games, or space inside an existing beachside venue, Commonwealth House will open its doors to global decision-makers in the lead up to the Games so that they can see first-hand the kinds of outstanding business, trade and investment opportunities available in Queensland,” she said.

She said she had raised the proposal with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland during talks this week in London.

“She is supportive of the idea and is especially keen to see it provide a venue where small businesses and business women can expand their networks, markets and trade horizons,’’ Ms Palaszczuk told News Corp Australia.

“We are committed to make the most of the state’s significant investment in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games by driving economic opportunities for the state.’’

The Government wants to use the Games to build a trade and investment program that delivers lasting results to the region and the state.

“Commonwealth House will a venue where Government Minister from around the Commonwealth can meet to establish strong partnerships and develop new global links, either with one another or with businesses from Queensland or overseas,’’ she said.

Retired cyclng great Anna Meares receives the baton from Queen Elizabeth at the launch of The Queen's Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace for the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, looks on. Picture: Toby Melvill

Retired cyclng great Anna Meares receives the baton from Queen Elizabeth at the launch of The Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace for the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018. Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, looks on. Picture: Toby MelvillSource:Getty Images

“Commonwealth House will feature events targeted to specific business sectors with internationally renowned global speakers and opportunities for business development.’’

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said Commonwealth House would provide a unique and exciting venue for business delegates to gather from across the Commonwealth.

“Having a Commonwealth House on the Gold Coast gives us the opportunity to strengthen trade relationships across Commonwealth nations, while broadening our economy and creating new investment opportunities across key industries,” Cr Tate said.

“We are using the Games to promote the Gold Coast beyond the sporting world, showcasing our city’s reputation as a place of unique opportunity with an enviable lifestyle — a place where people can live, work, study and invest.”

Australian singer Cody Johnson picked up the Queen’s baton in a Kombi Van during the start of the ceremonial relay on March 13 for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. Gold Coast native Johnson had performed earlier in the day as part of the main ceremony to kicksoff the baton relay, which will pass through all 71 countries over the next 388 days before arriving at the Games. The Queen sent the baton on its way on Monday by first passing it to two-times Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares. The relay is a ceremonial race that is traditionally held before each Commonwealth Games. While the route varies between each instance of the games, it always begins in Buckingham Palace. A selection of additional public images and video from the ceremony are included below. Credit: The Royal Family via Storyful

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: History of the Queen’s Baton Relay.