Gold Coast’s most influential person revealed
Chins will wag, glass jaws will shatter and the only certainty is that no one will agree - and that's the subjective beauty of the list.
Some people have fallen in ranking, not because they've lost power but because others on the list have made greater gains.
20. CLARK KIRBY
THE CEO of Village Roadshow Theme Parks, which operates Movie World, Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild, Paradise Country and Top Golf on the Gold Coast, as well as a number of cinemas and the Oxenford film studios. Despite well-publicised challenges in the sector, the parent company managed to turn a slim profit last financial year after selling off assets including its Sydney Wet 'n' Wild theme park, land under its Gold Coast parks and a stake in its Singapore operations.
19. PROF MARK von ITZSTEIN
THE director for Glycomics at Griffith University is among the world's most respected medical researchers. He is renowned for his life-changing influenza treatment and heads a team that is tackling some of the worst diseases known to humans. His team's malaria vaccine went through its second phase of human trials in the past year with promising results and the potential to save up to a million lives every year.
18. CHRIS MILLS
THE Queensland Airports Ltd CEO is responsible for the Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa airports. The former GM of Economic Development Queensland and manager for Brisbane's Southbank Corporation, Mr Mills is well connected in business, government and tourism and is overseeing the airport redevelopment. Mr Mills was appointed to the board of Tourism and Events Queensland in August.
17. KEES WEEL
The founder of ASX-listed PWR Engineering has engineered a Gold Coast business powerhouse. The Ormeau company supplies electronic cooling systems for race cars in Australia, Europe and the United States. It is also behind exciting research and development projects in the sector, has enjoyed healthy growth in recent years and recently expanded its operations into a second building beside its existing premises. The company booked an 7.8 per cent increase in revenue last financial year and is one of few local listees to spend most of the year with its share price in the green.
16. MEAGHAN SCANLON
THE Labor Member for Gaven is the youngest ever female Queensland MP and the Gold Coast's only State MP who is actually in government. Ms Scanlon has worked hard to build her profile and has been outspoken and authentic on big issues like decriminalising abortion.
The former childcare worker has powerful friends in Brisbane and is continuing to grow her influence in the city.
15. AMY SHARK
SHARK, whose real name is Amy Louise Billings, has had a year of blinding success at home and abroad, releasing her acclaimed debut album Love Monster, which went straight to number one on the ARIA charts. The performance of the Broadbeach Waters local, 32, was a rare highlight of the GC2018 closing ceremony and she's been nominated for a breath-taking nine awards at next week's ARIAs, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
14. EMILY SKYE ANDERSON
WITH a net worth of $32 million and more than 14 million social media followers around the world, this personal trainer and former model has built a health and fitness empire in under a decade. Through her business, Emily Skye FIT, the mother of one sells workout and healthy meal plans to more than 250,000 subscribers. Her success caught the attention of Quadrant Private Equity's Fitness & Lifestyle Group - the $750 million powerhouse behind Goodlife Health Clubs, Fitness First Australia and Jetts Australia - and it bought a stake in Emily Skye FIT.
13. PROF CAROLYN EVANS
THE incoming Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University begins her tenure in 2019, replacing outgoing Prof Ian O'Connor. Prof Evans will arrive direct from the University of Melbourne, where she has served as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Graduate and International) and Deputy Provost. She holds a doctorate from Oxford University where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar and was also the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Senior Scholarship.Professor Evans is an internationally recognised expert on religious freedom and the relationship between law and religion and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
12. PROF TIM BRAILSFORD
THE Bond University Vice-Chancellor and President is an expert in business, finance and education, leading what is arguably Australia's most successful higher education start-up. Prof Brailsford is known for his initiatives that support the emergence of the Gold Coast as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub; improvements in Indigenous education; and growth in new sports including women's rugby and women's AFL.
11. TONY COCHRANE
IN his fourth year as chairman of the Gold Coast Suns, Mr Cochrane endured another on-field year to forget when the team logged just four wins to its 18 losses. The team was dealt further blows with the departure of co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May. Despite the losses Cochrane and the team's executive embarked on a full rebuild of the side, which could be exactly what it needs. Away from football, the entertainment company Mr Cochrane runs with dynamo wife Thea has gone from strength to strength, presenting major exhibitions for Real Madrid, the Melbourne Museum and more.
10. MARGOT ROBBIE
NAME one person who wouldn't take a call from this talented Gold Coaster. Go on, we'll wait. Robbie's star power is as fierce as her performance in I, Tonya. The former Somerset High student voiced Flopsy in Peter Rabbit, which took in a tidy $115million this year, and her current projects include starring in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and playing Australian golf icon Jan Stephenson in a movie about her glamorous life on the LPGA Tour.
9. CRAIG TREASURE
THE managing director of ASX-listed Gold Coast developer Villa World has overseen five continuous years of profit growth which has flowed on to their shareholders. With Mr Treasure at the helm, Villaworld is the largest development company based on the Gold Coast, with its market capitalisation surpassing that of Brisbane-based Sunland in the past year. With projects along the east coast and a promising pipeline on the books, Villaworld and its boss look set for a similarly satisfying 2019.
8. DALE DICKSON
MR Dickson runs one of the city's biggest and most complex companies, the Gold Coast City Council, employing more than 3400 locals and a temporary workforce of 450. The former Brisbane Bears AFL player has been in CEO the role for 15 years and is also on the board for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation until its dissolution on December 31. Mr Dickson has overseen a big year for the city, including the Games, progress on the Spit master plan and the development of the cultural precinct.
7. CHRIS HEMSWORTH
WHEN he's not filming Hollywood blockbusters or shooting multi million-dollar ad campaigns for global brands, this knockabout actor is a regular at southern Gold Coast surf breaks. In the past year, Hemsworth's 2018 on-screen exploit have so far grossed more than $2.5billion and include Avengers: Infinity War, 12 Strong and the gratuitously-ab-filled Bad Times at the El Royale. Hemsworth is globally powerful while remaining locally involved, is building a "Westfield-sized" mansion on the Byron beachfront and basically winning at life.
6. RON CALVERT,
THE CEO of Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service heads up the city's largest employer, overseeing more than 9500 staff at three hospitals, 13 community facilities plus two major Allied Health Precincts. As boss of one of the fastest growing health services in Australia, Mr Calvert and his board work with an annual operating budget of $1.46 billion. Since he took on the role in 2012, a $200 million expansion to Robina Hospital was completed, the $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital was opened and a new day hospital at Varsity Lakes was launched.
5. REBECCA FRIZELLE
IN the past year, this savvy business woman added NRL club co-owner to her list of accomplishments after buying into the Gold Coast Titans, which she previously chaired. Ms Frizelle is also among the heavy-hitting directors of Sunland Group, and remains heavily involved with the combined businesses of James Frizelle's Automotive Group and Sunshine Motors, which added Ferrari to its stable of brands in 2018.
4. GEOFF HOGG
STAR Entertainment Group's Queensland managing director is one of the most productive people in the state, having played a key role in winning The Star's bid to build Brisbane's Queen's Wharf casino, and over-seeing the multi-billion redevelopment and re-branding of The Star Gold Coast - as well as its ambitious master plan. The influence of Mr Hogg, who also sits on the board for Broadbeach Alliance, will be strong on the Gold Coast for the foreseeable future.
3. SOHEIL AND SAHBA ABEDIAN
THE chairman and the managing director of listed property company Sunland Group have already shaped the skyline with their projects including Q1 and Palazzo Versace, and in 2018 their projects continued their spread across the state. The first residents have begun moving in to Clear Island Waters development The Lakes, where a vast shopping centre is also under construction. The company also has projects on the books at Labrador, Mermaid Beach and Greenmount.
2. HARRY TRIGUBOFF
HE'S Australia's richest property developer, part-time Main Beach local and a man known for doing what he says he's going to do. His company Meriton is Australia's largest residential developer and the nation's biggest landlord. Highrise Harry's latest Gold Coast landmark, the $1 billion five-star hotel and apartment tower Ocean, is well under way, hot on the heels of his Sundale development on the bank of the Nerang River at Southport.
1. TOM TATE
TOM Tate says 2018 has been "without a doubt" the best year of his mayoralty, in sharp relief to the unrelenting setbacks he felt in 2017.
The Mayor's 2017 was punctuated by the near-fatal heart attack of his wife Ruth, a horror that was book-ended by Crime and Corruption Commission hearings and his own illness.
"Ruth and I, we were basically on the canvas, both of us were given a second chance at life," he says.
"It's game-changing when your wife is dead in your arms."
What wasn't widely publicised was that, while he was in surgery to remove bowel polyps, he too came close to death, just three months after his wife's brush with it.
"I was losing more blood than they could give me, it was touch-and-go," he reveals.
"No one really knows that."
This was the year when seeds planted by the Mayor since 2012 have borne fruit - the Home of the Arts opened, along with the second stage of the light rail - and the Gold Coast's long-awaited Commonwealth Games were held across the city.
Expanded fibre optic data connections, 10 times faster than the NBN, had attracted new interest from tech businesses and the film industry, with both set to further decrease the city's reliance on its traditional sectors of tourism and property.
"I always say it's our time to shine but that's really an understatement," he says.
"It's a year to remember. Some of the highlights would include hosting the Commonwealth Games and being mayor of the city to host that and making welcome 71 territories including the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Andrew.
"It's the year of infrastructure for our city - that includes new roads, cultural infrastructure, master-planning The Spit."
Cr Tate says strong private investment in the city and swelling international student numbers has followed council initiatives in the past year.
"When you look at the private sector point of view, there's a record number of cranes in the sky and that's a sign of investment on the ground.
"On the books, there's $30 billion of investment in the next 10 years that are ready to go."
However, it hasn't been an unblemished year. The Mayor found himself in a public spat with Federal MP Steve Ciobo, who accused him of being "at war with basically everyone", and the CCC is not finished with his council.
Cr Tate has some regrets. "But some of them are not of my own making," he says.
"There are always remarks that I could have had more polished."
Cr Tate wishes he'd been more tempered in his response to the ongoing Crime and Corruption probe, which is examining an accusation he engineered council decisions to secure personal gain.
After the commission released a statement saying the allegations raised "a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct", he fired off a scathing letter demanding chairman Alan McSporran or his representative travel to the Gold Coast to answer councillors' concerns.
"But as the judicial maxim states: justice delayed is justice denied," he wrote.
Cr Tate told Power 100 he'd been incensed by the chairman's assertion the Gold Coast would be next - following arrests of allegedly corrupt councillors in Ipswich and Logan.
"I took offence to that because we're not Ipswich, we're not Logan - he said that in February and now it's the end of October," he says.
"I said justice delayed is justice denied.
"(But) I should really make no comment on public about it, I should just be helpful with whatever investigation they're doing.
"Once that's done, it will be good, I just don't like these things left hanging."
Since his election in 2012, many adjectives have been used to describe the Gold Coast Mayor. He's "flamboyant", "bombastic", "colourful".
In 2018, he feels he is a changed man - more measured and mature - shaped by his self-proclaimed "annus horribilis" last year.
"I have a lot less to prove in 2018 than I did in 2012 when I first came to office.
"I thought I was mature when I came to the Mayoral office, but now I have matured in the sense that being a true leader means that you look at the whole of the community and put it above all else.
"I've matured in the way I negotiate with the state and federal governments.
"I've now found a life balance and it's not easy having a life balance when you've got a spotlight on you."