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CLARK Kirby’s career has come full circle since, as a child, he helped clean the cinema of his then-fledging family business Village Roadshow.

Village Roadshow commenced operating in 1954, owning and managing one of the first drive-in cinemas in Australia in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon.

“I have a long history with the theme parks her — my grandfather Rock Kirby started Village Roadshow, back in 1954 in Victoria, the drive-in cinema down in Melbourne.

“Entertainment is well and truly in the blood. My original background was in the cinema industry — I like to say I worked there when I was four years old when I started to clean the amusement rides down at Sorrento.

“I worked every school holidays for the family in the cinema we had down there.

“Then I completed one degree up here at Bond University and then went on to study at a number of other universities and ended up in investment banking associate director of mergers and acquisitions with UBS Investment

“It was a great opportunity because I advised a lot of entertainment companies here in Australia — including PPL, Channel 7, News Corp.

“It gave me a broadbased understanding of different business models and management styles within the entertainment world, some incredible companies.

“It was very diverse, and very interesting trying to impart advice.

“Then I came back and headed up corporate strategy for the group then since 2012 I’ve been chief operating officer of the Village Roadshow Group and sitting on the board of the theme park group.

“In May this year I assumed the role of CEO and executive chairman of the theme park group.

“Really because we do see it as our most important business and a business we see enormous growth in here and internationally.”

What do you love about the Gold Coast?

“I don’t believe there is any city in the world that can rival the family friendly lifestyle we enjoy here on the Gold Coast.

“The weather and sublime beaches promote a healthy lifestyle and world class attractions mean kids and big kids will always be entertained and inspired.

“I am also in awe of the incredible sense of pride and community spirit of the Gold Coast.

“Initiatives like the Gold Coast Community Fund have been so generously embraced by locals wanting to help out those doing it tough.”

What do you think can be done better on the Gold Coast?

“We need to ensure there is sufficient planning and investment in essential infrastructure such as public transport and traffic management to deal with the existing congestion and to support and encourage private investment and development.

“Coming from Melbourne, I have also seen the incredible power of sporting events to drive tourism and investment.

“The Commonwealth Games is already electrifying the city and I would like to see a sustained calendar of major sporting events through the year.”

In your travels, what have you seen being done elsewhere you think could work well here?

“Universal City Walk and Downtown Disney are great success stories.

“These retail, dining and entertainment precincts create a vibrant, fun and safe destination for all ages.

“We are moving towards creating our own version of this alongside Movie World when Australia’s first Topgolf opens after the Commonwealth Games next year.”

If money, laws, time and approvals were no issue, what is one big project you’d undertake tomorrow?

“A cruise ship terminal — provided it meets all environmental requirements and the appropriate traffic mitigation solution is implemented, a cruise ship terminal would be phenomenal for the Tourism industry on the Gold Coast.”

What conversations should Gold Coast movers and shakers be having?

“We need to consider what our city is going to look like in five, 10, 20 years. Is our infrastructure going to be able to keep up with rate of growth predicted for the Gold Coast?

“Where are the jobs going to come from and are we providing our kids with the relevant training and opportunities to succeed?

“The long term future for the Spit is another important issue for me — there is so much uncertainty around development on The Spit.

“We desperately need a masterplan to ensure that any development includes sufficient investment in infrastructure to ensure residents and existing businesses are not negatively impacted.

“In the more immediate future, we need to ensure that we fully capitalise on the incredible exposure the Commonwealth Games will bring to the Gold Coast.”

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/opinion/village-roadshow-ceo-says-gold-coast-is-golden-but-needs-to-keep-up-with-the-rest-of-the-world/news-story/796eedbff960121e90826c41e46f17ee

 

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7 hours ago, Skeeta said:

In your travels, what have you seen being done elsewhere you think could work well here?

 

“Universal City Walk and Downtown Disney are great success stories.

 

“These retail, dining and entertainment precincts create a vibrant, fun and safe destination for all ages.

 

“We are moving towards creating our own version of this alongside Movie World when Australia’s first Topgolf opens after the Commonwealth Games next year.”

Did he just confirm the Lakeside precinct?

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