Regional Economy
  • Last updated:
  • 18 Oct 2016

The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia's most desirable regions to live, renowned for its superb natural attributes and diverse, vibrant communities. Located in South East Queensland, about 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, the region is home to a population of more than 280,000 and predicted to grow to 450,000 by 2031.

The Sunshine Coast economy has doubled in size in the last decade, with a current Gross Regional Product of more than A$13 billion. The economy is predicted to grow in a strong and sustainable pattern over the next 20 years to reach A$33 billion in 2033, accompanied by an increase in high-value employment, export and household income.

The Sunshine Coast was the highest growing regional economy in Queensland between 2000-01 and 2010-11 (Queensland Government 2013). The average annual economic growth of the Sunshine Coast from 2001-13 (4.05% per annum) compared with other major global economies (International Monetary Fund, October 2013) demonstrates the region's economic strength and resilience. Economic growth on the Sunshine Coast surpassed the Australian average annual growth by 1% per annum over this period.


The Sunshine Coast is just over one hour by road, north of the state capital of Brisbane and covers an area of approximately 2,291 square kilometres with 52.3 kilometres of open coastline.

The region features designated commercial, residential and industrial precincts as well as diverse landscapes from ocean beaches to green belts and pristine hinterland communities.

Positioned on the doorstep of Asia and the Pacific Rim, the region accesses national and international markets primarily via the Bruce Highway, the national rail network, the Sunshine Coast Airport, the Brisbane International and Domestic Airports and the Port of Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast has a range of notable education and research facilities including Australia's fastest growing university, the University of the Sunshine Coast. The region also hosts five private hospitals, four public hospitals and work is underway to deliver one of the largest tertiary hospitals in Australia by 2016.

The Sunshine Coast Enterprise Corridor stretches along the coast strip from north of the Sunshine Coast Airport to Caloundra South. The corridor represents the key regional location for commercial and residential growth over the next 20 years and is home to many of the region's 30,000 registered businesses.

The Sunshine Coast's industry base has broadened over the past decade, with growth in new industries such as education, health care and professional services. The region's top five industry sectors by employment are health care and social assistance, retail, construction, accommodation and food services, and education and training (AEC, May 2014). In particular, the health care, finance and insurance services sectors have been key drivers of economic growth since 2006-07.

For the region's 30,000 plus businesses, commercial confidence has risen to its highest level since 2009 with nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed expecting to enjoy further increases in profitability into 2016 (September 2015, Boardroom Business Survey).


For more information email or phone (07) 5475 9932.

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