- Friday 01 August 2014
It has been nearly a year since the Regional Economic Development Strategy was launched – and there’s been significant progress on many fronts.
Recent reports show the Sunshine Coast has the fastest job growth in Queensland and building activity is the best in three years.
Last week, together with two fellow members of the Economic Futures Board, I released a report into the many activities which have taken place since the September 2013 launch.
One major project is pressing hard on our agenda is the building of the airport’s new runway.
Planned for 2020, the new runway will allow the new generation of wide-bodied jets to land at our airport. That’s why we have selected Royal Bank of Canada to assist us in developing a model to attract private investment into the airport expansion.
It could recommend a number of options; lease-holding for a partner, shared ownership of the airport or even privatisation.
The coming year will also see the board place a strong emphasis on the Capital Investment actions in the Regional Economic Development Strategy, given their significance in transforming the region’s economy and providing the foundation for establishing more enduring employment opportunities locally.
We will also be working closely with the taskforces that are developing industry and investment plans for the seven high-value industries, so that these important plans provide the basis for local business and industry growth and encourage new businesses to invest in the region.
In the last few weeks I’ve been shining the spotlight on some of the quiet achievers in our community – the people and groups who make a big difference with little fanfare.
UnitingCare Community is an organisation that makes a remarkable contribution to the Sunshine Coast day in and day out, helping thousands of people on the Coast live better lives.
Among the services it provides are the 24-hr Crisis Support Line, and programs covering domestic violence, community (disaster) recovery, youth and children's services, disability services, prison ministry, family and support programs, and registered training and workshops.
UnitingCare Community first opened in 1982 as Lifeline Community Care QLD. It has since helped to make a difference in more than 370,000 people's lives.
Today, it exists to strengthen the lives of individuals, families and communities – and I know the Sunshine Coast community is thankful for the helping hand.
First published in the Sunshine Coast Daily on Tuesday 29 July 2014