- Friday 13 February 2015
Future-proofing our region from the economic roller-coaster – that’s the aim of a new initiative under the Sunshine Coast’s Regional Economic Development Strategy.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said seven high value industries had been identified as the keys to future employment and economic strength on the Sunshine Coast as part of the strategy.
“These high-value industries include health and well-being; education and research; professional services and knowledge industries; tourism, sport and leisure; agribusiness; clean technologies; and aviation and aerospace,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“They complement the Sunshine Coast lifestyle and our natural advantages and will provide a platform for future quality employment opportunities for our children as well as providing incentives for them to study here and attain quality work opportunities.
“That’s why Council supported the establishment of industry Taskforces to plan for our future and to start delivering on our economic promise. This is an industry led initiative.
"More than 50 businesses are represented across seven industry taskforces and over 100 organisations were involved in the development of the Industry and Investment Plans.
“So we have leading local business people with specific knowledge of industry issues and needs driving these plans into action.”
Tourism, Sport and Leisure Taskforce Leader and Deputy Chairman of Sunshine Coast Destination Mark Skinner said the opportunity to work with Council and other high-value industries would maximize the region’s economic potential.
“The bringing together of leaders from each sector is a positive step to ensure ongoing recognition within Council of the value of working cohesively with a shared vision for growth,” Mr Skinner said.
Agribusiness Taskforce Leader and Chief Operating Officer for Botanical Food Company Andrew Eves-Brown said positive findings from the recent Sunshine Coast Business Confidence Survey highlighted the potential for positive change.
“Confidence is high and it is an ideal time to launch these initiatives,” Mr Eves-Brown said.
“The REDS strategy has provided an ideal platform to build from and created a real focus on such an exciting industry.”
Cleantech Taskforce Leader and Manager of Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast Dianne Howard said Council’s commitment to the sector was a key to the region becoming a major Clean Tech hub in the future.
“The support of Sunshine Coast Council is a catalyst providing the structures for developing new concepts and collaborative ventures,” Ms Howard said.
“A sustainable future extends from environment through to education and employment so the Cleantech Taskforce provides a unique opportunity to grapple with today’s issues and chart a passage through short term expediency to a long term vision.”
Sunshine Coast Chambers of Commerce Alliance President Michael Shadforth said the REDS high-value industries had the potential to make our region a world leader.
“The Health and Wellbeing sector alone has incredible opportunities around the corner through the Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Kawana that officially opens in 2016,” Mr Shadforth said.
“World renowned technology investor and former Microsoft executive Daniel Petre visited the Sunshine Coast last year and told us we have a wonderful opportunity to make a substantial mark on the world through our new hospital.
“We need innovative, creative and intelligent management leading the way to ensure we grasp the opportunities available for our region and I’m confident we’re on the right track with the taskforce leaders for these high value industries with Council’s Regional Economic Development Strategy.”
The seven industry and investment plans are now available on Council’s website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au