Innovation key to a strong regional economy
  • Tuesday 30 June 2009

Sunshine Coast Council will invest $22.2 million in key regional tourism and economic development projects to help create a more innovative and dynamic business environment.

Economic Development portfolio councillor, Cr Lew Brennan said that community members responding to the 2009-14 Corporate Plan nominated the health of the local economy as the most important issue in their immediate future.

“Council plays a key role in stimulating the creation of valuable job opportunities,” Cr Brennan said.

“In line with this, council continues to look at ways to attract new and grow existing businesses to diversify the local economy and make it more resilient in the face of wider economic challenges. Council also supports local industries to adopt innovative and sustainable technologies.

Although there are many challenges in the current business climate, Cr Brennan said he was very optimistic about the economic future for the Sunshine Coast.

“Our region is well placed for future prosperity,” Cr Brennan said.

“We are fortunate we can leverage off our great regional assets, such as the Sunshine Coast Airport, technology precincts at Sippy Downs and Cooroy, council’s recent investment into cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure and the inherent creativity and innovation found through the region’s business community.

“This is a time of great challenge, and this culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism will help the region attract new investment and build on our competitive advantages.”

Together with various government and business partners, council actively supports a range of innovative projects and programs to help stimulate our local economy. These include tourism reform, Sunshine Coast Airport commercial developments, Sunshine Coast Enterprises as well as a regional major events strategy.

These initiatives will be funded from the tourism and economic development levies that now apply across the region, with funds expended in the localities in which they are raised.

PRIORITY PROJECTS

Tourism Reform
Council and local tourism industry leaders have reached an in-principle agreement supporting the creation of a new, regional tourism body designed to guide the future of tourism on the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast Airport master plan
Redevelopment of the existing airport terminal and departure lounge to enhance the travelling experience for airport passengers, visitors and staff, and ultimately deliver economic benefits to the region. Development of the Southern Commercial Precinct.

Sippy Downs Business and Technology Precinct
An historic partnership between local government, the University of the Sunshine Coast and major Sunshine Coast property developers will spearhead the marketing of a new Business and Technology Precinct to drive economic growth and generate sustainable and high value employment opportunities in the Sippy Downs and Palmview area.

Sunshine Coast Enterprises
Sunshine Coast Enterprises is dedicated to creating economic growth in a responsible and sustainable way for the benefit of stakeholders in one of the fastest growing regions of Australia.

Major Events strategy
Council's Major Events Sponsorship Program recognises the importance of events to the economic development of the region. The aim of the program is to grow the value of the events industry across the Sunshine Coast and to enhance the profile of the Sunshine Coast as a major events destination.

Rural sector and industries
Hinterland success is directly linked to the vibrancy of its local economy and work continues to ensure this major asset of the Coast retains its unique character.