Mayor welcomes State of the Regions economic rating
  • Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Sunshine Coast is ranked as the second highest performing economy in Queensland in the new State of the Regions report published by the Australian Local Government Association.

Mayor Mark Jamieson today welcomed the release of the 2015-16 report, prepared by National Economics, and officially launched at the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum in Canberra.

The report analyses data from every local government area in Australia.

“As far as Queensland is concerned, the Sunshine Coast is second only to Moreton Bay - and they are only marginally ahead of us – when it comes to best performing regional economy,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This is very good for a region that makes up about 8% of the State’s population and has not had the investment attention that other major cities and regions have had from other levels of government.

“It also shows that our regional economic development strategy, which has been in place now for about 20 months, is delivering results.

“There is nothing like a clear plan and a determined focus on its delivery to ensure we get improvements in our economic performance.

“We are experiencing unprecedented capital investment in the history of the region at this time - from projects like the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Maroochydore city centre, as well as strong commitments like that made by Youi to establish its global headquarters at Sippy Downs.

"And there is more in the pipeline, particularly as projects like Caloundra South and Palmview move closer to breaking ground.”

Overall, the Sunshine Coast was ranked 16th nationally (out of 67) in terms of economic performance.

“Given the majority of those ahead of us are in capital cities, this is a result of which we can all be proud,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels – there is still much to be done to ensure our region’s prosperity continues to grow.

“Our focus is on sustained economic improvement that will continue to deliver results over the medium to long term – not a sharp jump that falls away after a year or two.

“We are seeing sustained improvement in other data as well like the Business Confidence Survey results that are showing increasing business confidence in a measured and sustainable way over time.”

Mayor Jamieson said the State of the Regions report did point to an increasingly concerning problem of housing affordability on the Sunshine Coast.

“This is a problem that is shared with many other lifestyle and tourism regions and is an issue across south-east Queensland,” he said.

“That is why this Council is implementing economic strategies to increase our average income to above the state average.

“That will be achieved by attracting new industry to the Sunshine Coast.

“However, the major levers to increase household affordability rest with the State Government in terms of setting the planning legislation and determining taxes and charges that impact on the price of homes – like stamp duty.

“And I note the Property Council of Australia has called for a rethink on Stamp Duty, given its impact on the price of residential property.

“Furthermore, Councils can encourage the increase in supply of more affordable housing stock through conditions on development approvals, but at the end of the day, the private sector will deliver lots to market when the market conditions are most favourable to the developer and the price will always be influenced by a range of factors – most of which are outside the control of a Council.

“What is needed is a clear, manageable strategy from the State Government on housing affordability that takes into account the interests of both the home buyer and the land developer – but at the same time, doesn’t leave councils and other ratepayers with the bill.”