Council moves to kickstart technology precinct and create jobs
  • Friday 31 July 2009

Council is poised to jumpstart the knowledge economy in one of the Sunshine Coast’s fastest growing areas with a multimillion dollar investment in critical infrastructure.

Council’s Strategy and Planning Committee has agreed to bring forward construction of sewerage and road infrastructure for the Sippy Downs Town Centre and Technology Precinct.

The move is designed to create jobs in both the short and long term and trigger private investment in the precinct.

Mayor Bob Abbot said discussions with local landowners about plans to fast-track the infrastructure were already underway and formal negotiations were expected to commence shortly.

Cr Abbot said the Sippy Downs precinct would make a substantial contribution to efforts to diversify the local economy and Council wanted it completed and soon as possible.

“This has been a long time in the making and I’d like to congratulate staff and councillors on their efforts to date,” he said.

“This infrastructure is critical to the success of the Sippy Downs Towns Centre and we are confident the precinct will bring enormous benefits to the Sunshine Coast region.”

Council’s economic development spokesman Lew Brennan said plans for the Sippy Downs Town Centre and Technology Precinct were finalised late last year and it would be a significant asset to the region when completed.

Cr Brennan said in the meantime, Council had opted to get the project moving and encourage new businesses to investigate its potential.

“By acting as banker for this vital infrastructure, Council hopes to drive the creation of the Australia's first genuine University town centre, based on knowledge-based industries and employment growth,” he said.

“Our goal is to pave the way for a sustainable, compact community where it will be possible to live, work, play and learn.”

Council spokesman for Finance and Business, Cr Chris Thompson said council will eventually recoup its outlay via infrastructure agreements with those landowners but action was needed now in the interests of the region.

“Council has the opportunity to be the creator and accelerator of new and sustainable jobs on the Sunshine Coast by providing this money up front,” Cr Thompson said.

Local divisional councillor Christian Dickson said the Business and Technology Precinct will include around 80,000m² of commercial floor space and is expected to generate about 2,000 jobs in education, commercial, business, and technology-based businesses.

“I am delighted the town centre will be completed sooner rather than later as a result of council to deliver this key infrastructure as quickly as possible,” Cr Dickson said.

Planning Committee Chair Cr Vivien Griffin said it was a major step towards market transformation and would assist council in selling the Sunshine Coast as an exciting lifestyle region.

The Regional Strategy and Planning Committee agreed to refer the matter to Council’s Ordinary Meeting for a formal vote on the issue next week.