- Tuesday 24 February 2015
Sunshine Coast Council is taking centre stage and now, more than ever, we are in the national spotlight for all the right reasons.
I am determined we will remain there.
Our economy is on the move, with business confidence continuing to grow to now be at its highest point since 2008.
We generated close to 20% of all new employment opportunities in Queensland – more than any other region.
We have outstanding environmental credentials and manage some of the most innovative environmental programs in the country.
Importantly, we have a community that is passionate about maintaining and celebrating our values and lifestyle so we remain one of the best places on earth to live, work, visit and invest.
Our successes have not come about purely through good fortune, rather, they’ve come about thanks to the foresight of many who came before us.
It is our responsibility to build on their contributions and achievements and we are doing just that with our game-changing projects which will build a strong future for the region - the Maroochydore City Centre, the Valdora Solar Farm, the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion and Sunshine Coast Light Rail.
On the eve of the State Government elections, we have called on all candidates to develop a coherent plan to address the long-standing infrastructure funding deficit by providing clear timing and funding commitments.
- The North Coast Railway Line duplication from Beerburrum to Nambour;
- Inclusion of the Caboolture to Caloundra Road six-lane upgrade to Bruce Highway in the State Government’s Bruce Highway Action Plan;
- Upgrade of the Sunshine Coast Motorway, Nicklin Way and Mooloolah River interchange;
- Providing a high quality bus corridor between Caloundra and Maroochydore;
- A contribution up to $100 million towards an entertainment, convention and exhibition centre in the Maroochydore City Centre.
Policy decisions to help stabilise the region, build community and investor confidence and enable the Sunshine Coast to maintain the lifestyle and environment that is highly valued by our residents are also sought:
- Retaining the Sunshine Coast local government boundaries;
- Statutory preservation and protection of the regional inter-urban break between Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay;
- Retaining the Beerwah East site – not Halls Creek – in the SEQ Regional Plan are the top three policy commitments we seek;
- A fair outcome on the infrastructure agreements for Caloundra South to minimise flow-on costs to all ratepayers; and
- Approval of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Environmental Impact Statement and support for Federal Government approvals and financing strategy.
The next State Government has an opportunity to help us shape our future as we become Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green, diverse.
Will it be up to the task? We’ll find out soon enough.
This column first appeared in the February 2015 edition of Business Matters magazine