- Thursday 17 November 2016
It’s certainly an exciting time to be in business on the Sunshine Coast with our game-changing projects making significant progress and other major developments coming out of the ground.
One of the key roles of our council is to help you be part of our region’s success and grow, or establish, your business.
I would encourage you to tap into the great knowledge and expertise that exists within our Economic Development and Major Projects teams and keep an eye out for the various programs and opportunities that we offer local business.
The website invest.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au is definitely worth checking out.
As we look towards the new year, it’s a good time to assess where we are situated now. It’s clear we have come a long way in the last four years.
In 2012 when I was first elected as mayor:
- The Sunshine Coast economy was on its knees as a result of the GFC;
- There was no plan for the future of the region or its economy;
- We had very little recognition nationally – and none globally;
- Business confidence was at an all-time low;
- We had some of the highest levels of unemployment – particularly youth unemployment – in Queensland
- Our Gross Regional Product is $16 billion and growing at a rate on average of nearly 4% per annum;
- We are independently ranked for the last two years as the second highest performing regional economy in Queensland;
- Business confidence has been highly ranked in the last three successive Westpac CCIQ Business Confidence Surveys;
- Our unemployment rate is 4.8% which is lower than Queensland’s state average with under 5% is classed as full employment;
- Our youth unemployment rate is 9.3% - 3.5% lower than the Queensland average and a drop of more than 5% in the last 12-18 months;
- We are recognised by Infrastructure Australia as one of five cities (in addition to the State capitals) that will be the focus for the future productivity of the Australian economy
- Building approvals in 2015-2016 were an eight-year high with $1.29 billion worth of construction approved, compared to 2012 when the figure was $607 million
It shows the value of having a clear plan for the economy and the prosperity of the community.
In 2013, we put in place our Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) and we are now starting to see the results.
At just over the halfway mark for the first five years of REDS, more than 70% of the actions have been implemented.
We made a commitment to deliver – and that is what we are doing.
Best of luck for the rest of 2016 and I hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy the festive season.
- This column appears in the 2016 Summer edition of Matters magazine