- Monday 08 February 2016
The new daily Qantas service from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney is great news for frequent business travellers and council is aiming to maximise the benefits further afield.
A delegation of local business leaders will board the maiden business flight on Tuesday, February 9 to promote the region’s wealth of business opportunities to a Sydney business audience.
Council CEO Michael Whittaker said the local delegation would address the NSW Business Chamber - the state’s peak business organisation which includes more than 15,000 members and alliances with over 190 chambers of commerce across NSW and the ACT.
“This will be a valuable opportunity for Sunshine Coast business and commerce leaders to network with Sydney-based counterparts, connect and learn about potential investment opportunities and hear keynote speakers presenting on the Sunshine Coast and issues affecting Australian business,” Mr Whittaker said.
“The Sunshine Coast was ranked as the second highest performing regional economy in Queensland in the 2015-16 State of the Region Report. Our economy has nearly doubled in size in the last decade to reach $13.8 billion and our average annual growth rate since 2001 is 4.05%, which is higher than the national average of 3% over that same period.
“We also have the highest business confidence levels in Queensland, the second fastest forecast population growth rate in the state over the next two decades and a number of exciting game changer projects like the new city centre in Maroochydore, the $1.8 billion University Hospital Precinct, the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion and the Submarine Broadband Cable project.
“So from a business point of view, we’re an extremely attractive region and we need to let investors from other parts of Australia know all about it.”
Sunshine Coast Economic Futures Board representative Andrew Pitcher, who will address the NSW Business Chamber on February 9, said “Qantas’ decision to re-implement daily business flights is a vote of confidence in the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS)”.
“It will provide significantly better access which will stimulate more investment in the modern services we require for this century”, he said.
“The return of daily business flights between the Sunshine Coast and Sydney by Qantas represents a tremendous opportunity for both local people working interstate and interstate organisations operating here to do business more effectively. At the same time it will increase our attractiveness to investors from outside the region by becoming ‘easier to do business with’.”
Sunshine Coast Combined Chambers Alliance Chair Michael Shadforth urged local businesses to take advantage of the new Qantas flight schedule.
“Sunshine Coast Airport has done an outstanding job to secure this new business-friendly flight schedule and the onus is now on the Sunshine Coast to take advantage of this vote of confidence from Qantas and ensure the service is utilised,” Mr Shadforth said.
“The advantages in terms of cost savings and convenience alone are significant so I really encourage local businesses to do themselves and our region a big favour by flying local.”