- Monday 15 December 2014
Sunshine Coast has taken centre stage as Mayor Mark Jamieson today shone the spotlight on the year’s achievements at his annual State of the Region address.
Mayor Jamieson said the work completed in 2014 continued to shape a future to benefit generations to come.
“This year we are taking centre stage. The Sunshine Coast is in the spotlight and I am determined that we will remain there,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our economy is on the move with business confidence continuing to grow.
“We generated more new employment opportunities than any other region in Queensland.
“We manage some of the most innovative environmental programs in the country.
“And we have a community that is passionate about maintaining and celebrating our values and lifestyle.
“We do live in one of the best places on earth – thanks to the many who came before us and contributed in so many ways.
“It is our responsibility to build on their contributions and achievements so that future generations can enjoy the same or even better opportunities that have been presented to us.”
Mayor Jamieson said good planning and a commitment to “thinking outside the square” were essential to tackling the big issues on the economic and environmental stages.
“Building a $33 billion economy doesn’t happen overnight,” he said.
“And that’s why it is important to plan decades into the future to achieve those goals.
“Becoming Australia’s most sustainable region isn’t achieved in one term of council.
“I am confident however, that we are on track to claim that title, and leave a strong legacy for future generations.”
Investigations into and planning for the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm – the first in Australia of its kind - are on track and an example of how the council is thinking outside the square, the Mayor said.
“So too is the Maroochydore City Centre, the only greenfield CBD development in Australia, which will include state-of-the-art technology and digital solutions throughout the development.
“The development scheme for the Maroochydore City Centre has been delivered, perimeter work has started and we will see the project start to develop next year.
“Council is progressing the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion, with the environmental impact statement and community submissions now with the Coordinator General.
“In October we also released the latest update on our investigations into a potential light rail solution for the Caloundra to Maroochydore corridor.
“The Economic Futures Board, a key commitment in the Regional Economic Development Strategy, has been established.
“And getting the balance right between protecting our wonderful lifestyle and environment and encouraging new investment and employment opportunities continues to be this council’s agenda.
“Council has acquired more than 2700 ha to conserve as an important environmental asset for future generations.
“We will continue to manage this asset and acquire more land for environmental purposes as key opportunities arise.
“My fellow councillors and I know that we won’t see the full outcome of many of our game-changing projects,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“However, our Council wants to leave a legacy - one which shapes a magnificent and prosperous Sunshine Coast.
“After two-and-a-half years, I am satisfied with where we are at and the progress we have made.
“But there is still much more to be done as we strive towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable region.
“Planning for our future is something this council takes seriously but it is a responsibility we all share and that is the challenge that I set for the community on the eve of 2015.
“Don’t be distracted by the negativity that can often attempt to claim centre stage. Claim the centre stage on behalf of the future of the Sunshine Coast.
“Make the most of the opportunities and let us see where it takes us.
“And never stop asking yourself the question – ‘What is my role in shaping our future to benefit generations to come?’”
The year’s highlights:
- Delivered the development scheme for the Maroochydore City Centre – the only greenfield CBD development in Australia at this time.
- Delivered the first Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme in May – a single planning instrument for the region.
- Developed the Environmental Impact Statement for the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.
- Established the Economic Futures Board.
- Released the latest update on investigations of a potential light rail solution for the Caloundra to Maroochydore corridor.
- Maintained a strong stance on preserving the inter-urban break on both sides of the boundary between the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay council areas.
- Continued to advocate for the retention of Beerwah East as an identified growth area rather than Halls Creek.
- Released the new Corporate Plan and new corporate image.
- Supported 20 significant events which collectively generated an estimated $47 million in economic benefit for the region.
- Provided more than $3.5 million in grants to community organisations
- More than 1 million visits to our libraries.
- More than 1 million visits to council’s nine aquatic centres
- More than 180,000 people passed through the Nambour Showgrounds’ gates.
- More than 105,000 people visited Caloundra Indoor Stadium
- 22 exhibitions were held at Council facilities.
- A record crowd of more than 30,000 people attended the Caloundra Music Festival.
- Finalised a new $80 million waste contract – the largest waste contract ever signed by Council.
- Customer Contact staff responded to more than 240,000 inquiries either over the counter, through email, on the phone or via the internet.
- Continued to manage almost 3000km of roads, 448 bridges and more than 1100km of pathways with significant capital projects completed or nearing completion, including:
- The $3.5 million Alexandra Pde Streetscape Improvement project
- The $5 million Beerwah Streetscape project
- Stage 3 of the Sippy Downs Dr upgrade
- The $1.1 million upgrade of Glenview Rd.
View Council’s Shaping Our Future video.