Sunshine Coast in the spotlight at meeting of Australian councils
  • Tuesday 20 June 2017
Mayor Mark Jamieson in Canberra

Sunshine Coast and the council’s smart city development at Maroochydore have taken centre stage at the annual assembly of the nation’s local governments in Canberra.

The Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly of Local Government 2017 theme is Building Tomorrow’s Communities.

The conference brings together key policy makers to discuss the major issues and opportunities facing local government, including infrastructure to deal with congestion; quality of life standards; economic growth; and improving service delivery and efficiency through harnessing new technology

Mayor Mark Jamieson, who as president of the Queensland Local Government Association is a board member of ALGA, addressed the 800 mayors, councillors and senior local government representatives, highlighting Sunshine Coast Council’s unparalleled opportunity to develop a new city centre from the ground up.

He noted the irony of addressing the conference in Canberra – one of Australia’s most visible examples of a city evolving from a greenfield site.

“What Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin were contemplating more than 100 years ago is in some ways similar to what is happening on the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson told the delegates.

“For Walter and Marion, theirs was an exercise in city making underpinned by the drive to accommodate a new seat of government, given the Federation had only come into being just over a decade earlier.

“For Sunshine Coast, our smart city centre at Maroochydore is underpinned by our efforts to develop a new economy – one that is resilient, innovative and a catalyst for creating prosperity and enduring employment opportunities for our community.”

He said Australia’s first truly smart city – Maroochydore City Centre – would become a vibrant hub of commerce, technology, innovation, entertainment and inner-city living.

This includes three separate conduits for NBN, Telstra and the city’s dedicated Smart City fibre optic network and, in an Australian first, a city-wide underground Automated Waste Collection System where about 1.7 kilometres of pipes will be laid beneath stage one of the city centre.

“These pipes will allow waste to be transported underground at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour to a central transfer station, making footpath garbage collections and overflowing bins obsolete,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This innovation plus smart lighting, smart power, smart parking and smart transport are all being built in as we go.

“Councils are the drivers of city-making and 21st century solutions will be driven by civic leadership and collaboration, a significant challenge and aspiration for us all, but one we should not – and must not shy away from.”

Sunshine Coast Council’s efforts have already been praised, with leading Australian demographer Bernard Salt acknowledging the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s capital for entrepreneurship and the Queensland Government’s chief entrepreneur Mark Sowerby just last week stating that Sunshine Coast is the hottest entrepreneurial area in Queensland.

The National General Assembly will consider four motions put by Sunshine Coast Council, calling on the Federal Government to:

-          provide greater incentives under its National Innovation and Science Agenda to encourage young entrepreneurs to establish start-up businesses in regional areas of Australia outside of the capital cities;

-          implement an urgent review of the roll out of the NBN Fibre to the Node services and propose a revised back-up power supply solution to overcome the loss of communications that will be experienced during extended power outages;

-          amend the Telecommunications Act to facilitate Sunshine Coast Council’s request to seek a declaration of a submarine cable protection zone; and

provide funding and other support to councils to undertake a range of coastal community protection projects consistent with developed regional erosion management projects and future coastal hazard adaptation strategies