Sunshine Coast leading the way in economic development
  • Thursday 09 October 2008

Sunshine Coast Council was named amongst the best of the best as a finalist in three categories at the prestigious 2008 National Economic Development Awards in Brisbane last night.

Connecting the Coast, Council’s innovative high speed broadband infrastructure project, and Sunshine Coast Enterprises, its economic board servicing the Caloundra area, were finalists in the Awards which recognise outstanding examples of economic development practice.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Bob Abbot, said the nomination as a finalist rewarded both staff and the organisation for its strategic approach and leadership in the economic development arena.

“Council recognises the crucial role local businesses play in allowing residents to live and thrive here, enjoying an enviable lifestyle,” Cr Bob said.

“The best way to achieve this is to develop and encourage diversity within the local economy.

“By deepening and broadening business growth in a range of industry sectors, we can help cushion the effects of any downturns.

“Council would like to see a new emphasis placed on developing the alternative economy, which will include the knowledge industry, creative industry, and possible new industry clusters.

“To this end, Council provides economic development support across the region to help facilitate business success.

“These awards, judged by a panel of industry peers and experts, show that Council is heading in the right direction.

“I congratulate all councillors, staff, partners, volunteers and supporters for their vision and all the work that has achieved this national recognition.”

2008 National Economic Development Awards (finalist)

Connecting the Coast (Strategic Economic Development category)
This award recognises organisations (or individuals) that can demonstrate a holistic, realistic, sustainable and measurable approach to the economic development strategic planning process.

Connecting the Coast will deliver innovative broadband services to the Sunshine Coast through wireless and fibre optic connectivity. It will support a transition to more knowledge based sectors of the economy, reducing reliance on traditional industries for employment and economic growth.

The project has attracted a total of $11.6m in funding - $4.1m from the Commonwealth Government under the Clever Networks ICT Program and $7.5m from regional supporters including the Sunshine Coast Regional Council in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Allegro Networks and Mach Technology, with in-kind support from Matthew Flinders Anglican College and Reed Property Group.

Sunshine Coast Enterprises (Economic Development Leadership category)
This award recognise an individual who has undertaken outstanding service in progressing the recognition of economic development in the broader community. Sunshine Coast Enterprises is a wholly owned company of Council. The company provides a unique business, industry and government engagement model for the delivery of economic development. Sunshine Coast Enterprises Chairman of the Board Bill McDonald, and CEO Gerrie Carr-MacFie, were recognised as finalists in the individual Leadership categories. Their nominations were based on long-standing achievement and leadership in the delivery of regional based economic development.