The state of the region is strong, and strengthening
  • Thursday 19 December 2013

Mayor Mark Jamieson expressed strong confidence in the Sunshine Coast economy in his State of the Region speech given at Nambour today.

“I am confident – and I know I also speak for all councillors – and according to all the indicators, so is the business community,” he said.

“The latest Sunshine Coast Business Survey, released in November, states that business confidence has vastly improved since the previous survey, due to economic conditions.”

Mayor Jamieson said a major economic highlight of 2013 was the launching of the Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“This year’s launch of the Regional Economic Development Strategy for the next 20 years has energised and focused the region economically like never before,” he said.

“The Strategy blueprint is not owned by council – it’s owned by the community in partnership with business and industry, as it was the collaboration of the whole community which brought it together.

“Inside its pages we have taken stock of our armoury, we are clear on what we want to achieve, what we are capable of achieving – and what we need to do, collectively, to reach our goals.

“And central to that has been a balanced approach, to becoming the most sustainable region in the nation – to be vibrant, green and diverse, a goal to which we re-committed this council when we were elected.”

He said the council was getting the balance right as far as economic, environmental and community imperatives were concerned.

“I think we have got that balance right, because we know that a healthy economy supports a healthy environment and a harmonious community,” he said.

“And we know that a pristine environment enhances an economy and the wellbeing of a community – and we know that a cohesive, happy and productive community can only benefit our economy and encourage the valuing and protecting of our environment.”

A cohesive community was essential, and that meant jobs and security, the Mayor said.

“We are a community of communities, each village and town having its own special identity, values and images, but we must all share in economic growth to ensure the future health and wellbeing of all our communities,” he said.

“The dignity of having a good education and a good job – achieved inside our community, not outside of it –  is important to us all, and I am determined to see our household wealth rise up to a level befitting the economic status we are aiming for.

“We have a journey ahead of us to achieve these things, but I believe we are well on our way.

“One goal in this respect is to plan for 150,000 more people in the next 20 years with 100,000 new jobs – and retain as much green space as we have today,” he said.

The coming year was the beginning of a new era.

“In a few days’ time, we say ‘best wishes’ to Noosa and assure them that, while we are becoming two councils, we are still one Sunshine Coast,” the Mayor said.

“That’s an important distinction to make in terms of our economic endeavours, particularly in tourism and attracting major events.

“The new Sunshine Coast Council will start on a very positive footing from January the first, continuing to provide excellent service to our ratepayers, continuing to facilitate the development of our economic program, continuing to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community, and continuing to protect our environment.”