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REDS survey results inform economic strategy

Almost 700 local businesses have shared their vision to drive opportunity and growth for the Sunshine Coast via a comprehensive survey conducted by Lucid Economics and supported by Sunshine Coast Council as part of a review of the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy.

 
REDS survey results inform economic strategy

Sunshine Coast businesses have identified what they believe are the three main drivers to growing our economy and creating more jobs and prosperity in the region.

Almost 700 local businesses have shared their vision to drive opportunity and growth for the Sunshine Coast via a comprehensive survey conducted by Lucid Economics and supported by Sunshine Coast Council as part of a review of the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes completed the survey with locations ranging from Alexandra Headland to Aroona, Beerwah to Birtinya, Maroochydore to Montville, Nambour to Ninderry, Pelican Waters to Peachester and Warana to West Woombye.

Representation across industries included agriculture, accommodation and food services, education, health care, retail trade, transport, tourism and many more.   

Despite the breadth of industries and business sizes, most were on the same page when it came to what will create a brighter future.

Two thirds (67%) of respondents believe that the best way forward is to focus on growing existing businesses.

A sizeable 64% want a greater focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, while 55% believe we must boost the skills and talent of our workforce.

The results were clear when it came to the Sunshine Coast’s key economic assets: lifestyle (84%), environment (77%) and tourism attractions (44%).

Meanwhile the three key barriers for growth were inflation (63%), labour availability (51%) and increasing wages (32%).

Insights shape brighter future:
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the insights shared were instrumental in shaping the review of the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) which is 10-years into its 20-year vision.

“The feedback will inform the future direction of the REDS and ensure we remain on-track to realise our vision of being Australia's most sustainable region: healthy, smart, creative,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It’s not surprising to see half of respondents had come to the region for our enviable lifestyle and amenities, and that our standout economic assets included our natural environment, tourism attractions, Sunshine Coast Airport and UniSC.

“While the Sunshine Coast offers a relaxed and dynamic work environment for businesses to thrive, a key barrier to growth which was clear from the survey, is the availability of labour and staff.

“Initiatives such as the recently launched Sunshine Coast Jobs Hub is a great example of how council is listening to the business community and striving to attract, develop and retain talent in the region.
“The REDS sets out a vision for the region to become a $33 billion dollar economy by 2033, and with the economy currently sitting at $21.5 billion, it is an important reminder that we must continue to do the work to ensure that this vision is realised.”

Infographic with percentage of economic assets

Infographic with percentage of economic assets

The 2023 REDS Review will also take into consideration the future opportunities and challenges associated with:
• the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID19 global pandemic
• the opportunities to leverage Queensland’s successful bid to host the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games
• the opportunities arising from Sunshine Coast being officially recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The Review of the Regional Economic Development Strategy has been underway since January 2023 and has included a range of community consultation methods including the REDS Review Survey. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by September 2023.

For more information and to stay up to date on the REDS, visit  https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Council/Planning-and-Projects/Regional-Strategies/Regional-Economic-Development-Strategy-2013-to-2033