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An independent report into the impacts of staff relocating from Sunshine Coast Council’s Nambour and Caloundra offices to the proposed new city hall at Maroochydore in 2022 has shown there would be a “negligible” potential impact on existing retail activity and the commercial property market in each centre.

Council has today (18 September 2018) publicly released the Lucid Economics report which it commissioned in 2017 to inform its decisions on its future workspace accommodation needs across the region.

Deputy Mayor and Finance Portfolio Councillor Tim Dwyer said the analysis by Lucid Economics was largely predicated on council totally vacating its office presence at Nambour and Caloundra - which is not what council will be doing.

“Council has already determined that about 200 staff will remain at each of the centres, including administration, customer service centres and library services,” Cr Dwyer said.

“So, if the report concludes that the impact of a complete council withdrawal from both centres would be negligible, and yet council is retaining about 200 staff in each of these two centres, one can reasonably draw the conclusion that the real impact would likewise be negligible.

“Council is very cognisant of, and committed to, retaining a presence at Caloundra and Nambour and is looking for opportunities to ensure a bright future for both of these centres.”

The report also highlighted that both Nambour and Caloundra offices represented the higher end of the commercial leasing market and would be attractive to tenants.

The analysis found that while the relocation of council staff from Caloundra and Nambour would have impacts on those centres, the impacts were minimal in terms of the local economy and, while any negative impacts should be noted and acknowledged, a focus on driving future economic growth in Caloundra and Nambour would provide net benefits that could easily outweigh any potential impacts.

More than 160 staff are already accommodated in leased premises at Maroochydore.

Cr Dwyer said a permanent presence at Maroochydore would take a number of years to finance, design, construct and commission and would not occur prior to July 2022.

“We will be using the time between now and then to make those decisions regarding our workplaces,” he said.

“Significant staff accommodation planning will be undertaken to ensure we have the right people in the right places providing the best services to our customers across the Sunshine Coast.”

Cr Dwyer said council had also offered Nambour Alliance and the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce an opportunity to meet with Lucid Economics to discuss the report findings and provide an opportunity to ask questions.

“I trust both organisations will take up the offer and use the information to form beneficial strategies for both towns,” he said.

“Each Chamber, as the peak business body for their locality, needs to take responsibility for using this information in a way that supports the future interests and greater good of their respective business communities.”