Coast needs to be the ‘can do’ place to compete

Sunshine Coast Business Council’s Urban Evolution Conference — 8 June 2017

Over 120 delegates from across the region will attend the Sunshine Coast Business Council’s Urban Evolution of the Sunshine Coast conference this Thursday to be challenged by the likes of the National Capital Authority CEO Malcolm Snow, who will share his insights into how urban planning can help position the Coast for future success.

Mr Snow says the Sunshine Coast has a great opportunity to take control of its destiny by making sound decisions now in order to reap the benefits in the future.

“Every city with ambition wants to move up the value chain and use its different assets in order to become a hub,” Mr Snow said.

“The Sunshine Coast has special challenges given its geography and dispersed urban settlement pattern. Nevertheless, given the Coast’s appeal as a place to live, work and relax as well as the quality of its natural environment, it has extraordinary potential.”

“For the Sunshine Coast the challenge is to project itself as a place of untapped potential – a place that exudes style, verve, opportunity and imagination. A city that doesn’t need to slavishly copy what other cities do but instead strengthens its own place appeal by how it plans and then implements those plans.”

“It’s important to acknowledge that the world is simply too complicated for any one party to address all the issues on their own. This requires partnerships, and to make this happen, involves mutual reliance and the need to understand the values and potential, as well as the roles and resources of each respective partner.”

“To evolve, a city as a complex organism also requires agreed operating principles that allow public, private and community interests to mesh well and interact constructively.”

Mr Snow is one of the many high profile speakers on the conference program and Sunshine Coast Business Council Chair Sandy Zubrinich said she was delighted with the response from the local business community.

“It is encouraging to see that we have representatives from across all levels of government and the private sector attending given Mr Snow’s advice that we need to work together or ‘hunt as a pack’ so to speak in order to achieve the best outcomes for the region,” Ms Zubrinich said.

“Our program will also touch on the importance of adequate planning for social housing in a growing region with Urbis Director of Social Planning Stephanie Wyeth sharing her wealth of experience with our delegates.   She will provide insight into how comprehensive planning can help address the affordability gap given the cost of owning or renting a home continues to increase and wage growth struggles to keep up.”

Ms Zubrinich said other speakers at the upcoming event included The Hornery Institute Chief Executive and Managing Director Kate Meyrick who is internationally recognised as a place maker and urbanist; Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie; Noosa Shire Council Mayor Tony Wellington; SunCentral CEO John Knaggs; Stockland Regional Manager Ben Simpson; and Ray White Commercial North Coast Central Director Michael Shadforth. The conference will be facilitated by MC Bill Darby.

The Urban Evolution of the Sunshine Coast conference will take place on Thursday, 8 June from 1.30pm at the USC Auditorium, Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, with members of the public welcome to attend. Tickets cost $104.50 for Sunshine Coast Business Council members and $121 for non-members and include refreshments on arrival, afternoon tea and networking drinks.

To find out more or secure your seat, please visit