We welcome you back to what is already shaping up to be a challenging but promising year ahead for business in our region.

2015 begun in dynamic fashion with cyclonic weather events and a change in our state government. SCBC enjoyed good access and a good working relationship with the previous government and we are working hard already to institute regular meetings with Premier Palaszczuk and her regional state representatives. This means continuing our advocacy work to advance our region’s economic interests and gain crucial state government infrastructure, particularly in transport (Bruce Highway upgrade, rail duplication etc.) as well as continued support for the airport extension.

We will also seek regular meetings with both Mayors to keep in touch with their views on priorities for the region given, particularly given the challenging budget environment that is apparent at all levels of government. The Business Council are concerned that Noosa seems to be missing from much of the regional discussions and we believe engaging with Noosa is critical in terms of the future growth of the regional economy, specifically jobs, infrastructure and investment.

SCBC Focus for 2015

SCBC held its 2015 strategic workshop with members over February and March and invited the he Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) task force chairs to provide an update on each of the High Value Industries. Sunshine Coast Council also provided an update on the five ‘game changing’ projects. These presentations were extremely insightful and we are grateful to those who gave their time to contribute to our strategic discussions. SCBC 2015 Focus Areas are consistent with 2014 but with stronger communication with the business and broader communities:

  • Maintaining the focus on the regional job target of 250,000 jobs by 2033 and understanding what industries and projects the jobs will be created and lost.
  • Communicating to the broader community the need for economic growth and for public and private investment and why it is important for their family’s job and career prospects.
  • Keeping the focus and pressure on all levels of government to deliver critical infrastructure.
  • Capitalising on our regional’s strengths and in particular the opportunities presented by the Kawana Hospital and Health Hub.
  • Being more representative across all industry sectors.

Members of SCBC board are available to go through the focus areas with any of our members. If you wish to take up that offer please contact us on info@scbusinesscouncil.com.au. We will keep members informed of our progress through updates in future newsletters and on our website www.scbusinesscouncil.com.au

Our contribution to thought leadership since 2010

Over the past five years SCBC has drawn attention to topics that tightly link to our key focus of investment, infrastructure and employment. Here is a reminder of some of the areas we have stimulated, and sometime provoked, community discussion which we have supported with SCBC commissioned research:

July 2010
First significant health forum focusing on what we could learn from overseas experience
May 2011
Board room lunch focusing on Health Precinct’s master plan
March 2012
Sunshine Coast’s Economic Direction
August 2012
Health Precinct conference on importance of the ‘Ripple Effect’ and developing a 9 month action plan
December 2012/ March 2013 and June 2013
Review of action plan with Sunshine Coast Council and industry
April 2013
Growth of the Middle Class in Asia – are there opportunities for the Sunshine Coast?
November 2013
Youth Prosperity Conference
March 2014
Future of Agribusiness on Sunshine Coast & how to invest
May 2014
Follow up to the Youth Prosperity Conference

As well as contribution to or a position on key projects such as:

  • Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy
  • Maroochydore Principal Activity Centre

Think Tank on improving quality of development and environment on Sunshine Coast

On 30 March 2015 SCBC held the first of three think tank sessions to explore ideas to better balance the challenges of development and environmental management on the Coast. This bought together a range of people from interest groups such as SCED, OSCAR and Development Watch, Noosa and Sunshine Coast councils, developers, industry groups and academics. We were gratified by the level of contribution made by all people who participated in the session and look forward to their continued commitment. The agenda for the first think tank session is available on the website. The second session is planned for Monday 4 May and will focus in more detail on some of the options identified. We will keep members advised in subsequent newsletters.

Maroochydore Principle Activity Centre (PAC)

The Mayor recently released the new entity, board and CEO charged with managing the development of the PAC through the new entity, SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd. The SCBC Board wishes to congratulate the Mayor on the quality of the board of directors and look forward to working with them over time, on this project. SCBC continues to support the PAC and over the past two years have regularly discussed with Council:

  • Potential for conflict of interest with Council being owner, developer and approval of other development applications
  • Financial construct of the PAC
  • Vision for Maroochydore centre as well as the PAC

The Chair Sandy Zubrinich and board member Dustin Welch recently met with the Mayor to continue dialogue around the three points above. The Mayor assured the business council that a conflict would not arise. Mr Greg Laverty of Council is addressing the Board at the May meeting to expand further on each of the points and to take questions from board members.

Investment Conference

The Business Council has brought together a number of high profile interstate speakers for this year’s conference, ‘The challenges for regional Australia in a competitive investment market’. It will be held on Thursday 4 June from 2pm at the Maroochydore RSL. We will be sending out an email with further details within the next week or so. We hope you will support this conference and look forward to seeing you there.

Generation Innovation – Innovating the Future with $50

The SCBC Board recently met with Ted O’Brien who is Founder and Chair of new not-for-profit organisation, Generation Innovation. The GI Challenge is a challenge of youth entrepreneurship for local 15 to 25 year olds. All participants work in teams and receive training and mentoring on how to start their own business with successful teams making a pitch before receiving seed capital and assistance in getting their ventures off the ground. The capital will ultimately come from local business people who are encouraged to invest in these budding young entrepreneurs by donating as little as $50 each, with 100% of their contribution going towards the new ventures.
SCBC supports Generation Innovation and encourages other business people to donate $50 by going to www.generationinnovation.com.au

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Community Sleepout

Just a reminder that the SCBC are again supporting the St Vinnies Community Sleepout to be held on Thursday 25 June 2015.

We think every Queenslander should have the opportunity to sleep safely and have the opportunity to make their way in the world with a bit of help so I urge all SCBC members and supporters to either join as and sleep rough on this one night of the year, or to make a small donation to one or more of our members who are sleeping out in support of this great campaign.

All funds raised from the Sunshine Coast Community Sleepout stay right here on the Sunshine Coast and are to assists people in need across the Sunshine Coast. This year St Vinnies target is $50,000 for the event.

Last year just six (6) SCBC members combined contributed one third of the funds raised at this event. Just imagine if we have more members participating we can really made a difference. Already this year we have eight (8) members participating and we would like to ask more of you join us.

If you are interested in sleeping out and raising funds for St Vinnies on the Sunshine Coast, please let Sandy Zubrinich know on 0408 835 954. We will advise you in the next newsletter how to make a donation to one of our SCBC members.