FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
2016 seems to be playing out as predicted: a tough global economic and geopolitical environment which is keeping political leaders across Europe preoccupied, while in the US the presidential circus is at least providing some comic relief.
Here in Australia we have a federal election on the horizon, and sooner is now probably better than later for the business community so we can get back to the task ahead – building and strengthening businesses, building up confidence and shoring up the Australian economy.
Last month’s regional council elections helped in terms of confidence by providing consistency in leadership for the Sunshine Coast LGA. Tony Wellington in the Noosa Shire is expected to maintain a steady course but hopefully will be more progressive in diversifying and growing the economy.
Sunshine Coast Local Government
It is fitting to congratulate Mayor Jamieson for his strong win. He was never in doubt having demonstrated in the last four years a strong determination to promote the Sunshine Coast internationally and draw attention to the region as an investment destination. He also created impetus in involving the business community in development of the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) and the finalization of the updated planning scheme.
The foundation is in place for the Mayor and Councillors to put the Sunshine Coast on the map in terms of:
- Consistently performing in the top 15% of national regional councils in terms of recognized sustainability performance indicators.
- Accelerating the change agenda (in terms of the regional vision, REDS and the planning scheme) by explaining the context – need, benefits and challenges – of what the next four years will deliver.
Congratulations to Tony Wellington who will be the next Noosa mayor. Tony and the Noosa Councillors inherit the challenge of putting the Noosa Shire on a more solid financial footing, both as a council and as a sustainable economy. We need Noosa and Sunshine Coast councils working closer together on the strategic as well as the operational issues, so that they both win as operationally efficient councils and we all win at the regional level.
SCBC looks forward to working with both Mayors, Councillors and council teams going forward.
SC Business Council had our say
During the last two weeks in the lead up to the council elections, SCBC worked responsibly and persistently to get our message out. We released the Regional Employment Report 2016 and hosted the mayoral candidates at our annual strategy workshop. From those two activities our message was clear. The business community is calling on Sunshine Coast and Noosa councils to:
- agree a regional vision that reflects the strength, diversity and opportunity of the region as a whole,
- agree key regional infrastructure needs and work together to source funding from state and federal governments,
- work collaboratively with federal and state governments to drive investment in the region, and
- review our performance and direction and address any issues.
Sunshine Coast Region Employment Report – January 2016
In early 2016 SCBC commissioned a review of the Sunshine Coast economic conditions with a focus on employment issues, particularly in the current term of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils.
The review found that on nearly every indicator, the Sunshine Coast economy is performing better now than it was three years ago and much better than a number of other major non-metropolitan regions in Queensland.
Whilst the review was not a strategies document, it pointed to several issues the Sunshine Coast Council may wish to consider in greater detail:
- The need to understand the reason for the sustained internal migration loss of those 15-24 years;
- The achievement of employment growth in those industries targeted in the SCC Economic Development Strategy;
- The growth of those industries that have higher average incomes to redress the current deficiency in median incomes;
- Flexibility and adaptability in planning responses should actual population growth increase above estimated and projected growth;
- The development of implementation paths to show how the employment objectives of the SCC Economic Development Strategy can be achieved, and
- The sustained implementation of long-term strategies to increase the proportion of the economically active population and so increase economic and employment participation rates, income, wealth and consumption.
The full report is available on the SCBC website https://scbusinesscouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/SCBC-Employment-Report-final-for-distribution-140316.pdf
Annual Strategy Workshop
SCBC conducted its sixth annual strategy workshop in early March. It was another enthusiastic session and we would like to thank those members who attended for their contribution. It was good to see new members take time out to attend. An overview of the SCBC direction for 2016 is available on the SCBC website https://scbusinesscouncil.com.au/forums/
Think Tank Series Two
The second think tank series titled – Increasing the effectiveness of community engagement to deliver outcomes and positive changes for shared benefit to the community, business and government. What needs to change? – commenced on 22 February 2016 with the second session conducted on 21 March. There are four sessions planned for this series with the last to be held on Monday 23 May. The agenda for the first two sessions is available on the website https://scbusinesscouncil.com.au/forums/
We will keep you posted as to the outcomes in the next quarterly newsletter.