The Sunshine Coast Business Council held its annual AGM and Christmas Drinks in Peregian Beach last night, taking the opportunity to bid farewell to long-serving board members, celebrate the appointment of new faces and reflect on another successful year.

Re-elected Sunshine Coast Business Council Chair Sandy Zubrinich said she was delighted to welcome three new board members for the year ahead, including Founder of Habitance Alex Hoffman; Founder and Director of Secure Access IT and Deputy Chair of SCTechIA Jason Garland; and Group Executive – Developments at Walker Corporation Peter Saba.
“We warmly acknowledge our board members who give their time, energy and experience to deliver on our charter to promote the interests of our members through a unified, audible and identifiable apolitical voice,” Ms Zubrinich said.

“The new board members are a fabulous reflection of the highly skilled professionals we are fortunate to have here on the Sunshine Coast and we thank them for the importance they have placed on advocating to all levels of government in support of a growing economy with a focus on investment, infrastructure and jobs.”
Current board members not seeking re-election for 2024 included HeliMods Managing Director Will Shrapnel, UniSC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Ross Young and Treasurer Matt Byrne from Stockland Communities.

“Will Shrapnel joined our board this year and whilst not standing for re-election, we hope he may join the board again in the future,” Ms Zubrinich said.
“I would like to thank Matt Byrne for all his valued support, having been a board member for the past four years and taking on the role of Treasurer. Matt has played a significant role and I thank him for his commitment over this time.

“And while Ross has stepped down from his board position, I am delighted to share that the board will still benefit from his wealth of knowledge as he moves into one of two newly formed advisory roles to provide strategic advice to the board based on a multi-industry regional view on issues relating to talent attraction, retention, education and training.
“Accompanying Ross in the second board advisor role is TAFE Queensland East Coast General Manager Mark Reilly. Both Ross and Mark’s extensive background and experience working across all facets of education and training, will be of great value to the board and I thank them for their commitment in taking on these roles.”

Other changes to the board during 2023 included the resignations of Andrew Brodie from Sunshine Coast Airport and Ana Rodger from TAFE Queensland East Coast.
“On behalf of the board, we thank Andrew and Ana for their contribution and we wish them all the best with their new endeavours,” Ms Zubrinich said.
The AGM was also a time to reflect on the year that was and the Sunshine Coast Business Council’s events and advocacy activities throughout 2023. More than 600 participants attended or participated in activities including the annual strategy direction workshop, a three-workshop Think Tank Series discussing talent attraction and retention strategies and the Combined Government and Business Forum, attended by representatives from the three tiers of government and the business community, to contest ideas and issues relating to the delivery of regional infrastructure priorities.

Other notable activities included hosting a corporate lunch with Deputy Premier Steven Miles, the Sunshine Coast Infrastructure Summit, a partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and Infrastructure Association of Qld, that identified next generation major infrastructure to inform the development of a prioritised infrastructure plan for the Sunshine Coast to 2050, the Importance of Transport to Regional Urban & Economic Growth Conference and the Regional Councils CEO Lunch.
The SCBC also reported on the delivery of its advocacy and research agenda including regular engagement with Sunshine Coast Council on the proposed new planning scheme, discussions on housing affordability and availability, the need for new tourism infrastructure such as hotels and short term accommodation and the need for a mass transit strategy that included heavy rail between Brisbane and Maroochydore.

“I would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of these events and our advocacy activities – they have supported us in delivering on the SCBC priorities which remain consistent with our charter, including a strong focus on infrastructure, investment, job creation, building strong local industries and strong communities,” Ms Zubrinich said.
“We look forward to a positive year ahead and will continue to advocate for increased investment into our region to appropriately service and support the demonstrated population growth as one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.”

The Sunshine Coast Business Council Board includes:

  • Sandy Zubrinich — Chair
  • Adrian Allen, Stockland – Board Member
  • Alex Hoffmann, Habitance – Board Member
  • Brad Williams, RPS Group Australia – Board Member
  • Jason Garland, Secure Access IT – Board Member
  • Kevin Covey, Covey & Associates – Board Member
  • Kylie Ezzy, Sunshine Coast Airport – Board Member
  • Nicola Scott, Master Builders – Board Member
  • Peter Saba, Walker Corporation – Board Member

The Sunshine Coast Business Council is the leading regional business advocacy group on the Sunshine Coast representing approximately 4,000 businesses through its membership, which includes key national and regional industry groups and their members as well as national and regional businesses.