At a time when rising costs, pressure on inflation, and wide-spread labour shortages are impacting business and investor confidence, the Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC) wants to ensure councils and other levels of government have clear strategies in place to manage regional economic and population growth.
At a conference held at Maroochy RSL today (29 August), key industry leaders gathered to hear from Sunshine Coast Council CEO Emma Thomas and Noosa Shire Council CEO Scott Waters, who each discussed their strategies to navigate the looming triumphs and struggles facing the region.
Sunshine Coast Council CEO Emma Thomas said the Sunshine Coast was a key delivery partner in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will host several sporting events including football, basketball, mountain biking, cycling, a marathon, kiteboarding and a series of road-based events for the Paralympic Games.
“All eyes are on the Sunshine Coast and our Council is already planning (with other delivery partners) for the greatest sporting event on earth,” Ms Thomas said.
“Through our 2032 Sunshine Coast Legacy Plan Community Reference Group we already have some great insights into what our Brisbane 2032 legacy will aspire to achieve for the region.
“This includes a high desire to understand how local businesses can tap into myriad opportunities and offer quality regional jobs.
“We’re also focused on smart planning for our community to manage economic and population growth, plus sustainable development goals through meaningful industry and other tiers of government collaboration to maintain a diverse and forward-thinking regional economy.
“To get the best outcomes for Queensland, we need to continue to share and work with our fellow South East Queensland Councils and all levels of government.”
Noosa Shire Council CEO Scott Waters echoed Ms Thomas’s sentiments and said as Queensland prepares to host the 2032 Olympic & Paralympic Games, regional communities like the Sunshine Coast must have astute plans in place in order to maintain the growth required to be ready for and continue to attract events of this calibre.
“Noosa Shire Council’s current work in affordable and social housing, destination management planning, new corporate plan and balancing our already strong policy position in relation to the environment will be key areas of discussion,” Mr Waters said.
“The next 18 to 24 months will be crucial in setting the future direction of the Sunshine Coast region.
“Both the Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Shire Council must ensure as much as possible that our strategies and policies complement each other as we move towards 2032.”
SCBC Chair Sandy Zubrinich said despite the Olympic & Paralympic Games on the horizon, many locals are increasingly concerned about their finances as the cost of living continues to rise.
“If the region is to continue to attract and harness new opportunities, strategies need to be put in place now to alleviate the impact the cost of living is having on business and investor confidence,” Ms Zubrinich said.
“Data from the RTA shows rent on the Sunshine Coast has increased by 36 per cent over the past four years for a three-bedroom house, costing a median of $420 per week in June 2018 and $710 today.
“As for groceries, the ABS recorded in June this year a nationwide annual increase of 7.3 per cent in the cost of fruit and vegetables due to severe weather impacting key farms in Queensland and New South Wales.
“In order to maintain regional growth, we need to manage the strategic challenges together, maintain progress toward diversifying the regional economy, deliver the potential of digital transformation, create quality regional jobs, and secure the level of private sector investment that will be required.”
For more information on the Sunshine Coast Business Council and membership enquiries, visit www.scbusinesscouncil.com.au.
Media contact: Maya Gurry, Fresh PR & Marketing 0410 109 102 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Sunshine Coast Business Council
The Sunshine Coast Business Council is the leading regional business advocacy group on the Sunshine Coast. It represents 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.