Growing A Liveable, Welcoming & Vibrant Sunshine Coast Community
Last week I attended our latest Citizenship Ceremony – welcoming more than 200 people as new Australian citizens who have chosen to call the Sunshine Coast home.
Our Citizenship Ceremonies are without a doubt, one of the highlights for me in my role as Mayor. They are a great opportunity to celebrate diverse cultures, a sense of commitment and the opportunity that arises from being a welcoming and vibrant community.
Through these ceremonies, I have met thousands of people with so many interesting stories to tell – but all with one thing in common. A desire to call Australia, and our Sunshine Coast, home and a commitment to community.
I always say that our people are our greatest asset and this is the common thread that runs through everything that I have done over the last four years. Our Social Strategy, which I launched in July last year, reinforces our commitment to supporting communities to thrive and enabling our residents to enjoy a lifestyle that sets us apart.
We do this in so many ways. Under my leadership we have massively grown the number of events that are hosted on the Sunshine Coast – which our residents can participate in or be spectators. This year alone the world is coming to the Sunshine Coast, with over 60 major sporting, music and lifestyle events which are estimated to contribute about $100 million to the region’s economy.
We have also worked hard to improve the livability of our communities. In the last four years, our Council has spent more than $200 million on improving our local roads and community and sporting facilities. This helps people move around, get active, remain connected with other residents and enjoy what their suburb, town or village has to offer.
As your Mayor, I am determined our residents continue to enjoy a lifestyle that is second to none. Getting a better deal from the Federal and State governments for road, rail and public transport is a must, so our residents can move around safely and more conveniently, as our community continues to grow. I will not rest until the other levels of government start to shoulder their responsibilities for the infrastructure that our region rightly deserves.
Employment opportunities are growing here on the Sunshine Coast and will continue to do so as the hospital opens its doors, as the new city centre in Maroochydore takes shape and as the Airport expands. I will work with secondary schools, the University of the Sunshine Coast and TAFE to encourage more young people to pursue training or courses of study that will equip them for the jobs and careers that will be available on the Sunshine Coast. This will enable them to remain in the Coast as part of their community and in turn, raise their own families here.
I understand that many people want to get the most out of living on our beautiful Sunshine Coast – to have places for entertainment, to live a healthy lifestyle and to get involved with their community. As Mayor, I have supported the development of entertainment precincts in Ocean Street and Nambour and others will emerge as new developments in the Maroochydore city centre and Aura take shape. I am also committing to boost Council’s expenditure on our sport, recreation, performance and community facilities by a further $30 million over four years; to develop programs to encourage more residents to become volunteers; and supporting local communities to share and promote their local heritage, values and characteristics.
We live in the best place in Australia – and I am determined it will remain that way.