A Strong Sunshine Coast Economy For Present & Future Generations
One of the highest priorities for me as Mayor is to grow the opportunities for young people and families to stay on the Sunshine Coast and pursue a worthwhile career. This helps keep families together, strengthens our communities and really enriches the lives of our residents.
During my first term as Mayor, our Council has worked hard to get the economy back on track after the impact of the global financial crisis. Our blueprint for the economy – our 20 year Regional Economic Development Strategy – is all about building higher value and longer lasting employment opportunities and improving the education and training options available locally.
Our Economic Development Strategy is already delivering results, with business confidence on the Sunshine Coast the highest in the State and unemployment down to below the State average – somewhere that this region hasn’t been for a very long time. The Coast is also becoming well recognised as an innovation hot spot, supporting start-ups and providing a great location for the development of some fantastic digital applications and solutions.
New jobs are being created with the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and as work commences on our new city centre at Maroochydore. Our Council has also encouraged local businesses to expand and new businesses to set up in the region, introducing new employment options for people to pursue. We have had some great successes along the way with decisions like that of Youi to expand and make the Sunshine Coast its global headquarters.
They say the proof is in the pudding and we have seen a nearly 5% drop in the youth unemployment rate in November 2015 from the previous year. Coupled with this is a continuing reduction in the number of 15-24 years olds leaving the region each year. Yet while 9.7% may be one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Queensland, this is still too high and I am committed to do more to get this down even further.
My commitments around jobs and the economy are real and can be – and are being – delivered. The Maroochydore city centre and the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport will deliver over 30,000 new jobs over the next 20 years – particularly in the knowledge industries and professional services, education and research, tourism, leisure and aviation.
It is also why I am committed to getting the approvals in place for an international broadband submarine cable to land on the Sunshine Coast. This will open up a whole new world of employment opportunities in digital industries, finance, tele-health and a host of other areas.
By driving confidence in our economy, I will continue to encourage more local businesses to expand and new businesses to call the Sunshine Coast home. This will provide new jobs on the Sunshine Coast, enabling more young people and families to remain here in one of the most beautiful locations in Australia.
I am the only Mayoral candidate that has the track record when it comes to generating jobs – and I will continue to do so if I am re-elected on March 19.
What an exciting future we have on the Sunshine Coast. Who would want to live anywhere else?