The Sunshine Coast continues its progress as a healthy, smart, creative region offering a great way of life for our community within an outstanding natural environment, according to Mayor Mark Jamieson, who delivered his annual State of our Region address today.
Speaking to an audience of community representatives from across the Sunshine Coast at the Nambour RSL, Mayor Jamieson said a sense of optimism and confidence prevailed across the Sunshine Coast as we stand on the cusp of a new decade.
“There is no better place to be at this time than the Sunshine Coast as a place to live, work, recreate, raise a family or run a business,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The recent adoption of our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 and our decision to proceed with a nomination for our region to be recognised by UNESCO as an international biosphere reserve, are two of the most significant decisions that our council has taken this year.”
He said that a wide array of council-led projects and initiatives are supporting and connecting communities, preserving and nurturing our natural assets, developing our economy, and above all, remaining focused on maintaining a lifestyle that is so highly valued by our residents.
“Getting that balance right remains our council’s focus to ensure we reflect the broader interests and priorities of our communities right across the Sunshine Coast.
“It is our communities with which we have continued to collaborate and partner with as we deliver on council’s clear plans and commitments, to ensure our people and places remain connected, inclusive and cohesive.
“We have been recognised nationally for preserving our heritage, through the Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct Exhibition Project, and for a number of our nation-leading environmental initiatives, like the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm and the Maroochy Groyne Field renewal.
“At the same time, we are supporting major investments that will help to entrench the future prosperity and liveability of our region, demonstrating why the Sunshine Coast is the only location in the southern hemisphere recognised as one of the Global Top 7 Intelligent Communities.
“Last financial year, council spent $244 million, or 72 per cent of its procurement, locally.
“The Sunshine Coast is now experiencing strong economic growth that exceeds national and state averages, with the international broadband submarine cable expected to further provide the basis for a wide range of new employment options.”
Mayor Jamieson said other highlights of the year include the Australian-first Blue Heart initiative, an innovative blue carbon partnership for approximately 5,000 hectares on the Maroochy River floodplain.
“The Blue Heart initiative is just one component of our council’s extensive array of real actions to further strengthen the region’s response to climate change, alongside our ongoing conservation management activities and the acquisition of environmental land, which now sees council managing a conservation estate of over 6,900 hectares.
Watch the State of our Region 2019 video at council’s website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.
- Continue to be one of only three councils, out of the 77 councils across Queensland, to receive a strong financial sustainability rating from the Queensland Treasury Corporation
- $6.85 million redevelopment of Events Centre Caloundra
- $4.8 million in community grants awarded
- Sunshine Coast Community Strategy adopted
- Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 being implemented
- 8800 hectares of private land now managed for conservation under council’s Land for Wildlife Program
- 6909 hectares in council’s conservation estate
- Council spent $244 million of its procurement locally
- Sunshine Coast recognised as one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 by global Intelligent Community Forum
- Hosted our first-ever NRL fixture match in April as part of a three-year partnership with South Sydney Rabbitohs to stage NRL games at Sunshine Coast Stadium from 2019-2021
- Airport Expansion Project on track for completion by end of 2020
- The Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network on track for completion by mid-2020, with the undersea cable manufactured and work commenced on the cable landing station
- Unmodified audit opinion to council for 11th consecutive year
- 109 per cent of council electricity consumption offset by Sunshine Coast Solar Farm
- More than 1.4 million visitors to council’s libraries and 30th anniversary of the Read and Write for Life Program
- Progressed a nomination for our region to be recognised by UNESCO as an international biosphere reserve