Where is Queensland's next big investment destination?

Monday 13 March, 2017 | By: Darrell Giles | Tags: Maroochydore CBD, Sunshine Coast, regional powerhouse, Pulse Survey

Economic research by the Chamber of Commerce and Queensland (CCIQ) over the past six months has shown the Sunshine Coast as a regional powerhouse.

The lowest unemployment rate in Queensland, coupled with one of the highest rates of economic growth, plus a pipeline of major projects and strong leadership from the Sunshine Coast Council, it’s no wonder there is a momentum of confidence sweeping the region.

The Sunshine Coast has consistently been recording some of the highest levels of business confidence in Queensland, according to CCIQ-Suncorp Pulse Surveys and the monthly Economic Update.

So the answer to this question would seem rather obvious: If you wanted to create or grow a business anywhere in Queensland over the next 10 years, where should you do it?

Acclaimed futurist and demographer Bernard Salt says you should look to the Sunshine Coast, and he will explain why at a special CCIQ business briefing in Brisbane tomorrow (Wed Mar 15).

Mr Salt is widely accredited with coining the term “sea change effect” when early last decade he described the mass migration of well-off Australian retirees to coastal areas. Undoubtedly he was referring to places such as Caloundra and Maroochydore at the time.

Now Mr Salt believes the Sunshine Coast’s workforce, innovation focus, economic diversity, infrastructure and overall growth trajectory means it’s one of the most exciting and potentially rewarding business destinations in Australia.

CCIQ senior policy advisor Catherine Pham said the region’s future will be shaped by major projects including the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Stockland’s Aura and Oceanside projects, Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion and the development of the Maroochydore City Centre.

“Those four major projects alone will create over 95.000 jobs and boost the regional economy by $17 billion dollars – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

“Alongside a number of other infrastructure projects set to start in the near future, the region has been able to successfully redefine itself as the entrepreneurial hub of South East Queensland.”

Ms Pham said Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, who will also be a guest speaker at the CCIQ business briefing, had previously spoken of the region’s ethos, which is: the future is here.

“Whether this mentality of bringing the future forward and creating opportunities for innovation has been the driving force behind the strength of the Sunshine Coast economy, it is sure to have played a part in bucking state-wide trends across all economic indicators,” she said.

The briefing will provide a much better understanding of the opportunities that exist on the coast and a framework for evaluating small business growth in the years ahead.

Mr Salt, widely regarded as one of Australia's leading social commentators by business, the media and the broader community, is always across issues that deal with social, generational and demographic matters and is perfectly placed to comment.

He is expected to discuss the highlights of the Sunshine Coast as an ideal location for business, such as the average annual rate of economic growth at a nation-leading 4 per cent.

Mr Salt will also discuss the new Sun Central development, the Maroochydore city centre, Australia’s only greenfield CBD and the focal point of growth for the next two decades, adding $4.4 billion to the region’s economy over the life of the project..

The region has been independently ranked as the second-highest performing regional economy in Queensland for the last two years, with the region’s current population of 298,000 projected to grow to 470,000 by 2036, providing an expanding local workforce to meet the needs of business and industry

“The Sunshine Coast is fast becoming a vibrant and sophisticated city-region, offering some of Australia’s most exciting investment opportunities, a magnet for smart enterprise and an idyllic lifestyle,” according to the local council.

CCIQ President Theresa Moltoni will host the event tomorrow.

CCIQ Business Briefing event details:

Wednesday 15 March 2017

7.00am – 8.45am

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

All media welcome to attend

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