News

Forward thinkers offer sweet plan on future of Sunshine Coast

An early morning jogger at Happy Valley, Caloundra. Experts warn of preserving the Coast’s character.
An early morning jogger at Happy Valley, Caloundra. Experts warn of preserving the Coast’s character. Brett Wortman

HOW can the Sunshine Coast retain its iconic character and charm while planning for future growth?

The answer is "strawberries".

Or more accurately, "enjoy your strawberries ... but hold the jam".

A who's who of the Sunshine Coast's business and academic leaders converged on the University of the Sunshine Coast last week for a day-long forum on sustainable villages.

The forum, held as part of USC and the council's Sunshine Coast Futures Conference Series, aimed to address the question: How do we get the balance right between identity, community, business and prosperity?

And while the forum's keynote speaker was a global leader in regional development, it was the Coast uni's own Professor Mike Hefferan who eloquently captured the spirit of the forum.

Prof Hefferan said the Coast needed to avoid creating "strawberry jam" when catering for future population growth. He said the Coast's "distinct and different" villages were like strawberries that needed to be nurtured. But what we needed to avoid was letting "jam" - or urban sprawl - spread between our villages, which had happened in some Gold Coast suburbs.

"This is an iconic place," Prof Hefferan said.

>> Why we're living in a piece of heaven

>> Do we risk becoming village idiots?

"This region has got significant problems but it's a damn good place.

"It's distinctive and damn near unique. It's a loose collection of quite different towns.

"We've got a number of larger places that are really distinctive and so different in character."

Prof Hefferan said while the Sunshine Coast needed to broaden its economic base, Brisbane would always provide employment for many of our residents.

"At the moment all we can see is a heap of utes going south in the morning," he said.

"We will not be able to grow the smart jobs fast enough (to provide work for all Sunshine Coast residents).

"We will always have the imbalance.

"So building up that link that gets a fast commute into town is something we really have to think about.

"It's amazing how little countries can get infrastructure. But here no one has invested in infrastructure.

"The fact that we have a single rail here and you have to wait for a goods train is outrageous. We've got to have a more mature link to Brisbane."

Mayor Mark Jamieson told the conference we should look to London for inspiration.

"London has been called the city of villages. Many of the world's most famous cities had their origins in villages," he said.

"We often hear that the Sunshine Coast is a community of communities. It tells us about the values and aspirations of our residents.

"The Coast already has the status of having the ninth largest population in the nation.

"Maintaining the individual quality of localities is a central tenant of the draft planning scheme."

Mr Jamieson said a key to establishing a bright future was broadening the Coast's economic base.

"Tourism is and will continue to be an extremely important part of our economy," he said.

"We have to create a broader economy to future-proof ourselves. We are in the business of tourism, retail and building. But it's about adding some more strings to our bow.

"A big part of creating that success is creating a future where our children no longer have to leave this region to study or find employment."

Keynote speaker Professor John Tomaney told the conference while Australia's economy was driven by its major cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, regions such as the Sunshine Coast had a vital role to play.

"Successful regions are characterised by their ability to provide infrastructure that promotes connectivity," he said.

Prof Tomaney told the forum the Sunshine Coast needed to promote what our region offers that is unique.

"Work out what in your regional economy is unique," he said.

"What is it we know and we do that other regions can't. The question is how does the Sunshine Coast continue to build on its prosperity?"

Topics:  development future sunshine coast



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Fraser Coast has global appeal as visitor numbers soar

Patrick Janke from Germany is one of many international travellers who has chosen to visit Fraser Coast on his journey.

Overseas visitor numbers are up 4%.

BAUPLE: Residents say 'bring back the business climate'

Marc Bromet with daughter Yolande, outside the Bauple Macadamia House.

Marc and Yolande Bromet discuss how to put Bauple back on the map.

Brisbane Lions to return to the Fraser Coast in 2017

Brisbane Lions at Seafront Oval - Lions players (L) Rohan Bewick, Tom Bell and Ben Keays with (L) Balin, Jet and Kirra Whitford and Taj Peek. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The Brisbane Lions return to the Fraser Coast in February.

Local Partners

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The tech-version of the old pop-up book is here

IS THE old cardboard pop-up book a thing of the past?

Obama's private struggle laid bare in film

Australian actor Devon Terrell portrays a young Barack Obama in the Netflix original movie Barry. Supplied by Netflix.

Filmakers focus in on Obama's legacy

Brad Pitt's sons won't see him

Brad Pitt's eldest sons are reportedly "refusing" to see him.

Chris Pratt fell asleep while babysitting

Chris Pratt revealed he fell asleep during babysitting duties

Kylie Minogue: I want to get married soon

Pop star Kylie Minogue has revealed she hopes to get married soon

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!