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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Save our koalas with a signature

A photo of Mr Cuddles, which was taken by Bernard Jean.  Mr Jean is an active member of Queensland Koala Crusaders and volunteers a lot of time taking locals/tourist around Noosa National Park, showing them our few remaining Koalas and Mr Cuddles played an integral role in this undertaking.  There have been so many people, worldwide, who through Mr Cuddles went away with a better understanding of our Koalas, their habits, what they liked to eat, what their favourite trees are, and what they mean to local people... he will be missed by all.

An online petition needs your support

Green group calls for cap on Noosa daytrippers

CAP PLAN: Holiday crowds flock to Noosa Main Beach - day tripping may face a limit.

Residents interests 'pushed to one side' during peak season

Everyone's loving new Eumundi lager

Chuck was thrilled to bring one of the first kegs to the Imperial Hotel to try.

Deputy PM and locals try new Eumundi brew at private tasting

Local Partners

Sunshine tennis team of underdogs aces it

What a smash hit result for Noosa as tennis boys blitz fancied rivals

Free Sound Feast music event to feature bluesman

Bluesman Dave Orr.

Sound Feast is the free music event held monthly at The J, Noosa

Migrating mermaid stops for a break at Noosa Heads

Sandy the mermaid is sold on Noosa enough to stay awhile as she migrates her way to Surfers Paradise.

SURFERS was forgotten as Sandy the mermaid fell for Noosa Heads

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

No Plan, Bowie's final music EP, released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Free Sound Feast music event to feature bluesman

Bluesman Dave Orr.

Sound Feast is the free music event held monthly at The J, Noosa

Celebrated Coast brewery announces shock closure

Bonsai Brewhouse in Pomona.

A MUCH-LOVED brewery and bar will cease trading in four days.

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Coolum land is hot property

Blank canvas ready to build on

Your heart's desire

Peregian Springs home filled with quality upgrades, inclusions

Fall in love with Noosa hinterland gem

Circa 1900 Queenslander on 8.94ha suitable for horses, cattle

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!