The numbers are clicking into place

COMMENT BY MAYOR MARK JAMIESON: Sometimes people say to me: "Give me one good reason why I should be confident about the Sunshine Coast's future".

Well today I'm going to give you a billion reasons - more in fact.

The recently released national economic indicators for local government areas for 2012-13 reveal that after Brisbane this region had the highest dollar value for building approvals in Queensland.

The $1.5 billion worth of approvals was up by nearly 10% on the previous year and $200 million ahead of the Gold Coast and nearly double Moreton Bay's result.

The new hospitals helped us get there but thankfully the approvals aren't restricted to just Kawana. There have been strong results across the region.

More recent figures are even more encouraging and would bring a smile to even the most determined pessimist.

The region is looking particularly strong in the housing sector - as of May 31 the value of residential building approvals for 2013-14 was about $653 million.

If the figures remain strong this month we could see the most residential building approvals since 2009-10.

There are many factors at play here, but I think council can claim at least some of the credit. Over the past two years it has put a real focus on creating the right conditions for attracting investment and creating jobs.

That includes the launch of the region's first truly collaborative Economic Development Strategy.

Council is now busy implementing that strategy, along with other stakeholders, and the upcoming budget will be about harnessing that momentum.

Many assume budgets are all about numbers, but in reality they are about people, and what you can do for the community with limited resources.

Although I can't say too much about the details I think it's safe to assume Thursday's budget will continue to take us towards a more sustainable economy, sustainable environment and sustainable community.

That means continuing to seriously invest in infrastructure, protecting our environment and helping our community of communities be the best it can be.

It's a real balancing act but I think we have got it right.

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