Mayor Mark Jamieson says the Coast's second placing shows the Regional Economic Development Strategy is delivering.
Mayor Mark Jamieson says the Coast's second placing shows the Regional Economic Development Strategy is delivering. Iain Curry

Sunshine Coast economy ranked No.2 in QLD

THE Sunshine Coast has shrugged off any fears of an inferiority complex, with a new report painting a rosy picture of our economy.

And mayor Mark Jamieson says there's even better to come.

The State of the Regions report, published yesterday by the Australian Local Government Association, ranks the Sunshine Coast's economy as No.2 in Queensland and No.16 nationally.

The report analyses data from every local government area and, on a state level, the Coast finished just behind Moreton Bay.

A delighted Cr Jamieson said it was a good effort for a region that had not had the "investment attention that other major cities and regions have had from other levels of government".

"It also shows that our regional economic development strategy, which has been in place now for about 20 months, is delivering results," he said.

"We are experiencing unprecedented capital investment in the history of the region at this time - from projects like the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Maroochydore city centre, as well as strong commitments like that made by Youi to establish its global headquarters at Sippy Downs.

"And there is more in the pipeline, particularly as projects like Caloundra South and Palmview move closer to breaking ground."

The 2015-16 report, prepared by National Economics, was launched at the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum in Canberra.

Cr Jamieson said the No.16 ranking nationally was an excellent result, given the majority of region's which finished higher were in capital cities.

"This is a result of which we can all be proud.

"However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels - there is still much to be done to ensure our region's prosperity continues to grow.

"Our focus is on sustained economic improvement that will continue to deliver results over the medium to long term - not a sharp jump that falls away after a year or two."

He acknowledged the report pointed to an increasingly concerning problem of housing affordability on the Sunshine Coast but said it was a problem shared with many other lifestyle and tourism regions.

It is why the council is implementing economic strategies to increase the region's average income to above the state average.

"That will be achieved by attracting new industry to the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"However, the major levers to increase household affordability rest with the State Government in terms of setting the planning legislation and determining taxes and charges that impact on the price of homes - like stamp duty."



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