“This latest data is a clear signal that our Regional Economic Development Strategy, which I released in September 2013, is producing real dividends for our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“A major priority for our council when it was first elected in 2012 was to work with business, industry and other stakeholders to produce a blueprint that would reshape the region’s economy, attract new investment, generate more jobs in high-value industries and grow our exports domestically and internationally. Our council has never wavered from implementing this strategy and the Sunshine Coast is now seeing the benefits of that commitment in the results we are seeing pretty much across the board.”
“By staying focused and committed to our plan for the region’s economy, we are now experiencing a sustained period with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the State, continuing high levels of business confidence over the last three years and more than $10 billion in investment in new infrastructure and major commercial and residential developments.”
Mayor Jamieson also welcomed the news that an estimated 13,200 jobs had been created on the Sunshine Coast over the course of the year.
“Continuing to grow jobs is at the heart of achieving one of the four goals in the Regional Economic Development Strategy – which is to lift average household income levels on the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Importantly for our community is that since 2011 we have seen average household income levels rise from being 22% below the State average to now being 9% below the State average. This is the real social dividend because at the end of the day, this contributes to a greater sense of confidence and prosperity in our community.”
Mayor Jamieson noted that while the Federal and State governments are making major investments in infrastructure in regions like the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games and in Townsville under its City Deal, neither of these regions are experiencing comparable results to the Sunshine Coast.
“We have welcomed the Federal and State governments’ more recent commitments to expand the Bruce Highway, with work already underway between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway, but more needs to be done to invest in critical road, rail and public transport infrastructure that is desperately needed to underpin continuing economic growth in our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“I have made no secret of our council’s desire to work with the other tiers of government to see solutions identified and investment made in this infrastructure. Because more work needs to be done to ensure the Sunshine Coast remains in a strong economic position and that jobs continue to be created, particularly for our young people. We cannot rest while youth unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels.”
“This challenge – which is one that is common for all regional areas – needs concerted and focused attention by all tiers of government and done in such a way that all regions experience a positive change in the job opportunities for its young people.”
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