The Sunshine Coast is attracting higher-paying jobs and industries, a new testimonial reveals.
The latest Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) testimony shows how the Sunshine Coast Council has helped existing and emerging businesses navigate the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of programs and initiatives ensured the region received the right support and investment to build a modern, dynamic and resilient economy.
Successful results in the strategy’s seven high-value industries were highlighted in the Regional Economic Development Strategy’s 2021-22 Annual Report, presented to Council on September 21.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the strategy underpins the significant growth and diversification that has seen the region develop an $18.5 billion economy.
Health and wellbeing, aerospace, and technology companies that are globally connected were among those experiencing the biggest changes.
“Positive economic indicators in fiscal 2021-22 showed a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the high-value REDS industries,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Increasing collaboration with industry has enabled the Council to support, fund and drive the successful growth of key industry groups and related initiatives – Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast, Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), Manufacturing Excellence Forum Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Tech Industry Alliance, Sunshine Coast Screen Collective, Sunshine Coast Events Industry and Visit Sunshine Coast.
Mayor Jamieson said increasing household incomes is one area he’s particularly proud of. He said the results were extraordinary.
“In 2013, household income was 22.3 percent below the national average,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This gap has narrowed significantly to 4.7 percent below today’s national average thanks to our economic development strategy that attracts higher-paying industries.
“Youi, Huddle and Budget Direct are three examples of high-paying companies that have successfully expanded or established themselves on the Sunshine Coast.
“The aerospace industry had the highest average annual income of our seven high-value industries, and the Council’s support for placing Bonza Airlines’ headquarters at Sunshine Coast Airport and our investment in the new runway means that the international capability of the airport has unimagined potential.
“The launch of the Sunshine Coast Tech Industry Alliance and NEXTDC SC1 Data Center was another solid step toward more higher-income jobs and a broader range of permanent, quality employment opportunities, particularly in IT.
“Using NEXTDC’s expertise will give the Sunshine Coast the opportunity to attract new businesses that would not normally be found in a regional city.”
High-value industries that drive rising incomes are those that are able to connect globally.
This includes technology, software development and the display industry and there are a large number of people serving global clients and working as consultants from the Sunshine Coast.
Others are the technical and professional services providing cyber security and information management systems sold worldwide – our next exporters.
To support this, six Future Industries videos were developed to showcase the region’s growing technological capability, infrastructure, ecosystem and talent through the community and Sunshine Coast Tech Industry Alliance digital channels.
The videos are aimed at local, national and international audiences.
Attracting capital investment was seen as essential to leverage the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network, secure hotel investment ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and encourage investment in the healthcare sector.
Development of the new state-of-the-art eight-story Musculoskeletal Hospital in Maroochydore town center has also begun.
The partnership between UniSC, leading international orthopedic company Medacta and Barwon Investment Partners will transform the $100 million hospital into a center of excellence for clinical care, innovation, education and research.
The REDS is one of three regional strategies that together provide a blueprint for a balanced approach to preserving the quality of life in our region, the productivity of our economy, and the preservation and strengthening of our natural resources.
Entering the final phase of the current REDS implementation plan, the Sunshine Coast Council’s future focus was to drive sustainable growth across all high-value industries, support the development of future industries and continue to build business confidence in the region.
The REDS supports seven high value industries:
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