Game-changer projects moving from drawing board to reality
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson believes 2016-17 will be an historic marker for the region.
“This year we have seen a number of our region’s game-changer projects move from the drawing board to reality,” he said.
“Projects like the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion; the State Government’s new $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital; the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm; and the Maroochydore City Centre, which is Australia’s only greenfield CBD is an existing urban area at this time.
Mayor Jamieson said the council’s record $722 million budget for 2017-18 focuses on delivering Australia’s leading healthy, smart and creative region – for today and for generations to come.
“What is important is that council is delivering on our plan for the future and we are now seeing the benefits of maintaining our focus on the directions we have set for the region,” he said.
Mayor Jamieson said council would also continue its commitment to the region’s game-changing projects which would help drive a stronger economy and generate jobs and provide access to new services for the community.
“Work will continue on the Maroochydore City Centre and council will invest $62 million in the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project, which will be funded from the initial payment received from council’s commercial partner in the airport, Palisade Investment Partners,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Collectively these two projects alone are forecast to generate more than 30,000 jobs over the next 20 years, which is a significant dividend for our residents, particularly our children and young people who will have greater opportunities to stay on the coast and pursue their careers locally.”
Construction has begun at the 53-hectare site, mostly underground with the Automated Waste Collection system (AWCS), which will use vacuum power to transport waste from apartments, businesses and public areas through a 6.5km network of underground pipes. This will ensure wheelie bins and garbage trucks won’t be seen or heard on the streets of the new CBD.
Work will also start on those new city streets, parks and a new central waterway as part of the major civil construction on the core commercial precinct of the CBD.
More than $18 million will be invested in major intersection upgrades to provide greater access to the heart of the visionary community.
“These intersections at Maud Street and First Avenue will be one of the key entry points to our new Maroochydore City Centre, so it’s vital they are upgraded now to cater for additional traffic movements and make it as easy as possible for people to access the area to live, work and do business,” Mayor Jamieson said.
The finished CBD will contribute $4.4 billion to the Sunshine Coast economy and undoubtedly attract worldwide interest.
Striking the balance between maintaining existing infrastructure and preparing for the Sunshine Coast’s future needs is at the heart of council’s $237 million 2017-18 capital works program, announced in its recent annual budget.
Corporate Strategy and Finance Portfolio Councillor Tim Dwyer said investment supports the region’s unique lifestyle, economy and environment and the budget would keep an eye firmly on the future needs of the Sunshine Coast community.
“Delivering for our communities is always a key feature of our capital works budget and this year is no different,” Cr Dwyer said.
The council is also building a Transport Futures Fund to focus on the Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project, with a transport levy raising almost $6 million, taking the Transport Futures Fund to an estimated $9 million.
“Our council has been entrusted by the Sunshine Coast residents to continue to shape a prosperous future – one which offers enduring employment opportunities, better access to facilities and services, greater connectivity between communities and an outstanding natural environment,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our vision for the Sunshine Coast is based on the premise we are healthy, smart and creative – and the future is here, on the Sunshine Coast.”