"The lack of transport infrastructure, universal broadband access, serviced industrial land and skilled labour in select industries is costing the Sunshine Coast jobs. Those factors have been identified in interviews SGS Economics and Planning consultants conducted with business people, government officials and community groups over the last two weeks." ....the Sunshine Coast Daily recently reported.
Survey finds Coast losing too many jobs - Consultants working to turn situation around
Sunshine Coast Daily, Friday May 7 2004
By Gordon Clark
The lack of transport infrastructure, universal broadband access, serviced industrial land and skilled labour in select industries is costing the Sunshine Coast jobs.
Those factors have been identified in interviews SGS Economics and Planning consultants conducted with business people, government officials and community groups over the last two weeks.
SGS has been appointed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Organization of Councils (SUNROC) to prepare an economic development strategy for the region.
SGS spokesperson Sasha Lennon said the aim was to produce industry-specific proposals that would allow the region's business sector to maximize opportunities.
He said the research showed a lack of economic maturity led to business escaping from the region.
"It's been identified that emerging opportunities exist in areas such as such as agriculture, particularly in value-adding, as well as education, tourism and knowledge based industries," he said.
"But in the provision of professional services such as accounting, legal services, marketing and business planning, which are all high-wealth generators, people in the region still often seek those services in Brisbane."
Mr. Lennon also said it was clear the region lacked large-scale serviced industrial land, with many interviewees suggesting some caneland could be used for that purpose, rather than turning it into residential estates.
"We're not talking smokestacks, more the clean green - type industries," he said.
Sourcing skilled labour was not identified as a major issue, although respondents said it was not always easy to get skilled IT workers or analytical-type white collar workers.
Mr. Lennon also said employers were generally positive about the ability of the university, TAFE and private training providers to tailor courses appropriately to meet the market's needs.
Ideas sought to help move region to a bright future
Queensland's Sunshine Coast Daily of Wednesday 24 April reported that...
'Business people across the Sunshine Coast are spending this week providing information and ideas that will identify where the region is in an economic sense, and where it should be headed in 20 years. Consultancy firm SGS Economics and Planning has been engaged to conduct the information gathering, which is a follow-on from last week's Sunshine Coast Economic Development Stakeholders Forum held in Caloundra.
The entire exercise is being driven by the Moving Forward committee in conjunction with SunROC, the lobby group which represents the three Coast local government authorities on major issues such as transport, communication infrastructure and employment.
Moving Forward chairman Tony Long said around 50 business people were being interviewed one-on-one by the consultants as part of the plan to develop an economic development strategy and a land transportation strategy. The 17-person committee is made up of local, state and federal government representatives and local business people. "This is a historic approach ...the first time that one voice has been proffered to speak for the three regions,'' Mr Long said.
Draft strategies are scheduled to be completed by September, the documents expected to build a vision for what the Coast will look like in 20 years time. The issues being considered by the consultants include population trends and impacts, industry strengths, challenges and opportunities, infrastructure priorities, employment opportunities and global competitiveness.
SunROC chairman, Caloundra City Mayor Don Aldous, said the studies, funded by the three councils and the Federal Government, were vital to the future of the Sunshine Coast.
"With the population growing at three percent annually, one of the highest in Australia, and expected to double over the next 20 years, we must have plans in place that identify this region's needs in the short, medium and long term,'' he said.'
To find more about SGS's role in the strategy, contact Sasha Lennon.