Sunshine Coast Council and local member Fiona Simpson have formed a strategic partnership to advance the major place making projects in Maroochydore.
Mayor Mark Jamieson, Deputy Mayor Chris Thompson and Major Projects Portfolio holder Cr Tim Dwyer met with the Maroochydore MP to advance the process.
“We need to work together to make these projects happen – they will make a major difference to our economy but they come with a major price tag,” Cr Jamieson said.
“And the reality is that fiscal constraints on all levels of government are such that we can no longer realistically expect that each of these projects will be delivered entirely by the public sector”.
“This means we need to be smarter and more innovative in our thinking, and ensure we come up with the best investment strategy that will see critical projects of this nature delivered through both public and private investment”, Mayor Jamieson said.
“As well as seeking funding from the state and federal governments we will also be looking to secure significant private sector investment from both here and overseas.
“This is the reality of here and now and for the foreseeable future”.
Ms Simpson commended Mayor Jamieson and Council on work to date. She stated that strong business cases, the involvement of all tiers of government, and a market focus were critical to advancing the projects and minimalizing the ongoing cost to taxpayers.
In regard to the Sunshine Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ms Simpson said that the work to secure an appropriate site to meet the area’s future needs as part of the Principal Activity Centre development was positive.
“I appreciate the commitment of the local Council to explore funding models to deliver an appropriate centre for the area’s needs. This will be an important asset to diversifying the tourism and business market on the Coast and I am very keen to support its progress. The first priority has to be in advancing the airport and ensuring other capital intensive projects such as the convention centre are in the pipeline with proper planning.”
Cr Jamieson said securing this investment will not be simple in the current economic climate but we need a long term strategy and a compelling proposition that will appeal to private investors.
It is estimated more than two billion dollars will be needed to pay for:
· the development of the Maroochydore CBD,
· the Entertainment, Convention and Exhibition Centre,
· the new airport runway, and
· the light rail project
Council and the local member will continue to meet over the coming months and beyond so that there is a collective approach to advancing these projects in the best interests of the Sunshine Coast community.