Rapid rise in growth

Sold On Sunshine Coast - - Contents - Erle Levey

THE Sun­shine Coast is chang­ing. It is in a state of trans­for­ma­tion as it moves from its widely recog­nised beach cul­ture to one of Aus­tralia’s most sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties.

The years of plan­ning are pay­ing off as ma­jor in­fras­truc­ture pro­jects are com­ing to re­al­ity, all the while re­tain­ing its rep­u­ta­tion as a highly live­able com­mu­nity.

In­stead of the string of fish­ing vil­lages that dot­ted the glo­ri­ous stretch of coast­line, is now the ninth largest Sig­nif­i­cant Ur­ban Area in Aus­tralia by pop­u­la­tion.

The Sun­shine Coast econ­omy is one of the largest re­gional economies in Aus­tralia and is pre­dicted to grow in a strong and sus­tain­able pat­tern over the next 20 years to reach $33bil­lion in 2033. This will be ac­com­pa­nied by an in­crease in high-value em­ploy­ment, ex­port and house­hold in­come.

A 10.1% growth in pop­u­la­tion was ex­pe­ri­enced over a five-year pe­riod (2008-2013), which was higher than the na­tional growth rate of 8.7% over the same pe­riod.

It is fore­cast to have the sec­ond high­est growth rate of ma­jor Queens­land sub-state re­gions be­tween 2011 and 2036 (Queens­land Govern­ment Pop­u­la­tion Pro­jec­tions, 2013).

The fo­cus con­tin­ues to be de­vel­op­ment in har­mony with the en­vi­ron­ment and to en­cour­age blue-sky in­dus­tries: ed­u­ca­tion, health and well-be­ing, tech­nol­ogy and niche mar­kets for pri­mary in­dus­tries in agri­cul­ture and hor­ti­cul­ture.

With the cur­rent pop­u­la­tion of 298,000 pro­jected to grow to 470,000 by 2036, it will pro­vide an ever-ex­pand­ing lo­cal work­force to meet the needs of new busi­ness and in­dus­try as new in­vest­ment takes place.

Rentals on the Sun­shine Coast re­main tight at 1.2%, which means ten­ants will con­tinue to find it chal­leng­ing to se­cure rental ac­com­mo­da­tion.

For a third con­sec­u­tive quar­ter, Ma­roochy­dore was the tight­est rental mar­ket in Queens­land, reach­ing a va­cancy rate of 1% for June 2017.

The trans­for­ma­tion of the re­gion has been tak­ing place for years but be­came tan­gi­ble since com­ple­tion of the $1.8b Sun­shine Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal at Birtinya this year.

This has been the cat­a­lyst for a rip­ple ef­fect spread­ing from the Kawana Health Hub precinct that in­cludes Stock­land’s Ocean­side de­vel­op­ment.

The health precinct is fore­cast to gen­er­ate $5.3b in di­rect ex­pen­di­ture and 12,000 jobs upon com­ple­tion.

Birtinya town cen­tre is no longer a con­cept, with site works un­der way while Stock­land’s neigh­bour­ing Boka­rina Beach res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity is un­der con­struc­tion.

The new 53ha green­field site for the Cen­tral Busi­ness District in Ma­roochy­dore (SunCen­tral) will be the com­mer­cial, civic and en­ter­tain­ment heart.

It is less than 200m from Lendlease’s Sun­shine Plaza shop­ping cen­tre which is cur­rently be­ing up­graded at a cost of $350m and will add a David Jones, 120 spe­cial­ity shops and 1500 car parks.

Ex­pan­sion of the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast will cater for a larger stu­dent pop­u­la­tion and meet work­force de­mand gen­er­ated by such pro­jects.

De­vel­op­ment of the $5b Caloun­dra South (Aura) project will de­liver a com­mu­nity of about 50,000 peo­ple.

Now AVID Prop­erty Group has started the $3b mas­ter-planned Har­mony to be de­vel­oped over the next 20 years at Palmview, with 4800 dwellings on 378ha and its own town cen­tre.

The $347m ex­pan­sion of the Sun­shine Coast Air­port is to pro­vide an in­ter­na­tional gate­way to the re­gion is in its fi­nal stages of plan­ning, and sched­uled to be ready for op­er­a­tion in 2020.

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