THE SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE
LOOK SKYWARD IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW MUCH PROGRESS WE ARE MAKING, AS THE CRANES TELL AN IMPORTANT STORY ABOUT OUR ECONCOMY
Ihave often heard that a buoyant economy can be linked to the number of cranes you see in the sky and, generally speaking, the more cranes there are the greater the commercial confidence. In 2010 I do not recall seeing a single crane in use on the Sunshine Coast. As 2017 draws to a close there are at least 12 cranes I can count – and probably a whole lot more I have missed. You might be wondering what role cranes play in terms of commercial confidence. The answer is simple. Cranes mean building, development and growth and with that comes consumer confidence about the future. Did you know there is a “Crane Index” report that is prepared by Rider Levett Bucknall? They started counting cranes back in 2012 and the 10th Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) Crane Index was published in September of this year. The most recent report “has shown both an increase in Australia’s total number of cranes over the past six months to 685, and also a crane count increase in every key city across Australia (except Darwin and Canberra).” In short, the construction boom appears to be far from over. We are certainly seeing a construction boom here on the Sunshine Coast with a combination of major commercial and multi-residential projects all coming out of the ground. And there is more to come. We are currently constructing Australia’s only greenfield CBD at Maroochydore, the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project is under way now that Palisade has officially started its 99-year lease, we have plans for an international broadband submarine network, which will connect Queensland directly to the rest of the world and we have Australia’s largest residential development at Caloundra South which will be the home to 50,000 people. The flow-on effect that comes as a result of any major project coming to fruition impacts all of us. New projects attract new talent and to secure that talent you need to pay accordingly. We are now starting to see higher paid jobs based here and that has a positive impact on our household income which is on the rise. We are now only 10 per cent behind the state average, and, as new companies relocate their head offices or distribution centres here, and create more jobs, we will reduce this even further. It is important to note that while each of these major projects creates jobs and activity during the construction phase, studies have shown the real return to a region is after a project is completed – and can be felt for decades after. Our region is moving forward quickly and deliberately. For some it may not be quickly enough, but when you take a moment to reflect how far we have come in a very short space of time I think we should all be very proud of the respective roles we play in future success of our region.