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

Life & Style Weekend - - BUSINESS - WORDS: JEN­NIFER SWAINE .......................

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.

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