Sometimes it is hard to understand the scale of what is happening on our doorstep. In Brisbane we can get caught up in focusing on the major projects that are going to transform our city. Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro, Riverside Redevelopment, Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade, Wynnum Road, Brisbane Airport Second Runway and Brisbane Live will all transform our city, but arguably a bigger transformation is taking place a little way north on the Sunshine Coast.
I don’t know about you but whenever we head up the coast as a family, there is always that moment over a coffee, when we look through the real estate supplements, picking out a dream home by the water and we think ‘what if’ and we come up with a million excuses not to. But such excuses are rapidly running out…
Just prior to Christmas, I toured the region and its projects thanks to Natalie Rayment of Wolter Consulting Group and it is clear that in 2019 the sun is shining on the Sunshine Coast. Hopping on a bus with a broad cross section of the industry, we were given the guided tour of the region by Warren Bunker of Sunshine Coast Council. We visited and were briefed on the 12 major projects that will transform the region, creating employment, attracting billions in investment and establishing the region as home to the industries that will drive our economic future.
Residential projects at Aura (Caloundra South) will see 50,000 residents call a greenfield site home, with another 44,000 people living at Beerwah East by 2027 and a $3bn development at Palmview adding a further 17,000 residents to the region.
But it isn’t a case of build it and they will come, investment in infrastructure will enable people to move around easily and across multiple modes of transport. Investment in Sunshine Coast Airport will continue and a $1.6bn upgrade to the Bruce Highway will provide an improved connection to the rest of South East Queensland. Perhaps most exciting of all however is the Light Rail Project that will contribute 9,000 jobs and an $3.5bn boost to the economy by the time stage 1 opens in 2025. Future planning has also been taken into account, with a dedicated heavy rail corridor set aside to connect the main east coast line to the heart of the Coast and the airport.
Business, Commercial and Retail Development will see a whole new CBD created at Maroochydore, resulting in 15,000 jobs. Sunshine Plaza will become the go to retail destination on the coast, benefiting from a $400m expansion. And then there is the small matter of Australia’s newest undersea international broadband cable, which will revolutionise connectivity and make it possible for the wider region and state to benefit from another connection point for international data. Operating by mid-2020 the cable is predicted to benefit the state economy by over $927 million per year.
Health and Education will see the Sunshine Coast take a major step to becoming a major hub for these rapidly growing global, technology focused industries. By 2020 the University will cater for 20,000 students and an additional 4,600 jobs at the Sunshine Coast Hospital will attract highly qualified and skilled workers to the region.
Whatever way you look at it, the Coast is being transformed and will offer the balance of lifestyle, employment and connectivity that will make those ‘what if’ conversations less of a pipe dream and a real possibility. And with such a fast pace of change, for organisations in the residential and commercial development or infrastructure industries there is opportunity like never before.
At Inertia we have been working on the Coast for a number of years. From townhouse projects in Noosa through to apartment developments in Maroochydore and education precincts at University of Sunshine Coast, we have a track record of success in a rapidly growing environment. We know the people, the places, the regulations and the opportunities that our partners can become a major part of.
In 2019 and beyond we are keen to bring our passion to the success of your projects as the region booms. If you would like to discuss the opportunities that the region has to offer and how Inertia can help you to take advantage, please connect and we can arrange a briefing and project discussion.
Download a copy of the Sunshine Coast Major Projects Map: Click Here