You would have to be living under a rock to not notice what is happening on the Sunshine Coast at the moment. Tourist numbers are up, interstate migration is up, and Qantas has added more business flights to Sydney mid-week to cope with the demand they are experiencing for more flights.
It is possible (and now acceptable) to live here and just commute to Sydney when you need to. I have many friends and clients who do exactly that. They tell me that when they arrive at Maroochy Airport the stresses of city life are shed like an old coat as the warm Sunshine Coast air engulfs them as they step off the plane.
For the moment (and not before time) we are really forging ahead as a region. The new airport is on track, you can see the upgrades to the Bruce Highway taking shape, the new CBD will start to come out of the ground this year and the news that Australia’s next subsea cable will land here has perked the interest of investors from all over the world.
As a developer I directly see the level of interest on the coast because of the sheer volume of enquiry we take for our developments. I have just launched Eclipse, which will be located on the river front, just up from my last development Pinnacle, and already we have been blown away with calls we are receiving.
We have matured as a region and have a clear economic plan for continued growth and development which makes the Sunshine Coast an attractive place to invest or live.
However, there are two things we need to focus on in the future.
Firstly, despite having a multitude of beaches at our front door, the lack of beachside venues and restaurants is mind blowing. Tourists don’t understand it and neither do many of us who live here. I am all for protecting our beaches, but it would be great to find a way to do both.
And secondly, with the increasing number of bars, cafes and function centres we need to ensure we really start to focus on developing professional hospitality staff. There are plenty of young people who want to learn and be taught and those that have outstanding skills are being snapped up quickly. As the owner of two restaurants there is a serious shortage of highly skilled hospitality professionals and as we grow as a region, we need to have strategies in place to be able to meet the demand I expect we will see for hospitality staff.
We really are blessed to live on the Sunshine Coast and it’s wonderful to see so many others also wanting to live and visit here. Afterall, visitors and increased population are great for the economy and provide opportunity for those who choose to call the Sunshine Coast home.
Image Credit: Sunshine Coast Council