Forum to find ways to grow a stronger South East Queensland
Sunshine Coast residents are being urged to attend one of three public forums being held across South East Queensland to share their ideas on new plans to help shape the region's future.
The third of these is to be held on the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday night.
The State Government has released three visionary long-term planning documents that aim to strengthen the state's regions: the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy (QRS), the Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP), and the Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy (BHUS).
Minister for Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said the government now needed Queenslanders to share their ideas on the plans.
"These are exciting times as we move to shape the growth of every region across the state over the next 20 years and beyond," Mr Mulherin said.
"Given the importance of these plans it's vital they reflect the views, values and opinions of the locals who live and breathe these areas.
"That's why we're holding this forum on the Sunshine Coast - specifically to hear from local residents.
"This is your opportunity to share your ideas directly with senior government ministers, provide feedback on the plans, and participate in consultation workshops."
Mr Mulherin said South East Queensland was one of Australia's fastest-growing metropolitan areas, contained within just 1.3 per cent of the state's area.
"By 2031 this region is expected to grow from just under 3 million people to nearly 4.4 million," he said.
"While we are encouraging people to reside in other areas of the state, we have to recognise that many people will continue to want to live in the south-east corner.
"This means we have to continue to build on the region's current strengths - that of the area being the service centre and skills, distribution and logistics hub for regional supply chains - while developing new opportunities.
"South East Queensland is a significant tourism destination and the gateway to the rest of Queensland, and we want to boost food processing, mining services and mining technology capabilities to service regional industries.
"Other ways to improve the region's prosperity will focus on it being a key hub for Queensland's service economy, with specialised skills in professional services such as information and communications technology, and biomedical services.
"Some of the priority projects that will help drive the region are the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Caloundra Hospital emergency department expansion, Pine River to Caloundra interchange upgrades, Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway upgrade, Cooroy to Curra highway upgrade, Caboolture Road Duplication, and the Queensland Children's Hospital.
"I encourage everyone in the community, from mums and dads, to small business owners and industry leaders, to come along and have a say on how we manage these issues into the future."
The Sunshine Coast Way to Grow forum will be held from 5pm for 5.30pm start (until 7.30pm) on Tuesday, August 16 at the Maroochy RSL Club, Level 1 Memorial Drive (Corner First Avenue).
Register your attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1800 093 903, and to view the documents go to www.qld.gov.au or call the number above.
Community consultation on the documents runs until September 9, 2011.
Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies
The Honourable Tim Mulherin
Maroochy RSL Club, Maroochydore
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