Sunshine Coast Council today endorsed its 2018-19 Annual Report, demonstrating Council’s strong financial position and showcasing council’s approach to balance community, environment and economic outcomes.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council’s clear plans and commitment to serving our community was a major contributor to the continuing strength of the Sunshine Coast.
“In everything that council does, we seek a balance between community, environment and economic outcomes, consistent with our vision for the Sunshine Coast to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart creative,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Getting that balance right remains our Council’s focus, as this imperative reflects the broader interests and priorities of our communities right across the Sunshine Coast.
“As I have said many times, there is no better place to be at this time than the Sunshine Coast - as a place to live, work, recreate, raise a family or run a business.
“While there are many factors that contribute to the strength of our region, our Council’s clear plans and commitments have played no small part in this outcome.
“Our Council’s strong financial position and prudent fiscal management has also enabled us to ensure we can provide the services and infrastructure which our community needs today and tomorrow.
“Whilst at the same time, our Council is supporting major investments that will help to entrench the future prosperity and liveability of our region.
“Once again, this year we have received a strong financial sustainability rating from the Queensland Treasury Corporation.
“We continue to be one of only three councils out of the 77 councils across Queensland that received this rating.
“Coupled with our eighth consecutive unmodified audit opinion since 2012, the results presented in our Annual Report are testament to our responsible stewardship of Council’s resources and finances.
“What this does is enable our Council to invest in a wide range of services and facilities for our community.
“As well as to pursue an innovative infrastructure investment program that is unparalleled for local government in this state - if not the nation.
“In the course of the last year, our Council has continued to deliver on our clear commitments to the Sunshine Coast.
“By supporting and connecting our communities, preserving and nurturing our natural assets, developing our economy, and above all, remaining focused on maintaining a lifestyle that is so highly valued by our residents.
“When you develop a clear plan and commit to seeing it delivered, you not only inspire confidence, but you also inevitably produce results.
“In the past year Council has advanced the development of a new Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 and our new Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Action Plan has improved our focus and efforts on engagement and involvement with our First Nations peoples to help preserve, share and promote their important cultural heritage.
“Council’s Sunshine Coast Environment and Liveability Strategy continues to provide the platform for how Council and community manages and preserves our natural environment and the liveability of our region.
“Of particular significance – and yet another Australian first for our Council – has been the establishment of a tripartite agreement between the Queensland Government, Unitywater and Council to put in place an innovative blue carbon partnership for approximately 5000 hectares on the Maroochy River floodplain – known as the ‘Blue Heart’.
In September 2018, after a journey of some eight years, Council entered into commercial agreements that will see an international submarine broadband cable come ashore on the Sunshine Coast and be in service by mid-2020.
“This international network is forecast to deliver $927 million for Queensland and over 860 new jobs. It will provide the fastest data and telecommunications transmissions from the eastern seaboard of Australia to Asia and help position our region as a future digital trade hub,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our region’s reputation for leadership and innovation was showcased and recognised on a global stage this year when the Sunshine Coast was the only location in the Southern Hemisphere to be named as one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities by the Global Intelligent Communities Forum”.
Work has also continued throughout this year on the delivery of a new runway and associated infrastructure at the Sunshine Coast Airport, which will be completed and fully operational by the end of 2020.
The Airport Expansion project is forecast to deliver an economic benefit of $4.1 billion and 2230 new jobs between now and 2040, providing a direct gateway to the Sunshine Coast from a wider range of national and international locations as well as new opportunities for the region’s exporters.
Visit council’s website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for a copy of the annual report. Printed copies will be available for viewing at council libraries and customer service centres from the week commencing 18 November.
Aligned to the Sunshine Coast Council Corporate Plan, the annual report breaks down council’s performance into five key areas.
Major achievements for 2018-19 included:
A strong community
· $6.85 million redevelopment of Events Centre Caloundra
· $4.8 million in community grants awarded
· 2018 Caloundra Music Festival attracted 33,386 people
· 2018 Horizon Festival attracted more than 38,500 people to 160+ events
· Sunshine Coast Community Strategy developed
· Sunshine Coast Arts Plan 2018-2038 commenced.
A healthy environment
· 8839 hectares of private land now managed for conservation under council’s Land for Wildlife Program
· $845,000 invested in coastal dune rehabilitation and shoreline erosion management
· Renewable energy generated by Sunshine Coast Solar Farm increased by 18 percent
· Council launched Adventure Sunshine Coast interactive website and mobile app
· Three properties totalling 56 hectares purchased to expand wildlife and native plant conservation corridors under Environment Levy
· Environment and Liveability Strategy secures more than 100 hectares of new land for conservation and recreation purposes.
A smart economy
· Council spent $244 million (72%) of its procurement locally
· Sunshine Coast recognised as one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 by global Intelligent Community Forum
· Council secured three-year partnership with South Sydney Rabbitohs to stage NRL games at Sunshine Coast Stadium from 2019-2021
· Airport Expansion Project on track for completion by end of 2020
· The Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network on track for completion by mid-2020, with the undersea cable manufactured and work commenced on the cable landing station.
· More than 262,000 customers assisted through council contact centres
· More than 1.4 million visitors to council’s libraries
· Council diverted 40 per cent of the region’s waste from landfill
· Approximately 10.6 million waste bin collections
· 1325 capital projects delivered this year, representing a 12.5 per cent productivity increase on the previous year.
· Unmodified audit opinion to council for 11th consecutive year
· $848 million budget for 2019-20 adopted
· Building concept design for Sunshine Coast City Hall endorsed
· 109 per cent of council electricity consumption offset by Sunshine Coast Solar Farm.