By Toni Rogan.
The Sunshine Coast Council has huge plans for the expansion of the Maroochydore City Centre and the economic potential it holds.
Deputy Mayor Chris Thompson said the expansion would take a minimum of 20 years and would contribute a large amount of jobs towards the current unemployment issue.
“We expect to outlay about $350 million,” he said when asked how much the Council plans to spend.
Cr Thompson said the Council expected to make back a similar amount if not more through land sales and investments from the private sector.
“We are trying to spend a dollar where we are going to make a dollar,” he said.
Cr Thompson said that through this development the Council aimed to improve Sunshine Coast residents’ quality of living.
He referred to the Harvard Business Review’s study when he said that citizens who travel further for work have a poorer quality of living compared to those who live close to work.
The plans involve splitting 200,000 square metres of land between retail, commercial and residential dwelling units.
One aim the Sunshine Coast Council has is to minimise the number of people forced to travel to the Brisbane city to work in areas such as corporate headquarters.
Cr Thompson said it would be cheaper to build a purpose built building in the Maroochydore CBD rather than Brisbane city.
“There is no logical reason for anyone to be headquartered in the middle of a major capital city where you are paying exorbitant rates for rent,” he said.
In July 2013 the plans for this development were announced and were approved by State Government in mid-2014.
The next stage of planning and design is set to commence in June this year.
The Sunshine Coast Council webpage states that plans include a rail-based public transport system, a general location for arts and entertainment, and an addition to the existing road network.
In February this year Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson told the Sunshine Coast Daily that any change in Government would not alter these plans.
“Her (Annastacia Palaszczuk’s) government is going to need shovel-ready projects around Queensland to help stimulate activity and create jobs,” Cr Jamieson said.
The Maroochydore City Centre is expected to do great things for the economic state of the Sunshine Coast including an increase in employment.
“The CBD is going to make a significant impact on the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Thompson said.