The Sunshine Coast Region

The Sunshine Coast Council is the fourth largest regional local government entity in Queensland, and one of the largest in Australia. It covers the three former local government areas of Caloundra City, Maroochy Shire and Noosa Shire.

Total population reached 323,423 at June 2009, with the region averaging a 3.1% increase each year between 2004 and 2009. This compared with average annual state growth of 2.6% over the same period. Long-term, population growth is forecast to continue at 2.3% per annum.

The Sunshine Coast region’s diverse economy goes beyond tourism; to include manufacturing, construction and agriculture as well as retail trade, aviation and environmental technologies. The region’s Gross Regional Product (GRP) has grown at more than 10% per annum since 2001, to $10 billion in 2008.

According to the SCRC’s Economic Development Strategy 2010-2014, there are 31,758 businesses on the Sunshine Coast. The vast majority of businesses (85.3%) on the Sunshine Coast have fewer than five employees. In February 2010, there were 150,500 people employed in the region, representing a 25.8% increase since 2006, 6.9% higher than Queensland for the same period.

Tourism on the Sunshine Coast directly employs 14,700 people. It contributes $1.1 billion to the Queensland economy and generates $230 million annually as an export earner. In the year ending June 2010, domestic overnight visitors spent $1.63 billion, domestic day visitors spent $446 million and international visitors spent $230 million. The region remains an important tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors, attracting some 2.75 million visitors during the year to March 2010.

The Sunshine Coast’s attractive lifestyle, affordability, business support services and proximity to Brisbane have helped fuel the region’s growth. Continued population and economic growth has provided the opportunity to attract and support a range of services, industries and professionals crucial for the region’s long-term sustainability.

The University and private organisations have been promoting a range of incentives to help businesses expand, innovate and create new markets, generating employment in the region. Education is a growing contributor to the economy, with 88 Schools, two Universities, and five TAFE Colleges within the region.

(Source: CBRE Sunshine Coast 2011)