Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Forward Thinkers with Sweet Ideas; Who'd Have Thought Jam Would Provide a Future-Proof Solution?

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Forward Thinkers with Sweet Ideas; Who'd Have Thought Jam Would Provide a Future-Proof Solution?

Article excerpt

HOW can the Sunshine Coast retain its iconic character and charm while planning for future growth?

The answer is astrawberriesa.

Or more accurately, aenjoy your strawberries ... but hold the jama.

A who's who of the Sunshine Coast's business and academic leaders converged on the University of the Sunshine Coast last week for a day-long forum on sustainable villages.

The forum, held as part of USC and the council's Sunshine Coast Futures Conference Series, aimed to address the question: How do we get the balance right between identity, community, business and prosperity?

And while the forum's keynote speaker was a global leader in regional development, it was the Coast uni's own Professor Mike Hefferan who eloquently captured the spirit of the forum.

Prof Hefferan said the Coast needed to avoid creating astrawberry jama when catering for future population growth. He said the Coast's adistinct and differenta villages were like strawberries that needed to be nurtured. But what we needed to avoid was letting ajama a or urban sprawl a spread between our villages, which had happened in some Gold Coast suburbs.

aThis is an iconic place,a Prof Hefferan said.

aThis region has got significant problems but it's a damn good place.

aIt's distinctive and damn near unique. It's a loose collection of quite different towns.

aWe've got a number of larger places that are really distinctive and so different in character.a

Prof Hefferan said while the Sunshine Coast needed to broaden its economic base, Brisbane would always provide employment for many of our residents.

aAt the moment all we can see is a heap of utes going south in the morning,a he said.

aWe will not be able to grow the smart jobs fast enough (to provide work for all Sunshine Coast residents).

aWe will always have the imbalance.

aSo building up that link that gets a fast commute into town is something we really have to think about.

aIt's amazing how little countries can get infrastructure. …

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