Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Look to Smart Future; Innovation Is the Key to Driving the Sunshine Coast's Economy

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Look to Smart Future; Innovation Is the Key to Driving the Sunshine Coast's Economy

Article excerpt

Byline: Erle Levey

THE new economy needs innovation. The future really is here.

Some of the most advanced technological companies in the world were among more than 100 stakeholders and suppliers at the launch of the Smart City Framework for the Sunshine Coast this week.

Sunshine Coast Council has partnered with Cisco and Telstra to develop a Smart City Framework for the Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Area (PDA), and the wider Sunshine Coast region.

It is designed to help make the region even more liveable, workable and sustainable. In doing so it will place the region at the forefront with other smart cities around the world in attracting investment and population.

Smart City services can transform and improve the way residents, visitors, businesses and governments interact with their environment, the way information and communications technology can connect people, processes and data.

A city connected by fast internet, where an app on your phone helps guide you to a car-park, energy-efficient street lights, sensors on water supplies and rubbish bins that detect when attention is needed.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke about the importance of creating this new economy when he visited as then-communications minister.

Mr Jamieson said the Smart City Framework reinforced the fact this investment in technology really was an important part of the region's history.

"In the next 10 years our region will be recognised nationally and internationally,'' he said.

"It has already moved from development to implementation and will be tested in Caloundra.

"Innovation is not what we have been known for, but every day we see the reality of change to a new economy based on technology.

"The economic strategy of the region is a clear blueprint for the next 20 years. It's an outstanding plan that redefines where we want to be.''

Mr Jamieson said it would lead to greater prosperity, more jobs and a growing population.

The next step was the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport, the development of the green city in Maroochydore's central business district, completion of the near-$2 billion Sunshine Coast University Public Hospital next year and the allied and related industries. …

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