Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Game-Changers to Take Shape in 2018; Hard Work in 2017 to Pay off Next Year

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Game-Changers to Take Shape in 2018; Hard Work in 2017 to Pay off Next Year

Article excerpt

DAMIAN

BATHERSBY

damian.bathersby@scnews.com.au

MARK Jamieson says he doesn't deal in disappointments.

So if 2017 failed to deliver on any of his hopes and dreams, the mayor of the Sunshine Coast isn't dwelling on it.

"I don't do disappointments," Mr Jamieson says when the subject arises.

"There's always lessons to be learnt and ways to do things better, but I don't focus on the disappointments.

"For me, it's about seeing where the opportunities are and continuing to strive for the outcomes we desire."

But when achievements are the topic, Mr Jamieson has a list he is happy to talk about.

There's the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Sunshine Coast, completion of the solar farm and opening of the Rainforest Discovery Centre at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

Add to that the Sunshine Coast Lightning's success in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball championship, expansion of the region's protected environmental land and improved community and employment confidence and Mr Jamieson is happy to call 2017 a successful year.

However, he believes the real game-changers are still in the development phase and will continue to be throughout 2018.

One of the most exciting, he says, is the new Maroochdyore CBD, Sun Central, where the groundwork is being laid for an exciting, hi-tech future.

While it still looks like the giant construction site it actually is, he says a "hell of a lot" of civil construction work has been done to provide services and technology that will make it a world leader.

Think Australia's first underground automated waste collection system and a high-speed fibre optic network that will enable everything from free wi-fi throughout the city centre's streets, parks and plazas to smartphone apps that will allow drivers to find the nearest car parking space.

"We are laying the foundations for a city that will be the envy of many others in the future," Mr Jamieson said.

"I often think of the criticism the orginal backers of the London Metro faced - they were ridiculed by people who said 'we will never need that'.

"Now where would London be without the Tube?

"We have to be thinking well into the future."

The next 12 months should also see plenty of groundwork laid for expansion of the airport into an international facility and plans to make the Sunshine Coast the connection point for a new submarine broadband cable that will link us directly with Asia, the Pacific and the United States.

Mr Jamieson said council had done a lot of work to make the cable plan a reality and he remained hopeful 2018 would be the year authorities approved a "protection zone" so it can be brought ashore here.

That, he says, will provide a signficiant incentive for businesses which require mili-seconds of advantge to be competitive in their fields. …

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