Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Report Reveals Risks in Council Relocation

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Report Reveals Risks in Council Relocation

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

UNCERTAINTY about Sunshine Coast Council's future in Caloundra and Nambour created an impasse as those communities could not develop plans to manage the transition if the size and scale remained unknown, a report into the planned relocation of staff to Maroochydore found.

The Lucid Economics report into staff relocation impacts was made with its authors blind to the council's full intent, the report's release has revealed. Presented to the council in September last year it was not made public until this week after Right To Information requests were started by Nambour Alliance and Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.

Since the report's commissioning in 2016 the council has determined that 200 staff plus or minus five per cent would shift from each of the Caloundra and Nambour offices to the new Maroochydore CBD.

Those numbers represent 4 per cent of total employment in Caloundra and 1.8 per cent in Nambour. The report found retail and commercial office space letting was struggling in both towns with vacancy rates at 10.6 per cent in Caloundra and 19 per cent in Nambour.

It suggested those numbers could increase to 20.9 per cent (Caloundra) and 29.6 per cent (Nambour) when the council reduced its footprint.

Lucid's analysis found while the relocation of staff from Caloundra and Nambour would have impacts, they would be relatively minor in terms of the local economy in each centre.

But it also found uncertainty about the future could be a disincentive for investment in both towns because the council made up an important part of those areas.

"Given the state of future planning for both centres, this issue is likely more important for Nambour, however, it would have implications for Caloundra as well," it stated. …

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