December 2016 Newsletter

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Message from the CEO

2016 has been an exciting year with many projects commenced to fill gaps identified by RDASC. One of those is the Introduction to Coding and Programming short course that has been developed as a pathway to employment or develop new skill sets. This course run by TAFE is open for registration and starts on 22nd February 2017. We will also be announcing the results of Digital Sunshine Coast “Speed IT UP” campaign and will run community forums in early 2017.
The Australian Government recently announced the release of the program guidelines for the new Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) - which will replease the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF). Applications open on 18th January 2017. It will include two streams, Infrastructure Projects and Community Investment. This opens up many more opportunities for NFPs to apply for grants to fund community building activities which will deliver economic and social benefit. Please refer to our website for details.
This week was the first of the SCRIPT community engagement meeting regarding the“Advancing Regional Innovation Program”. Thanks to all those attended and participated. The discussion was invigorating and impassioned. I want to put a shout out to any businesses interested in Innovation (bringing Ideas to Reality) for the next meeting on Wednesday 14th at Noosa. See you there.
Congratulations to Simon Latchford and his Visit Sunshine Coast Team, all tourism operators and supporters on a fantastic year!. 
“The Sunshine Coast attracted a 45% increase in expenditure (to $266.5 million) by international tourists in the year to September 2016, an all-time record for the region.”

Thanks for your encouragement and support during 2016 and we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas. May next year bring you joy, laughter, good health and prosperity.

- Darrell Edwards
Calling all Startup Community Leaders in regional Queensland:
Applications for mission funding support close tomorrow!
As part of Advance Queensland's commitment to growth through innovation in our regions, funding is available to assist up to 10 startup ecosystem leaders from across regional Queensland to attend the Startup Catalyst mission to Denver, Boulder and San Francisco in Jan-Feb 2017 (valued at $6000 per participant).

Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)
On 23 November 2016 the Australian Government announced the release of the program guidelines for the new Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) – to replace the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF).
Read more

Live music app wins Hackfest 2016
A locally produced app that details live music events on the Sunshine Coast by genre, date, location, as well as future events, has won the top honour in Sunshine Coast Hackfest 2016.
Read more

Sunshine Coast Airport celebrates one million passengers
It’s Sunshine Coast celebration time!  Sunshine Coast Airport has hit the one million passenger mark – the first time this has been achieved in a 12-month period. 
Read more

Sunshine Coast small business snares big export prize
Maroochydore-based business Typefi has again been recognised for its sterling export performances, this time on a national scale.
Read more

Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are back!
An app to help school students monitor and manage stress took the top prize in this year’s Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards. What will it take to win next year?
Read more

Reducing congestion: One month of public transport on the Sunshine Coast

By Darrell Edwards, CEO RDA Sunshine Coast

RDA Sunshine Coast launched its discussion paper on Transport Infrastructure this month. A high growth region requires infrastructure for connectivity, intra-region and inter-region. RDASC is seeking community feedback on funding models, transportation 
modes and innovative solutions. Please visit

With a long shopping list of Transport  Projects, we can take some personal responsibility by reducing our individual congestion footprint and use alternate modes of transport. So leading by example, I locked one of my cars away for one month. While I don’t want to bore you with all the details, below are a few comments and learnings. I had to use 
car-pooling, car-sharing, public transport, taxi, Uber, walking and trains.

My first observation is that many of our buses are fantastic, air conditioned, good quality and depending on the time of the day, you have your own private limo. On two occasions, I travelled to Brisbane via bus and train. I was the only one on the bus from Alexandra Headland to Landsborough. The routes are quite 
but underutilised.  The cost can vary significantly depending on the trip. By far the best value was Maroochydore to Noosa Civic, compared to Maroochydore to Alex. Secondly, the train trip was very productive, I was able to work on my laptop and phone all the way -  something I couldn’t do in the car. It would be great if there was an express train from Caboolture – working on that!

Another benefit was not having to pay for exorbitant CBD parking costs. However, i
t wasn’t all positive: I ended up going the wrong route once; one train was cancelled; and I had to do a lot of prior planning for appointments. I acknowledge that public transport doesn’t suit everybody, but give it a try. Why not change one of your weekly commutes to public transport? The purpose of the exercise for me was to show that you can change your driver behaviour and with some planning, and reduce your congestion footprint (50%). The only question now is which car to sell, his or hers?

Transport infrastructure for a progressive Sunshine Coast

Bruce Highway Congestion (Image courtesy SCRC).

The Sunshine Coast’s regional economic progression is to be admired and major infrastructure projects, including the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Maroochydore Bright City, Sunshine Coast Airport, Harmony and Aura are all set to be delivered within the next 20 years. Our transport infrastructure as it stands now will not cope as these impressive developments come to fruition and instead of playing the blame game, we all need to have an open and honest discussion on how we can fast track transport infrastructure projects – or be left behind.

Much hard work has already been undertaken to determine what is required for our region and now it is time to have a frank conversation on how to deliver this key infrastructure ASAP.

Ongoing debate about priorities needs to make way for proactive and constructive discussion and action on how we (all levels of government and the community) can combine with the private sector to can bring these projects to fruition. RDASC has drafted a discussion paper to start the conversation on the Coast’s transport infrastructure. Read the full Sunshine Coast Transport Discussion Paper.

“We require a transport system that will meet the needs of the community, foster economic prosperity and sustainability into the future – as population growth and driver behaviour has and will continue to contribute to increased congestion and frustration”. – Darrell Edwards (CEO, RDASC).

Let’s start the conversation

RDASC is interested in your views and ask that you take a proactive part in this conversation to help shape progress in our region.

Committee Profile: Brook Kitson, Treasurer

Brook Kitson is a civil engineer and runs Cardno Sunshine Coast, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company with 28 staff locally and 6500 staff around the globe. Brook is also project director for the engineering design and construction of some of the largest master planned communities in Australia. These projects include lead consultancy for the Sunshine Coast’s new Maroochydore City Centre - which will be developed on a 53 hectare site and will adopt Smart City technology; and Stockland’s Aura project, which 50,000 people will soon call home.

Brook is passionate about the Sunshine Coast and its economic development and has served for 12 years on the Urban Development Institute of Australia committee, three years as Vice President and Chair of the Economic Development Subcommittee.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities on the Sunshine Coast in the next two years? 

With development of the Maroochydore City Centre, we have a great opportunity to lead the country through the continual adoption of technology that encompasses the internet of everything (IOE). Technology that will provide benefits to the community to make it easier to know what’s going on and how to get around but also technology that will make us better global citizens.  Ensuring that we know what impact we are individually having but also being able to manage this impact, potentially to economic benefit.

What made you want to join the RDA committee? 

In my time at the Urban Development Institute of Australia we were able to make some positive changes for the industry and so using this as a platform I wanted to broaden where I spend my energy to assist the RDA team deliver great outcomes for the wider community.

Read the full article here

Grants and funding opportunities

Visit our 
regional grants page for a list of grants available for business, events and other community programs including:

  • The Stronger Communities Programme which funds small capital projects that will deliver social benefits. The programme aims to improve local community participation, cohesion and contribute to vibrant and viable communities.


#SCRIPT Regional Innovation Hubs Alliance Workshop II
14 December, 7.00am - 10.30am
Contact us

RDA Sunshine Coast
17 Ocean Street
Maroochydore Q 4558

Have your say!

We welcome your feedback about any of our projects or news items featured in our monthly newsletter. If you have regional news stories or economic development events relevant for the Sunshine Coast community, please contact us at deadline is by the 28th of each month.

Feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues or networks.
Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast is an Australian Government initiative that works in collaboration with the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to support economic development within the region.

Copyright © 2016 RDA Sunshine Coast, All rights reserved.

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