March 2017 Newsletter

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Message from the CEO

Senate Inquiry: Relocating Government Offices/Agencies into Regions

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast (RDASC), on behalf of Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Shire Council lodged a submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry on the relocation of Commonwealth corporate entities to regional areas.
Our organisations and the Sunshine Coast Business Community are supportive of the policy that would facilitate the relocation of Commonwealth agencies and departments into regional areas, in particular Sunshine Coast, as an important contributor to enduring regional employment growth.  We collectively recognise the need for greater employment diversity and growth in permanent jobs, which has formed the basis of the region’s economic priorities.
The Sunshine Coast region, in particular, offers many attributes that would be support the relocation of government entities such as premium lifestyle options, accessibility to major hospitals and health services, high performing schools and universities, digital infrastructure and innovation hubs, diverse housing options, the availability of commercial and residential land, an expanding international airport, access to the national freight corridor and all within close proximity to Brisbane.
The direct addition of 500 public administration jobs to the Sunshine Coast economy will create an estimated increase of 819 jobs located in Sunshine Coast with the resultant impact on Gross Regional Product of $72.33 million.

This month RDA Sunshine Coast is also excited to announce the launch of the Digital Scorecard to help businesses identify ways to improve their digital literacy. 

Darrell Edwards
CEO, Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast


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

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

$100,000 on offer for Coast businesses in AusPost comp
$100,000 would go a long way to commercialising some of the amazing innovations on the Sunshine Coast. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Read more

Calling SMEs to test innovative ICT solutions with government
If you are a small firm and think you might know how to make better use of data to improve patient health or 10 other challenging business problems the Queensland Government has identified, you might like to take part in the next round of its very practical innovation program.
Read more

How does your business compare?

RDA Sunshine Coast is excited to announce the launch of the online Digital Scorecard to help businesses identify ways to improve their digital capability and be more competitive in a global digital economy. Developed in collaboration with the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, the scorecard is a great enabler for regional business in Queensland.

The digital economy has been identified as a key driver of economic growth in the Sunshine Coast region. The Digital Scorecard will be fundamental in building digital capacity in local businesses; and will help businesses establish, grow, and capture new opportunities through adoption of best practice digital activities and technologies. The Scorecard will allow businesses to benchmark where they sit in relation to other business across the region and within their industry; and offer technological solutions and training to help them improve their business and make them more competitive in the local and global markets.

#NoosaConnects – Digital Networking Night

Noosa Council, in partnership with Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, are hosting this FREE exhibition style business event that aims to connect and inform business about getting the best broadband for their needs.

At the event, businesses will be able to:

  • have one on one conversations with experts who can provide advice and recommend broadband services tailored to your business needs
  • ask questions about factors that influence broadband speeds such as content sources, software and hardware configurations and contention ratios
  • talk with government agencies about digital grants and skill development opportunities
  • speak with Advance Queensland Digital Champions who have successfully navigated the digital space
  • see demonstrations of programs and software that enable business operators to save time and money

Exhibitors include representatives from NBN Co, Telstra, Optus, TPG, Big Air and Our Community Broadband.

DATE:             Wednesday 19 April, 2017
TIME:               5.00 – 7.30pm,
VENUE:           The J, 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction

For more information about exhibitors and to register for this FREE event please visit

The Level Up program is a Sunshine Coast Council funded program aimed at helping local small and medium businesses connect to faster internet, where available, and to ensure they have the necessary skills and capacity to fully utilise digital tools, innovation principles and business solutions to enable them to improve their productivity, profitability and ability to compete nationally and internationally, where desired. 

The Level Up Program will assist your business by helping you understand how you can:

  • Streamline your business operations
  • Understand POS and e-commerce solutions
  • Learn about online accounting and payroll systems
  • Increase your productivity and profitability
  • And much more

This exciting 12 week program features a mixture of in-person and online training allowing small business owners to study in a flexible manner around their business and family commitments.

Engage in just one webinar, just one half day workshop, or the whole program, all at a subsidised rate! 

Small Business and the Internet - What are your options and why should you care?
What is slow, unstable Internet costing you in health and wellbeing, time with your family, lost sales opportunities, under-utilisation of your workforce, employee satisfaction and retention for the sake of $40 - $60 extra per month? Don’t think of fast and stable Internet as a cost - think of it as an efficiency ‘enabler’.
The Sunshine Coast business community told us about their Internet needs as part of the #SPEEDITUP campaign. The results of the campaign show there is demand from Sunshine Coast businesses for improved internet speed and reliability – with 86% of businesses relying on the internet for their core operations, and 98% of respondents wanting faster and / or more stable internet for their business needs. Sunshine Coast businesses are looking for improved solutions to their broadband needs and are willing to pay for faster, more reliable services in order to do their business.
Read the Small Business and the Internet - What are your options and why should you care? report to investigate the opportunity costs of inadequate broadband and technologies to your business, what sort of internet access is available on the Sunshine Coast, and how you might be able to speed your business up. We have also provided you with additional tools and resources, and case studies of Sunshine Coast businesses who have taken advantage of world leading applications to significantly change their business operations and increase their productivity.
We all have to accept that this process takes a little bit of time and patience. Invest the time and investigate your options, compare plans, take action – and ensure you are getting the most out of your connection. Make the conscious choice to implement and embrace this change. Can you afford not to?
Implement change or risk being left behind. The report and campaign findings are available at the Digital Sunshine Coast website.
Committee Profile: Professor Birgit Lohmann
Birgit is the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of the Sunshine Coast. She has had academic and management roles at the Australian National University, Murdoch University, Griffith University and the University of Adelaide. Birgit also previously served in several leadership roles including Head of the School of Science and Director of the Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University, and Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Quality) at the University of Adelaide. She is a graduate of the University of Adelaide (Honours degree in Physics), and of Flinders University (Ph D in Atomic Physics).

What do you see as the biggest opportunities on the Sunshine Coast in the next two years? 
The opportunities afforded by our brilliant new tertiary teaching hospital, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital; further expansion of our university in terms of footprint and breadth of offerings; and the new CBD with its emphasis on smart city infrastructure.

What made you want to join the RDA committee? 
I’m a passionate believer in the transformational power of education for the individual and for the community, and in the tremendous benefits that game-changing research can deliver. Our RDA Committee acknowledges education and research as really important pillars for delivering better outcomes for the Sunshine Coast, and I’m keen to be part of facilitating those outcomes.

If you could change one thing about the Sunshine Coast what would it be?
I’d like to see much greater collaboration across stakeholders in the region - RDA, community, business, local government and the university and other education providers. Working together I think we can achieve much more for our region.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Something I heard at a leadership workshop: “The world is run by the people who turn up”.

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 program aims to improve local community participation, cohesion and contribute to vibrant and viable communities.
  • Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF). The BBRF will invest $297.7 million over four years in infrastructure projects and community investments to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. Program Guidelines, the application form, contact details for inquiries, and other program information, is available on


Business Beyond Borders - CleanTech Export Workshop
21 March 2017, 3.00pm - 5.30pm
Inbox Workspace

Volunteer Management Workshop
10 April, 9:00am to 4:00pm
Caloundra Community Centre

Doing Business With Council Workshop
28 April 2017, 8.00am to 9.30am
Maroochydore Customer Service Centre, 10 First Avenue​

Level Up Program: Information Session
Upcoming sessions will be held in Caloundra, Nambour, and Maleny.
Find your nearest session
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 © 2017 RDA Sunshine Coast, All rights reserved.

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