The Sunshine Coast has been selected as Queensland’s most web-savvy region to vie for the national Google eTown Award for 2013.
The Coast will compete against one town or region from each state and territory for the national award, to be announced in late August.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was delighted Google had identified the region’s hard-working businesses.
“Not only is this great recognition of the Sunshine Coast, it also highlights the opportunity every local business has to operate on a global stage,” he said.
“The Coast has a bold plan to build a sustainable and strong, new economy, and a key priority of that plan is the attraction of new investment to the region and exploiting the opportunities offered by the digital economy.
“Today’s news shows that doing business globally from Australia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast is a reality – and that as a region, we host some of the most innovative and savvy businesses in the country.”
Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Ian Walker praised the Sunshine Coast Council for its long standing commitment to investing in the region’s digital infrastructure and services.
“Winning this prestigious award is due recognition for the remarkable achievements of the Council and its key regional allies in positioning the region as a dynamic digital community,” he said.
In particular, Mr Walker praised the Sunshine Coast Council, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and Regional Development Australia.
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of these organisations, a number of Queensland Government agencies and local digital businesses, the Sunshine Coast is well and truly positioned to reap the benefits of involvement in the global digital economy.”
Google’s head of Local Business, Clair Hatton, said the location of a shop front or workforce size does not matter online.
“Every business has the opportunity to engage customers and grow, and these web-savvy businesses across Australia prove this,” she said.
“No matter whether you’re a boutique hotel, café or law firm, if you’re not online you’re missing out on helpful tools that are available at a click.
“Every business should be embracing the internet, as it’s a direct line to thousands of potential customers.”
RDA Sunshine Coast Chair Professor Max Standage said digital innovation was identified as a key regional priority in the recently released 2013-16 Sunshine Coast Regional Roadmap.
“Those local businesses that capture the unique opportunity of broadband and information technology development will further the economic and social wellbeing of communities across the Sunshine Coast region,” he said.
“The Sunshine Coast could become a leader in new technology deployment and innovation by creating opportunities that came with advanced technologies, whether in a commercial, educational, healthcare, security or other context.
“These advances in technology have already changed the way business is conducted and will continue to improve efficiency in almost all sectors of the Sunshine Coast economy.”
The winners’ list:
Sunshine Coast, Qld; North Sydney, NSW; Port Phillip, Vic; Cockburn, WA; Launceston, Tas; Holdfast Bay, SA; Darwin City, NT; South Canberra, ACT