While others choose to exchange personal and political barbs, Sunshine Coast Mayoral candidate Brett Winkler continues to deliver strong policy commitment that will get more people working and learning on the Sunshine Coast.
Following on from a recent Mayoral Forum where Winkler announced a number of initiatives to take the region to the next level, he reaffirmed his commitment to more jobs, better infrastructure, enhanced lifestyle and less red tape on the back of growth in employment and education enrolment.
“You won’t hear any grandstanding or ‘furfies’ from me, just an absolute commitment to the old-fashioned values of hard work and realistic outcomes. That’s what the people expect and that’s what they deserve,” stated Winkler.
Winkler reaffirmed his job targets of 18,000 new jobs (under the Sunshine Coast Regional Jobs Growth Target) and an additional 25,000 educational commencements (under the Sunshine Coast Regional Education Commencements Target) in the next 4-year term of council as a cornerstone of the coast’s evolution. These targets will be driven by the creation of a new independent entity that will operate autonomously of council, so that it is able to react effectively and decisively in getting the message out to the world about our great region.
“Council has been working on some good economic strategy, albeit slow in getting out of the blocks, and the challenge is that we actually need to see it implemented. In a commercial environment, local government by its very nature isn’t equipped to do this. It is unrealistic to expect it to create the strategy, then deliver on all of it.”
“That’s why we need to call on the wealth of knowledge, resources and capital on offer in the private sector to complement and support the good work that is happening in a number of government entities. We need to start collaborating and working as true partners for the sake of the community,” added Winkler.
Following on from his ‘Sports Training Capital of Australia’ platform, Winkler also believes that the Sunshine Coast needs to become ‘Australia’s Medical and Health Education Hub’.
“We are just about to get Australia’s largest greenfield hospital site with over $2 billion of direct investment, let alone the flow on benefits. We have an incredible opportunity to not only provide jobs but to build an international reputation for learning and education in this field.”
“And it just doesn’t mean our great universities and TAFE but also a host of Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) that will be willing to invest in the region as well,” added Winkler.
Winkler was quick to point out that while health and medical were key industry opportunities, he was clearly committed to supporting a greater regional economic diversity as identified in council’s Natural Advantage initiative.
“Under my leadership we will ensure that that the Big 3 of tourism, construction and retail will continue to be supported and leveraged by all our emerging industries, particularly in the medical and health sectors.”
“Council’s Economic Development Unit is on the right track and I will ensure that it gets there by giving it the resources needed to do the job properly. They will see their departmental budget, currently at around $13.5 million, increased to $20 million per annum within 2 years.”
“That will ensure that we meet these important regional targets and get more of our people working and learning on the Sunshine Coast,“ Winkler declared.