The Sunshine Coast is well placed to again punch above its economic weight under the Coalition’s plans for a stronger economy, LNP candidate for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien said today.
“We need to again unleash the spirit of enterprise that has been at the core of the rapid growth on the coast in the recent past,” he said. “We also need to unlock and encourage the genius of our young entrepreneurs.”
Mr O’Brien said the opening decade of the new century had seen the Coast grow at a much faster pace than the national economy but that in recent years the gap between the two had narrowed.
“But with all our natural advantages and continuing population growth, and the skills of our people, we can revitalise our economy in the years ahead under the confidence-boosting policies of a Coalition government,” he said.
Mr O’Brien advocated a two-pronged approach to enhance local growth.
“First, we need to underpin the traditional strengths of the Coast in tourism, property and business services, along with construction, retail and agriculture and the food industry, “ he said.
“Second, we need to attract new industries and investment to the Coast to provide the jobs of the future in IT and communications, business and personal services and health.
“We need to support growth and enterprise on both the coastal fringe and our hinterland, especially in small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
“As I have moved around the Fairfax electorate throughout the election campaign, I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of our people to sustainable development and protecting our environment.”
Mr O’Brien said he was convinced the Coalition’s plans for stronger and more broad-based economic growth would provide the Sunshine Coast with new opportunities for business and jobs.
“Coalition policies to abolish the mining and carbon taxes, to cut company taxes by 1.5 per cent and ensure the creation of one million jobs over five years will enhance growth prospects in vibrant growth areas like the Coast,” he said.
“While the tapering of the mining investment boom will bring its challenges nationally it will also open opportunities in other sectors, such as construction, tourism, education and training, food and farming and business and IT services.
“These are sectors where the Coast, and the electorate of Fairfax, have very real strengths,” he said.
The Coalition plans to reduce bureaucratic red tape on small and medium-sized businesses, to reduce business costs – as well as the overall costs of living – and to lift productivity would also provide a spur to growth and confidence.
The Sunshine Coast has been one of the fastest growing areas in Queensland in recent years (5.1 per cent average annual growth in the past decade compared with 3 per cent nationally). It is well placed to benefit from any lift in overall economic activity.