CCIQ calls on Sunshine Coast councils to step up development
Small businesses have called on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to step up regional economic development, according to an exclusive new poll.
In a CCIQ survey on Local Government, ahead of the March 19 council elections, more than 1100 small businesses across Queensland have voiced their opinions.
Almost one in 10 respondents (102) were from the Sunshine Coast region – one of Australia’s largest and growing local government areas.
CCIQ Regional Manager for the Sunshine Coast Kimberley Lynch said according to small businesses polled in the survey, the three most important roles of their local governments were: regional economic development; roads infrastructure; and planning and development.
“However when those businesses were asked how effective their councils are at providing these roles, respondents overwhelmingly believe more needs to be done,” she said.
Ms Lynch said nearly one in four businesses believed the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils were not effective at their regional economic development activities.
“And 23.3 per cent of Sunshine Coast businesses believed their councils are not effective at developing and implementing an economic development vision,” she said.
Ms Lynch said CCIQ urged the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to prioritise economic development and reducing the barriers to planning and development across the next four years.
The survey revealed small business infrastructure priorities for the Sunshine Coast region as:
• Upgrade tourism related infrastructure to spur economic development;
• Conduct lane-widening along the Bruce Highway and Kawana Way to ease congestion;
• Invest in community infrastructure and facilities, such as sports facilities and an arts centre to keep youth and families in the region and to diversify economic activity; and
• Prioritise access to high-speed internet for small businesses.
Ms Lynch said CCIQ recognised the vital role that council played in helping build and sustain the SEQ economy.
“Small businesses believe the activities of Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils are of crucial importance in their day-to-day activities,” she said.
“Difficulties in planning and development act as a break on economic activity and jobs at a time when business conditions are challenging on the Sunshine Coast.
“CCIQ calls on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils and the next Mayors to prioritise reducing the burden of planning and development on business.
“CCIQ is committed to working constructively with all councillors over the coming four years to address those issues and challenges confronting the business community.”
The importance of Local Government in the Sunshine Coast
The effectiveness of Local Government in the Sunshine Coast
CCIQ’s statement of principles and purposes for local government in Queensland:
• Ensure that Council’s finances are managed in a fiscally responsible manner;
• Seek the removal of unnecessary business regulation with the objective of eliminating anti-competitive provisions, which cannot be justified in the public interest. This includes an overriding objective of easing compliance costs of legislation, regulation and taxation;
• Maintain essential infrastructure and services at a level which encourages economic development. This can be achieved through the promotion of private sector alternatives to the funding and/or operation of local government infrastructure assets;
• Ensure that charges imposed are competitive with other comparable jurisdictions; and
• Encourage practices which enhance the transparency and accountability of its decision making.
Source: Westpac Group CCIQ Pulse Survey of Business Conditions, December quarter 2015.
Survey period: 12-29 January 2016. Respondents: Qld: 1132; Sunshine Coast 102.