Region’s future to take centre stage at conference

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Region’s future to take centre stage at conference


21 August 2013

How can Sunshine Coast businesses make the most of their proximity to Brisbane and the wider South-East Queensland region?

That’s the question that will be discussed when the University of the Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council co-host the annual Sunshine Coast Futures Conference – with the theme “The Sunshine Coast and its place in South-East Queensland” – on Friday 8 November.

Registrations for the event, to be held from 7.45am to 4pm at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium, are now open at

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan said the conference would feature presentations from a range of high-profile speakers including Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Canadian Urban and Regional Studies expert Professor Mario Polese.

Cr Quirk will provide the welcome and introduction, focusing on how Brisbane businesses perceive the Sunshine Coast region and the need for stronger links between the two areas.

Professor Polese will discuss his research on an international scale of the role of peri-urban areas (those located between the suburbs and the countryside) and the relationships between them and cities.

Professor Hefferan said the Sunshine Coast’s relationship with Brisbane was not as strong as it could be and there was scope to expand our links with the city.

“The concept of South-East Queensland needs to be looked at not as a group of regions operating independently, but as interconnected regions which rely on each other for ongoing trade and economic success,” Professor Hefferan said.

“The Sunshine Coast is the fastest-growing region in South-East-Queensland and the State, so it is vital that it makes the most of its exposure to Brisbane to fuel additional growth.”

The conference will also feature local business leaders and policy makers examining factors likely to impact on the long-term planning, economic development and infrastructure investment in the region.

Speakers include Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, former Queensland Trade Commissioner Andrew Craig, former Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, and Deputy Director-General of Housing Services, for the Department of Housing and Public Works David Eades, as well as other experts.

Registrations are now open with early bird prices of $88 available until 30 September at

— Jessica Halls

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