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President’s Welcome – June 2024

Welcome to the halfway mark of 2024. It’s incredible to think that we’ve passed the six month mark of the year where so much has been achieved and there’s still so much to look forward to.


Over the past three months our new Sunshine Coast Mayor and councillors have been bedding themselves down into their new roles and it’s pleasing to see Mayor Rosanna Natoli as well as our divisional councillors Joe Natoli and Taylor Bunnag reach out to connect with our chamber and our members. We certainly look forward to further engagement with them over the next few years.


Last month also saw the resignation of Council’s CEO Emma Thomas. We thank Emma for her contribution to our local community and we wish her well in her future endeavours.


State Government elections


We are now in full State Government election mode as we head to the polling booths in October this year. As a chamber we have committed to remaining apolitical but we are certainly keen to hear all views on major issues relating to transport infrastructure as we head to 2024 along with policies relating to the current housing crisis and cost of living. We encourage all of our members to engage in conversations with their local candidates about these matters.


Local economy on the rise


It was also pleasing to see Australian Bureau of Statistics data show since 2019 the Maroochydore City Centre is proudly fuelling the region’s transition into an economic powerhouse with our region seeing a 35% increase in companies with more than 20 workers, overtaking the Gold Coast, Geelong, Newcastle, and the Hunter Regions. Local businesses who are generating more than $10 million annually have also surged by 38%.


Sunshine Coast Airport: new aerospace precinct


The good news also continues from a funding perspective for the Sunshine Coast Airport with the commencement of construction of the Sunshine Coast Aerospace Precinct. The $7 million site includes earthworks, roadwork and other infrastructure which will pave the way for the expansion of the Aerospace Precinct.

The new area will allow space for the construction of a new Queensland-Government funded $18.6 million 3-bay hangar for LifeFlight Australia – Queensland’s largest community helicopter rescue service. The larger hanger will provide space for two LifeFlight helicopters and a jet. This significant investment will see Sunshine Coast Airport jobs to grow to 2400 by 2040.

We were disappointed to hear of the demise of Bonza as we know it will cause economic impact on our region along with local job losses. The good news however is Jetstar’s commitment to flights from the Sunshine Coast to New Zealand all year round commencing in December this year along with a new Sunshine Coast to Cairns route which will also commence in December.


Chambercast with the President and Pep


The popularity of our Chambercast continues to grow and we’ve been blessed to have some incredible guests over the past few months including Andrew Elvin from Coast to Bay Housing, former Mayor Mark Jamieson, Lizzie Henebery and Min Swan from the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network and in July we will release our latest chambercast with Council’s new head of Economic Development Chris Le Serve.  To listen to all the latest Chambercast’s with the president and Pep, please click here:


Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce life members


As many of you may know I was awarded Life membership of the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce late last year. This was an incredible honour and I would also like to acknowledge the previous committee members and Life Members below who have helped shape our Chamber to be in the strong position we are in today.

  • John Schroder
  • Melinda Shelton
  • Leigh Rachow
  • Myles McNamara
  • Terry Ell
  • Gillian Taylor


Vale Harry Reed


I would also like to acknowledge the passing of well known local business and community identity Harry Reed who passed away in early April. Harry left an incredible legacy and this was reflected in the significant turn out for his funeral. Harry’s impact on our region will not be forgotten.


We’ve had some amazing events this year and I thank our members for coming along and making them so successful along with our sponsors who ensure these events remain affordable for everyone. I encourage all members to book their tickets in advance as places are limited and we don’t want anyone to miss out the opportunity to network and meet new members.


Thanks to our MCC team and sponsors


Our Chamber is not in the strong position it is in today without the hard work of our executive committee and our membership officer Sharon Dryden. We have an experienced and passionate group of committee members and their determination to deliver only the very best outcomes for our members makes me really proud to be their leader. The support from Min Swan and her team at White House International is also pivotal to our success and I thank them all for their support.


Finally thanks to our sponsors and members for all you do to make our Chamber so successful. As always, if you have any ideas for news, events or activities we could promote or undertake please let us know.


I look forward to seeing you at our next Chamber event.


Brendan Bathersby