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President’s Welcome – March 2024

It’s hard to believe that that Easter is upon us and the first quarter of 2024 is done and dusted.

As I write to you this month, the results of the local Government elections are being finalised. We will welcome a new Mayor in the next short period of time along with a number of new councillors.

We congratulate all of the winners, both current and new councillors and we look forward to working with them in future.

We also congratulate Cr Joe Natoli who has been returned as our Division 4 councillor and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Joe over the next few years.

It’s also important that we acknowledge the departing Mayor, Mark Jamieson whom I believe has played a significant role in the development of the Sunshine Coast over the past 12 years.

The role of Mayor is a difficult and unforgiving role and Mark’s tenure was laden with a number of groundbreaking projects including the Maroochydore CBD, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Sunshine Coast Airport and the subsea cable which will all provide significant economic, social and cultural benefits for many years to come.

Our Chamber continues to go from strength to strength, our membership continues to hover over the 300 mark and our sponsors continue to support the great work we undertake.

Events continue to be popular including our monthly ‘Coffee and Connect’. The recent ‘Champions of Change’ breakfast event at Maroochy RSL was very popular, as was the Mayoral candidates forum held in conjunction with the Kawana and Mooloolaba Chamber of Commerce.

All of our events are incredibly popular and we urge members to register as soon as possible to avoid missing out.  That said, once you do register, PLEASE do everything within your power to actually turn up at the event.

And if you can’t make it, PLEASE send a substitute OR let us know… we always have a list of eager reserves.

Housing supply and affordability continues to be a major issue across the region and we were pleased to be able to interview Andrew Elvin from Coast to Bay Housing for our latest Chambercast with the President and Pep.

If you haven’t heard it yet, please take a listen HERE.

Passenger rail into Maroochydore continues to be a major advocacy issue for our Chamber. Unfortunately, the stars do not seem to be aligning between all three levels of Government and at this stage it appears that, IF passenger rail from Brisbane does proceed, it will terminate in Caloundra… at least for the time being. Whilst this is a sub-optimal outcome for the whole region, we will continue to advocate with relevant stakeholders at every opportunity.

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 Whitehouse is also pivotal to our success.

Finally thanks to you our sponsors and members for all you do to make our Chamber a big success. It’s an exciting year ahead for Maroochydore and our region and we look forward to going on this journey together.  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