August 2017 Newsletter

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Message from the CEO
Buderim Men’s Shed and Caloundra Events Centre winners
Barry Cheales (Vice President Buderim Men’s Shed), Ted O’Brien (Member for Fairfax), Shanna Douglas (RDA Sunshine Coast), Bryan O’Neill, and John Stevenson (Buderim Men’s Shed).

On my return from leave, it was fantastic to see the announcements from The Building Better Regions Fund with a $3.5m commitment from the Australian Government for two key projects in the region. Congratulations to Events Centre Caloundra team who worked tirelessly engaging community support for their $6m development project. The $3m grant matched by Sunshine Coast Council towards the redevelopment project will upgrade acoustics, aesthetics and comfort with heating and air-conditioning, disability access and much more to be delivered. This will revitalise the centre into a vibrant, modern entertainment complex at the centre of the community.

Congratulations also to the Buderim’s Men’s Shed who will receive $500,000 matched funding towards construction of new premises at Kuluin to continue their fantastic work with well-being and social inclusion of its members.

RDASC is proud to support projects, to deliver much needed infrastructure across the community. Submissions were in record numbers and I know some very worthwhile projects were not successful, however funds are limited. We look forward to their participation in future rounds of the BBRF.

Transport remains a high priority 

Transport remains a high priority for RDA Sunshine Coast and it was alarming while away to see so many alerts of disruption to Bruce Highway traffic. This just highlights the need for viable, fast, comfortable alternatives to Bruce Highway travel. While overseas I travelled almost exclusively on public transport. Our overseas visitors must think our transport systems are farcical.

Connectivity between major centres should be a priority for all parties and levels of government. All we hear is talk but where is the funding and infrastructure. Bring on the North Coast Rail duplication!

Darrell Edwards

CEO, Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast

Barayamal’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program
Barayamal’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs who have a business or idea and strong desire to explore the exciting world of entrepreneurship. Applications close: 27 August 2017.
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Innovative road surface trial
By trialling a new road surface made from waste products, Noosa Council has kept more than 6,500 old car tyres out of landfill, recycled more than 10 tonnes of glass, and utilised the toner from over 1 million used printer cartridges.
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Sunshine Coast Solar Farm now part of Queensland’s renewable energy future
The Sunshine Coast Council will soon become the first local government in Australia to offset 100 per cent of its electricity across all of its facilities and operations with the official commissioning of the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm at Valdora.
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Global entrepreneurs commit to Queensland’s innovation ecosystem
Queensland’s global reputation as Australia's Startup State continues to gain momentum as startups attracted from around the world choose to make the state their business base.
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$4.2 million to assist Sunshine Coast job seekers
Up to 560 job seekers in the Sunshine Coast region will be able to access training programs to help find work, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s newest round of funding under the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
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RDA Sunshine Coast in the news

Sunshine Coast attracting thousands of internal migrants
Sunshine Coast Daily - 21 July 2017

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast chair Tony Riddle said many people moved to the region for the economy as well as the lifestyle.

Read full story

Buderim Men’s Shed and Caloundra Events Centre major winners in Building Better Regions Fund

Buderim’s Men Shed has secured $500,000 in funding for the construction of their new premises.

As the largest Men’s Shed in Australia, Buderim Men’s Shed is a non-profit, non-commercial community organisation providing a safe and friendly meeting place for men to work on projects.

A major objective of the Men’s Shed is to advance the health, well being and social inclusion of all members through activities such as woodwork, toy making, metal work, and gardening.

The money was secured through the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) and will be put towards the construction of their new premises.

The Men’s Shed was the second successful application from the Sunshine Coast, after the Events Centre Caloundra announced a dollar-for-dollar partnership between the Sunshine Coast Council and the BBRF to secure $6m in funding.

The redevelopment project will include refurbs of the main entrance, a foyer upgrade, improvements to the box office, bar counters and function room and more. Acoustic upgrades to theatre walls and the ceiling are also scheduled, while heating and air-conditioning and disability access will all be delivered.

The BBRF program is set to provide $297.7 million in funding invested over four years for infrastructure and community investment projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards was thrilled at the announcement of BBRF funding awarded to both Buderim Men’s Shed and the Events Centre Caloundra.

“RDA Sunshine Coast was excited to support these projects as one of our core roles is to support the growth and development of regional communities across the Sunshine Coast, by connecting organisations to take advantage of government programs, policies and initiatives,” said Mr Edwards.

“The Buderim Men’s Shed, and Caloundra Events Centre play a crucial role in supporting, and strengthening the Sunshine Coast community and we are happy to see funding go to such great causes.”

Read more

The Cleantech Effect 2017

Challenge your thinking around how we address our built environment with keynote speakers, Dr Keith Suter (global futurist and media commentator), and Peter Maddison (multi-award winning architect and host of Grand Designs Australia.

Learn how to create sustainable communities, discover the latest technologies and hear the stories from exciting new businesses that we should all be working with.

Connect with key decision makers and innovators in the South East Queensland Cleantech Industry.

Be inspired by dynamic 15-30 minute sessions with experts, case studies and panel sessions.

Browse over 25 exhibitor stands sharing knowledge on smarter energy, water and waste solutions.

Enjoy a delicious lunch of locally-sourced produce and networking drinks.

The only inter-regional cleantech conference and trade show of its kind in Australia...

Don’t miss your chance to secure a seat. Tickets are limited. 


All organisations, big and small, need to take advantage of the latest technologies and services to prepare and thrive in a Digital Economy. Your organisation can test how prepared it is for challenges operating in a digital economy by taking the Queensland Government’s FREE online Digital Scorecard assessment.

By undertaking the assessment you can:
- Get your detailed Digital Scorecard
- Receive tips on how your organisation can improve and build its digital capability
- Compare your organisation with similar ones in your region and industry.

The Digital Scorecard assessment will give you pointers for where you can improve across areas:
- Operational efficiency
- Vision and planning
- Sales and marketing
- Digital capabilities.

A series of Digital Business Workshops later this year will help you focus on ways to improve your digital readiness across these key areas.

We will notify when Digital Business Workshops have been scheduled in your region. You can also keep an eye out for upcoming business events.

Make sure you get your Digital Scorecard and find out your digital score!

Internet -- expense or enabler? 
Don’t think of fast and stable internet as a cost - think of it as an efficiency ‘enabler’. What is it costing you in health and wellbeing, time with your family, lost sales opportunities, under-utilisation of your workforce, employee satisfaction and retention for the sake of $40 - $60 extra per month?
Committee Profile: Tony Riddle
Tony is a professional entrepreneur with a reputation for getting things done and has enjoyed success in developing and growing numerous diverse businesses within Australia. Tony is a keen property investor, particularly in the commercial sector, while also working enthusiastically in startup businesses. Tony holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from QUT, is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities on the Sunshine Coast in the next two years? 
While the infrastructure changes coming to the coast should offer plenty, I believe the biggest opportunities lay with the talent of our people.  Cultural changes to how we work and the opening of a number of shared office environments, presents a real opportunity for a bridge to be developed between our under 30’s and over 50’s.  Each group has much to offer the other.  I believe that collaboration between these groups will foster many successful businesses, locally, nationally and internationally.  We have the talent, it’s just a question of getting the opportunity to show it.

Demystifying Business Management Systems Workshop

10 August 2017
9.00am - 11.00am
The Hive, Maroochydore
Learn more

Get sorted, grow & reach new markets quickly!
17 August 2017 
10:00 am - 11:30 am
The Innovation Centre
Learn more

The Cleantech Effect
23 August 2017

12 - 5pm
Lake Kawana Community Centre
Learn more

Contact us

RDA Sunshine Coast
17 Ocean Street
Maroochydore Q 4558
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Grants and Funding Opportunities
Visit our regional grants page for a list of grants available for business, events and other community programs including:

Business Development Fund -

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Program -

Queensland Startup Events and Activities Fund -

Young Starters' Fund -
Have your say!
We welcome your feedback about any of our projects or news items featured in our monthly newsletter. If you have regional news stories or economic development events relevant for the Sunshine Coast community, please contact us at Editorial deadline is by the 28th of each month.
Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast is an Australian Government initiative that works in collaboration with the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to support economic development within the region.
An Australian Government Initiative
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