Jun 05

From 2020 the Sunshine Coast will benefit from having the fastest telecommunications connection to Asia and second fastest connection to the United States on Australia’s east coast, thanks to the installation of a new international submarine cable landing at Maroochydore.

What this means for industry and jobs in the region is the focus at the Sunshine Coast Business Council conference on Tuesday 11 June, 2019 which features an impressive line-up of speakers who will explore how the cable can stimulate economic growth.

Sunshine Coast Business Council Chair Sandy Zubrinich said that the cable had generated significant excitement in the business community but some are still struggling to understand just how these benefits will materialise and how their businesses may benefit outside of experiencing some productivity improvement through faster broadband speeds improving access to data, potentially lower costs and time saving.

“The conference is not about the infrastructure as such but about the value add to industry, to business and to people seeking employment and careers on the Coast,” Ms Zubrinich said.

“There is a lot of expectation resting on what this international submarine cable landing can deliver, not only for the Sunshine Coast but for Queensland as a whole.  We have therefore selected a range of speakers to shed light on what is required to maximise the economic benefit of a major investment such as this.

“The Sunshine Coast cable entry point will be one of only three in Australia and the only one that lands in a regional area, so it is somewhat unique in that respect.

“We know the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network is about connecting the region through fast and affordable international data and telecommunications to Asia which has huge potential to stimulate further economic development of the region.   Now we need to start the detailed discussion about what that economic development means in contributing to the diversification and growth of this region’s economic base.

“Published forecasts have suggested that the cable will generate up to 864 new jobs and up to $927m in new investment in Queensland1 — these are impressive numbers so we really need to understand how we can position the Sunshine Coast to benefit well into the future.

“This — combined with our pipeline of significant transport infrastructure projects set to improve our road, rail and air access — will contribute to better connecting our region nationally and internationally, giving us an enviable competitive advantage.

“We understand from the short experience we have of the now completed Sunshine Coast Health Precinct, just how difficult it is to stimulate the expected ripple effect of a major project over time and I definitely think there are lessons we can take from this project to other economic stimulatory projects like the cable.

“We are extremely fortunate on the Sunshine Coast to have these types of projects under development and supported by government, councils and the private sector.  Now together we have the responsibility to deliver the full value of the investment to our region.”

The impressive panel of speakers from Urbis, RTI Connectivity, Ernst & Young and Swinburne University of Technology, Urbis and Search365 will cover the benefits and impacts of submarine cables to regional and national economies; experiences in leveraging this capability to create new industries and jobs; and managing opportunities and risks so economic benefit driven by transformational digitalization — courtesy of the international submarine cable — can be maximised.

Ms Zubrinich thanked the Sunshine Coast Council and RDA Sunshine Coast for their support of the event and encouraged the business community to get behind these types of events to be better informed of opportunities that may have a real benefit to their business.

The event will be held on Tuesday 11 June at Maroochy RSL from 2.00pm – 6.00pm. Tickets are available to purchase online at https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=499786&

The Sunshine Coast Business Council is the leading regional business advocacy group on the Sunshine Coast. It represents approximately 4,000 businesses through its membership, which includes key national and regional industry groups and their members as well as national and regional businesses.


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