Sunshine Coast economy is currently dominated by four key sectors –
healthcare, tourism, retail and construction. The region also has a
strong agricultural sector. Strong efforts are being made to
diversify the regional economy – by the Sunshine Coast Regional
Council and others – with an emphasis on 'clean and green'
knowledge-based businesses across sectors such as information and
communication technologies, cleantech, creative industries,
aviation, health, education and food and beverages.
The Sunshine Coast is also emerging as a hotspot for entrepreneurial
and innovative businesses. This has been partly fueled by a new wave
of over 140 start-up businesses – mainly in ICT, cleantech and
creative industry sectors – generated by the University of the
Sunshine Coast's Innovation Centre. The University site at Sippy
Downs is designated as a 'Knowledge Hub' as part of the Queensland
Government's South East Queensland Regional Infrastructure Plan and
is master planned as Australia's first university town based on the
UK models with the potential for over 6,000 workers in
knowledge-based businesses. Sippy Downs was highlighted as an
'Innovation Hotspot' in July 2010, by top European Business magazine
CNBC Business, with the potential to be 'Australia's
no-worries-answer to Silicon Valley'.
The Sunshine Coast's major university is the University of the
Sunshine Coast with its main campus at Sippy Downs. Central
Queensland University also has a campus in Noosa. TAFE Queensland
services the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions through TAFE East
Coast, with four Sunshine Coast campuses at Mooloolaba,
Maroochydore, Nambour & Noosa. The Sunshine Coast has many varied
denomination, private and public primary and secondary schools (see
List of schools in Sunshine Coast). The Lexis English group,
providing English classes to international students, has campuses in
Noosa and Maroochydore, while Lexis TESOL Training Centres provides
teacher training programs such as the Cambridge CELTA and TESOL.
The Sunshine Coast University Hospital is the region's major
hospital located in Birtinya, which opened in April 2017. The
region's previous major hospital located in Nambour will be
downsized and renovated, however it still operates as the coast's
secondary hospital. Services remaining in Nambour General Hospital
include emergency, cancer care, same-day and elective surgery,
general medicine inpatient services, renal dialysis, outpatient
services, medical imaging, pharmacy, diabetes services, oral health,
allied health, mental health and breastcreen. There are smaller
hospitals located in Caloundra and Maleny but, due to limited
facilities at those hospitals, most cases are referred to the SCUH.
A number of private hospitals exist throughout the region, most
notably the 'Sunshine Coast Private Hospital' at Buderim, Caloundra
Private Hospital (formerly known as Andrea Ahern) at Caloundra,
Selangor Hospital at Nambour, the recently established Kawana
Private Hospital, and Noosa Private Hospital.
The car is the predominant mode of transport for
Sunshine Coast residents, with the region connected to Brisbane via
the Bruce Highway. The Nicklin Way & Sunshine Motorway are the major
arterial roads, which pass through most major areas of the Sunshine
Coast. Many intercity and interstate coach operators also operate
daily bus services to Brisbane using the major corridors.
The Sunshine Coast is a growing region, and has a
variety of transport modes including Rail, Bus, Ferry and the
Sunshine Coast Airport. However, in recent years the local council
has been looking at more reliant, high quality public transport
options to create a 'transport spin' on the Sunshine Coast. One of
these transport methods is the Sunshine Coast Light Rail.
Flights from the Sunshine Coast depart from Sunshine
Coast Airport, which is located 10 km north of Maroochydore, and fly
direct to Sydney, Melbourne. Adelaide and Auckland with Jetstar,
Virgin Australia, Qantas and Air New Zealand.
Queensland Rail Citytrain's Nambour and Gympie North
railway line operate interurban services daily, with most trains
running express between Caboolture and Bowen Hills stations. The
train lines run through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, with buses
connecting to the coastal strip. Further north of the Nambour
station, commuter trains operate twice per day.
Bus services are operated by Sunbus, which operates
under the TransLink public transport system. These buses connect the
suburbs and localities within the Caloundra, Maroochydore and Noosa
areas. Sunshine Coast Region & Noosa Shire Council operates
zero-fare bus services throughout the coast to surrounding suburbs
and major park and ride stations during the peak summer holiday
There is a public ferry that operates between
Tewantin, Noosaville, Noosa Waters, Northside and Noosa Heads.
Sport and recreation
Sunshine Coast Stadium is located at Kawana Waters and is home to
the region's sporting teams in statewide competitions. The Sunshine
Coast Falcons compete in the Queensland Cup rugby league competition
while the Sunshine Coast Fire FC compete in the National Premier
Leagues Queensland Football competition. The Sunshine Coast has
numerous golf links, including Headland Golf Club (Buderim), Pelican
Waters, Pacific Harbour, Noosa Springs, Peregian Springs, Twin
Waters, Palmer Coolum Resort (previously Hyatt Regency Coolum),
Mount Coolum, Beerwah, Cooroy, Caloundra and Horton Park. The
Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre is located at Caloundra. It is
home of the Sunshine Coast Breakers which competes in the National
Teams competition finishing at the Australian Open each year.
There are several newspapers which cover the
Sunshine Coast region. Sunshine Coast Daily which is
published by APN News & Media also publishes on a
daily basis (including Sunday with Sunshine Coast
Sunday). Free distribution weekly community
newspapers published by APN include: Buderim
Chronicle, Caloundra Weekly, Coolum & North Shore
News, Kawana Weekly, Nambour Weekly, Noosa News and
Range News. Independent weekly newspapers include:
Glasshouse Country News and Hinterland Times.
While much of traditional media has an online presence there has
also arisen media organisations that are exclusively online. View
News is one such organisation operating a news site for the Sunshine
Coast concentrating on local news from the various Sunshine Coast
communities. YouTube channel PattmanSport is focused almost
exclusively on Sunshine Coast sport. Sunshine Coast is served by
publicly owned television services (ABC TV), (SBS) Television and
three commercial television stations (Seven Queensland, WIN
Television and Nine), which are the regional affiliates of the
Seven, Ten and Nine network stations in Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast
is also in the television broadcast licence areas of Brisbane
(metro), enabling most areas of the Sunshine Coast to receive the
commercial Brisbane stations. Subscription television services
Foxtel and Austar are also available.
Of the three main commercial networks, Seven Queensland and WIN
Television produce 30-minute local news bulletins each weeknight,
both produced and broadcast from studios in Maroochydore. The local
studios of both networks are also used to pre-record local news
bulletins for other market areas of regional Queensland. Southern
Cross Austereo also provides short local news updates throughout the
day on Channel 9. The Sunshine Coast region is served by commercial,
community and government radio stations. Commercial stations 91.9
Sea FM and 92.7 Mix FM are owned and operated by the EON
Broadcasting one of Australias last independent broadcasters. Rival
commercial operator Grant Broadcasters runs 91.1 Hot FM and Zinc96.
The Government owned ABC services the region with 90.3 ABC Coast FM
and ABC NewsRadio on 94.5 FM, Triple J on 89.5 FM and ABC Classic FM
on 88.7 FM. Many community access stations, as well as some Brisbane
stations, can also be received.