RDA Sunshine Coast – Annual General Meeting

22 September 2010

Chair’s address to the Committee

Firstly I would like to welcome all committee members to our first AGM.

As you know, RDA Sunshine Coast held its formation meeting on the 2nd of December 2009 and was incorporated as a not-for-profit association on the 29th of January 2010. RDA Sunshine Coast is still very much in its formative stages and was only in operation for 5 months of this reporting period.

However in this short timeframe a lot has been accomplished.

As a Committee we held monthly meetings and had two major workshops. The objective of the first workshop was to collectively come to grips with our role and to create a vision and mission for the organisation. The second was to look at the opportunities for change that RDA Sunshine Coast and to start the process of developing a strategic direction for the organisation.

These workshops formed the foundation for the launch of RDA Sunshine Coast which occurred on 21 May 2010 when the organisation was publically launched by the then Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Ddevelopment, Maxine McKew.

After the launch, which was held in the company of 110 regional leaders, a number of facilitated focus groups were held where the regional leaders were provided with key strategic direction ideas from RDA Sunshine Coast and provided with the opportunity to share their thoughts. In particular they shared their thoughts on the regional priorities that had been identified by RDA Sunshine Coast. Strong positive confirmation was received with general consensus on these initial strategic priorities.

These included water, health, urban planning and social inclusion issues such as diversity and education.

Since this launch I have seen an exponential increase in the community’s outrage around water in particular. They are outraged that bulk water prices will increase four fold by 2017 and by a proposal for a desalination plant at Marcoola. RDA Sunshine Coast has been working with key partner organisations and with the community to find a solution, a community based solution that benefits all of us. We will continue to work towards.

Research shows that many hospital presentations can be prevented by offering greater accessibility to community-based health care and a focus on promoting good health and safety. All three levels of government and the private and community sectors work in this space. An opportunity exists to coordinate and integrate all of these investments into one seamless health plan for our region. A plan that creates health. A healthy community.

Another area that is of great interest to the community and the Committee is the debate around land use planning initiatives in the region.  We think we can add value by directing the discourse to a discussion and action around creating vibrant economic hubs in urban and regional centres.

We are also very keen to create opportunities for cultural diversity, particularly in an education setting, and see great opportunities for both business development in this field and for social inclusion to assist us develop further as a diverse world community.

Since the launch of RDA Sunshine Coast the Committee has been working to develop the next stage in our program, a Regional Roadmap.

This Regional Roadmap will provide an overview of the region taken from many documents across all three levels of government. It outlines the key reasons that people love to live here and spend their holidays here, the challenges we face to ensure that the community continues to enjoy the wonderful assets of the region and it identifies opportunities for our region into the future.

This Regional Roadmap will be our guiding document and will be a ‘living’ document, in that we will be updating it as our work progresses. This document will drive our annual business planning process and will remain the key source for RDA Sunshine Coast as we move forward.

RDA Sunshine Coast has a fantastic future because it is an organisation made up of key members of our community that listens to our community and is not afraid to set goals that are challenging and that will ultimately benefit the community.

I commend this annual report to you and look forward next year’s AGM and the publication of our Sunshine Coast Regional Roadmap.

Chair, RDA Sunshine Coast

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