Sunshine Coast Region

The Sunshine Coast Region is a local government area located in the Sunshine Coast district of South East Queensland, Australia.

Sunshine Coast Region
Location within South East Queensland
Population351,424 (2021)[1] (9th)
 • Density155.91/km2 (403.81/sq mi)
Established16 March 2008
Area2,254 km2 (870.3 sq mi)[1]
MayorMark Jamieson
Council seatNambour, Caloundra
RegionSouth East Queensland
State electorate(s)Buderim, Caloundra, Glass House, Kawana, Maroochydore, Nicklin, Ninderry
Federal Division(s)Fairfax, Fisher, Wide Bay
WebsiteSunshine Coast Region
LGAs around Sunshine Coast Region:
Gympie Noosa Coral Sea
Somerset Sunshine Coast Region Coral Sea
Moreton Bay Moreton Bay Coral Sea

It was created by the amalgamation in 2008 of the City of Caloundra and the Shires of Maroochy and Noosa. It contains 4,194 kilometres (2,606 mi) of roads, 211 kilometres (131 mi) of coastline and a population of 351,424 in January 2021.[2] The first budget of the new Council for the 2008–2009 financial year totals A$673 million including $498 million operating expenditure, $168 million capital expenditure and $25.2 million for repayment of loans.

On 1 January 2014, the Shire of Noosa was re-established independent of the Sunshine Coast Regional council.


Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi, Cabbee, Carbi, Gabi Gabi) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken on Gubbi Gubbi country. The Gubbi Gubbi language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Sunshine Coast Region and Gympie Region, particularly the towns of Caloundra, Noosa Heads, Gympie and extending north towards Maryborough and south to Caboolture.[3]

Prior to 2008, the new Sunshine Coast Region was an entire area of three previous and distinct local government areas:

At the establishment of regional local government in Queensland on 11 November 1879 with the Divisional Boards Act 1879, most of the area was part of the Caboolture Division, while the northernmost part around Noosa was part of the Widgee Division centred on Gympie. The Maroochy Division split away from Caboolture on 5 July 1890. All three divisions became Shires on 31 July 1903 under the Local Authorities Act 1902.

In 1910, the Shire of Noosa split from Widgee, and on 22 February 1912 the Shire of Landsborough split from Caboolture.[4] The two new entities together with Maroochy were to remain fairly stable for almost 100 years.

On 19 December 1987, the Shire of Landsborough was granted City status, and was renamed the City of Caloundra,[5] reflecting the population boom in the coastal section of the City.

In July 2007, the Local Government Reform Commission released its report and recommended that the three local governments amalgamate. While it noted all three were "functioning councils with moderate to strong financial performance", it argued that they covered a self-contained region in a geographic, social and economic sense and that the advantages of coordinated planning in a high-growth area and the avoidance of duplication of facilities were arguments in favour of amalgamation. The councils opposed the amalgamation, and the Commission itself noted that the bulk of statewide individual submissions came from this region reflecting a "depth of feeling" regarding the issue.[6] On 15 March 2008, the City and two Shires formally ceased to exist, and elections were held on the same day to elect twelve councillors and a mayor to the Regional Council.

In the 2011 census, the Sunshine Coast Region had the 4th largest population of any local government area in Australia (following City of Brisbane, City of Gold Coast and Moreton Bay Region).[7]

In 2012, a proposal was made to de-amalgamate the Shire of Noosa from the Sunshine Coast Region.[8] On 9 March 2013, Noosa residents voted to de-amalgamate Noosa from the Sunshine Coast Council.[9] On 18 March 2013, the Sunshine Coast Regional Council decided its new planning scheme should not apply to those areas that were part of the former Noosa Shire (different attitudes to planning and developments having been a major objection by residents of Noosa Shire to the amalgamation).[10] The Shire of Noosa Shire was re-established on 1 January 2014.[11][12]


The Region is divided into 10 divisions,[13] each represented by one councillor, plus an elected mayor who represents the entire Region. The council is elected for a four-year term.



The populations given relate to the component entities prior to 2008. The next census, due in 2016 and will not include the Shire of Noosa's census figures.

Year Population
(Region total)


Map of Sunshine coast

The Sunshine Coast economy is dominated by two sectors – Healthcare (including age-care) and Retail, which provide 30% of the regional employment.[14] Other significant areas are accommodation and food services, education, construction, manufacturing and professional services.[14] Efforts are being made to diversify the regional economy by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.[15]

Local educational institutions, government and community groups have funded a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurial and innovative businesses to the area.[16] The University of the Sunshine Coast's Innovation Centre acts as an incubator startup companies, as does the Spark Bureau. 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.[17] 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'.[18]



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 three Sunshine Coast campuses at Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Nambour as well as a Noosa campus.

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 a campus in Maroochydore, while Lexis TESOL Training Centres provides teacher training programs such as the Cambridge CELTA and TESOL.[19]


The Sunshine Coast Regional Council operates libraries at Beerwah, Buddina (Kawana), Caloundra, Coolum Beach, Kenilworth, Maleny, Maroochydore and Nambour.[20] It also operates a mobile library service visiting Beerburrum, Bli Bli, Buderim, Caloundra West (Bellvista), Conondale, Eudlo, Eumundi, Glass House Mountains, Little Mountain, Montville, Mooloolah Valley, Mooloolaba (Parkhaven), Mount Coolum, Mountain Creek, Pacific Paradise, Palmwoods, Parklands, Peachester, Pelican Waters, Peregian Springs, Sippy Downs (Chancellor Park) and Yandina.[21]


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.



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 and 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.

Public transport
Sunbus services all the major centres on the Sunshine Coast

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 with the Maroochydore railway line and Sunshine Coast Light Rail proposed.


Flights from the Sunshine Coast depart from Sunshine Coast Airport, which is located 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Maroochydore in Marcoola, and fly direct to Sydney, Melbourne. Adelaide and Auckland with Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas and Air New Zealand.


Queensland Rail's Sunshine Coast 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 to Gympie 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 Council operates zero-fare bus services throughout the coast to surrounding suburbs and major park and ride stations during the peak summer holiday period.

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, Twin Waters, Palmer Coolum Resort (previously Hyatt Regency Coolum), Mount Coolum, Beerwah, Maleny, Cooroy, Caloundra and Maroochy River. The Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre is located at Caloundra.[22]


There are several newspapers which cover the Sunshine Coast region. Sunshine Coast Daily is published Monday to Saturday by APN News & Media. Free distribution weekly community newspapers published by APN include: Buderim Chronicle, Caloundra Weekly, Coolum & North Shore News, Kawana Weekly, Nambour Weekly, and Range News. Independent weekly newspapers include Glasshouse Country News and Hinterland Times.[23][24]

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.[citation needed]

Sunshine Coast is served by publicly owned television services (ABC TV), (SBS) Television and three commercial television stations (Seven Queensland, WIN Television and 10), 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.[citation needed] Subscription television services Foxtel and Austar are also available.

All three main commercial networks produce local news coverage - Seven Queensland and WIN Television both air 30-minute local news bulletins at 6pm each weeknight. Southern Cross 10 airs short news updates of 10 News First.

Seven's bulletin is produced and broadcast from studios in Maroochydore, from where six sister local news programs for regional Queensland also originate. WIN News is also produced from a newsroom in Maroochydore, but broadcasts from studios in Wollongong.

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 Australia's 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.

Sunshine Coast Council


Mayor Term Notes
Bob Abbot2008–2012Previously mayor of the Noosa Shire Council[25]
Mark Jamieson2012–PresentBusinessman [26][27][28]


CouncillorDeclared political membershipTermConstituency Notes
Cr. Mark JamiesonIndependent2012–presentMayor [28][29]
Cr. Rick BaberowskiIndependent2012–presentDivision 1 [28][29]
Cr. Terry LandsbergLNP2020–presentDivision 2 [28][29]
Cr. Peter CoxIndependent2012–presentDivision 3 [28][29]
Cr. Joe NatoliIndependent2020–presentDivision 4 [28][29]
Cr. Winston JohnstonIndependent2020–presentDivision 5 [28][29]
Cr. Christian DicksonIndependent2008–presentDivision 6 [28][29]
Cr. Ted HungerfordLNP2008–presentDivision 7 [28][29]
Cr. Jason O'PrayIndependent2012–presentDivision 8 [28][29]
Cr. Maria SuarezIndependent2020–presentDivision 9 [28][29]
Cr. David LawIndependent2020–presentDivision 10 [28][29]

Australia Day Awards

Year Citizen of the Year Senior Citizen of the Year Young Citizen of the Year Community Creative Business Environment Sport and Recreation Notes
2009Not AwardedMalcolm GrahamLaura MonaghanValerie ZwartLisa ChandlerNot AwardedCoolum District Coast Care GroupRoger Newton [30]
2010Not AwardedJohn CookeBianca BondDawn WilsonRoss Kerr
Tamsin Kerr
Donald McBrydeVernon FloodKristy Ellis [30]
2011Not AwardedKevin Franzi (Kenilworth)Manuel Barth (Currimundi)
Nathanael Ford (Pomona)
Glenda Lloyd (Aroona)Cynthia Morgan (Caloundra)Amber Werchon (Alex Headlands)Leigh Warneminde (Yaroomba)Guy Tanner (Mudjimba) [30]
2012Not AwardedRuth Bode (Coolum Beach)Ashley Ogilvie (Glasshouse Mountains)
Ailish Bolt (Glasshouse Mountains)
Jessie Wen Jie Li (Maroochydore)Jacqui O'Connor (Caloundra)Ross Hopper (Maleny)Kerry Jones (Nambour)Gordon Howitt (Peachester) [30]
2013Garry Church (Cooroy)Colin White (Aroona)
Esma Armstrong (Ninderry)
Adem Crosby (Buderim)Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring - STEMM (Nambour)Jean Sandell (Kenilworth)No Longer AwardedNoosa and District Landcare Group (Pomona)Leanne Hipwood (Sippy Downs) [30]
2014David Dangerfield (Palmwoods)Greg McKean (Pelican Waters)Bindi Irwin (Beerwah)
Samara Welbourne (Buddina)
Queensland Air Museum (Caloundra)Steven McLeish (Landsborough)No Longer AwardedEumundi Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Inc. (Eumundi)Tim Sheridan (Bli Bli) [30]
2015Chris TurnerPrudence Cawley (Buderim)Sarah MorcomPolice Citizens Youth Club - PCYCFerre De DeyneNo Longer AwardedDerek Foster &
Reef Check Australia
Julie Templeton (North Arm) [30]
2016David LarkinAnne WensleyBrooke Pratt
Nathan Tessmann
Suncoast Community Legal ServiceMaria SalmonNo Longer AwardedThe Millington FamilyMarayke Jonkers [30]
2017Julie PenlingtonGeorge FarmerJak Hardy


Innovation Centre, Sunshine CoastRobyn ErnstNo Longer AwardedRhondda AlexanderRon Grabbe [30]
2018Bruce & Denise Morcombe (Woombye)Donald MoffattOlivia LindsdayDaniel Morcombe FoundationJudy PippenNo Longer AwardedWildlife Warriors (Beerwah)Sunshine Coast Lightning [30]
2019 Debra Knight David Woodrow Evie Marshall EndED Art on Cairncross No Longer Awarded Wildlife Volunteer Organisation & Junior Eco-Leaders of Coolum and Northshore Coast Care Maroochy Athletics Club [30]
2020 Mark Forbes Mark Skinner Ella Woodborne Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge Prof Jennifer Radbourne No Longer Awarded Ten Little Pieces Robert Angus

Brendan Powell & Scott Park


Sister cities and Friendship cities

As of March 2016, the Sunshine Coast Region has the following sister cities:[31]

As of March 2016, the Sunshine Coast Region has the following friendship cities:[31]


  1. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Local Government Area (ASGS 2018), 2017 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. "Population growth". Sunshine Coast Council. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  3. This Wikipedia article incorporates CC-BY-4.0 licensed text from: "Gubbi Gubbi". Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  4. Queensland Government Gazette, 22 February 1912, p.435.
  5. Queensland Government Gazette, 19 December 1987, p.1465.
  6. Queensland Local Government Reform Commission (July 2007). Report of the Local Government Reform Commission (PDF). 2. pp. 302–309. ISBN 1-921057-11-4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  7. "Table 1: Population growth and turnover in Local Government Areas (LGAs), 2006 to 2011". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. "Proposal regarding the de-amalgamation of Noosa" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  9. "Noosa Area De-amalgamation Poll – Noosa – Poll Area Summary". Electoral Commission Queensland. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  10. "Council votes to separate Noosa and Sunshine Coast planning". Sunshine Coast Daily. 19 March 2013. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  11. "De-amalgamation". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  12. "Local Government (De-amalgamation Implementation) Regulation 2013" (PDF). Local Government Act 2009. Queensland Government. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  13. "ECQ 2015 Local Government Boundary Review". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  14. "Sunshine Coast : Local workers - Key statistics - All industries". Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  15. {D997433D-462C-4905-AE37-EFD4520EDC7B} (17 September 2013). "Industry and Investment Action Plans". Sunshine Coast Council. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  16. "USC welcomes State Govt funding for innovation". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  17. Hoffman, Bill (26 June 2010). "$290m will give us 1000 workers". Sunshine Coast Daily. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  18. "Skippy Down Queensland". CNBC Business. July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  19. "Lexis English Sunshine Coast – Study FCE, CAE, IELTS, EAP and General English in Maroochydore". Archived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  20. "Libraries: Open Hours". Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  21. "Libraries: Mobile timetable". Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  22. "Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre". Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  23. "Get to know us". Glasshouse Country News. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  24. "About". Hinterland Times. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  25. "2008 Sunshine Coast Regional Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Archived from the original on 7 April 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  26. "2012 Sunshine Coast Regional Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  27. "2016 Sunshine Coast Regional Council - Mayoral Election - Election Summary". Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  28. "2020 Local Government Elections: Saturday, 28 March 2020". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 2020. Archived from the original on 16 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  29. "Results - Sunshine Coast Region 2020". Electoral Commission of Queensland. Queensland Government. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  30. "Previous award recipients". 12 February 2020. Archived from the original on 16 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  31. "Sister Cities and International Partnerships". Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.