The Sunshine Coast is about to get an economic shot in the arm unlike any other region in Queensland, through a new university hospital project.
At almost $2Bn, the project is unlike any other due to its size and the fact that it is a new hospital (for example the new Gold Coast hospital is replacing one that is closing). Not only is this a significant initial capital cash injection, the new hospital is expected to have an operational expenditure of $500M per annum.
To be built in two parts, the co-located private hospital is due to commence in 2011 with the public university hospital (SCUH) due to commence in early 2013. The SCUH is due to open in 2016.
The construction period will employ approximately 2,300 people directly and have a broader impact of approximately 11,000 jobs. The hospital will employ around 3,500 once open. This combined with the effect of the injection of cash into the economy is unlike anything seen on the coast to date. But, it doesn’t stop there…
With the hospital will come a whole range of other infrastructure such as the integrated health precinct that will grow around it and plans to improve public transport. As part of the master plan for the area there will also be a new town centre (including retail, business and entertainment precincts), two new residential communities (Birtinya Island and Bokarina Beach), a new surf club and tourist precinct on the beachfront, all in addition to the existing current business and homemaker centres, lakes and national rowing course and all within a 2km radius.
All this comes on the back of an area already boasting a housing undersupply of approximately 40%, limited current supply, projected future supply below requirement, low vacancy rates and a population growth rate well above State and National averages.
So, while there have been some negative comments around the ‘recent’ performance of the Sunshine Coast as a place to invest it’s important to note that not all areas perform the same at all times, and you need to look for the factors that have caused significant capital growth in regions in the past.
The scenario above looks like a pretty good list of those factors to me.