The Sunshine Coast is arguably one of the best places to live in Australia, so protecting and enhancing our great lifestyle has been given high priority in council's 2015-16 community services budget.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said $17.1 million would be spent on libraries, including $3.5 million for library resources and digital services and $1.9 million for education and literacy programs.
"More than 5000 people visit one of Sunshine Coast Council's eight libraries and two mobile libraries every day," Mayor Jamieson said.
"And with 2.3 million items loaned out each year, we know our investment touches many in our community.
"In fact 44% of the Sunshine Coast population are library members."
Mayor Jamieson said $4 million would be spent on our major community venues and community halls including Nambour Civic Centre, Lake Kawana Community Centre and community halls at Beerwah and Kawana which were often the heart of local communities.
"We have one of the lowest obesity rates in the country and we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful climate which encourages us to get us out and about.
"However providing facilities so children and adults can enjoy a more active lifestyle through sport and recreation goes a step further.
"That's why council is investing $4 million in our sporting facilities – Sunshine Coast Stadium, Maroochy Multi-sports Complex, Meridan Sports Complex, Landsborough Sport and Recreation Centre, Caloundra Indoor Stadium and Arthur St, Caloundra Hall.
"This is also an investment in our economy as these facilities are holding more large-scale competitions each year. They bring competitors and supporters to our region who spend money on accommodation, food and entertainment."
And on the sporting front, council will invest $1.54 million for new change rooms, seating, car park and amenities Maroochydore Junior Rugby League Club and $2.4 million for Coolum Sports Complex. The improvements will include new multi-use field, amenities, shelter, storage, car parking, pathway networks and park embellishments.
A further $1.8 million is allocated to Elizabeth Daniels Sports Complex at Buderim to expand the basketball complex with two additional new courts, seating and amenities.
Aquatic centres will receive a $760,000 funding injection, plus a further $3.7 million over the next five years.
Community portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said art and culture also played an important role in our society and would continue to do so in this budget.
"Caloundra Regional Art Gallery has become the hub of the Sunshine Coast arts scene," Cr McKay said.
"Almost $90,000 will be invested in the prestigious Sunshine Coast Art Prize which continues to attract contemporary and emerging artists from throughout Australia and $52,500 will be invested in exhibitions.
"More than $644,000 will be spent on cultural heritage including $44,000 on our museum house, Bankfoot House; $15,000 on conservation of the cultural heritage collection; $35,000 on community museum development programs; and $20,000 on Aboriginal cultural projects.
"Arguably, one of the most important developments of all over the coming year will benefit the four legged amongst us.
"Following the finalisation of the design and layout, an all-new $4.6 million animal pound facility will be constructed at Sippy Creek, Tanawha over the next two financial years, with $2.4million being allocated in 2015-16 to construct stage one."
Community Services budget highlights:
· $17.1 million for libraries
· $4.6 million over the next two years to construct Sippy Creek Animal Pound
· $4 million for major community venues and community halls
· $4 million for community sporting facilities and centres
· $2.4 million for Coolum Sports Complex
· $1.8 million for Elizabeth Daniels Sports Complex (Buderim) expansion
· $1.54 million for Maroochydore Junior Rugby League Club upgrade
· $760,000 for aquatic centres, plus a further $3.7 million over the next five years
· $300,000 for library refurbishments
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
25th of June 2015
Courtesy of My Sunshine Coast