New Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards.
New Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards. Regional Development Australia S

New CEO to fight for key Coast infrastructure

THE new chief executive of Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast has vowed to fight for better infrastructure in the region.

Darrell Edwards was welcomed by RDASC's board yesterday.

He said promoting infrastructure investment for the Sunshine Coast was a key priority for RDASC, which wanted to see connectivity improved, and the lifestyle of residents and global competitiveness enhanced.

Major projects such as the north coast rail duplication, Bruce Hwy upgrade, Sunshine Coast airport expansion, international undersea cable and faster broadband were critical to provide for current needs as well as future generations, Mr Edwards said.

"It is great to see continuing discussion on transport infrastructure to avoid Sunshine Coast being gridlocked,” he said.

Mr Edwards believes that his skills and networks gained from 15 years in the finance industry on the Sunshine Coast will assist the RDASC to build momentum.

"I see my role as bringing together my business experience, leadership and networks in a collaborative strategy to help drive economic development, innovation and infrastructure across Noosa and the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

"It is vitally important that local, state and federal government work together for the betterment of our region and I look forward to RDASC being an agency that can lead this collaboration.”

Mr Edwards was previously on the board of the Sunshine Coast Property Council of Australia and his work in the finance industry involved seeking and supporting opportunities for Sunshine Coast businesses to capitalise on major infrastructure projects and export development opportunities.

"This is an exciting time to be a resident of the Sunshine Coast region, with many major projects on the horizon that will have long-term economic benefits for the region. The imminent completion of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the ripple effects will create opportunities for small business,” Mr Edwards said.

"RDASC looks forward to working with local organisations, businesses and chambers to help identify and capitalise on these opportunities.”

RDASC chair Tony Riddle said yesterday that Mr Edwards would bring collaborative leadership to the position and engage in a "whole of government” approach to the instrumental organisation.

"Darrell has been acting in the CEO role for the past five months and has proven that his business experience and leadership skills positively contribute to economic growth and direction in the region,” Mr Riddle said.

"Darrell's main focus now is to work with all levels of government to provide a strategic, collaborative approach that delivers results.”

The Regional Development Australia committee is made up of local business leaders who volunteer their time and have a vision of an innovative, dynamic, connected and sustainable region.