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Why wer'e living in a piece of heaven ...

I WAS once talking to a businessman who had migrated from Zimbabwe about work, family and life in general.

He asked me where I grew up.

I answered "Woombye".

He asked me where I live now.

I answered, again, "Woombye."

He looked me in the eye and said, "Mate, you are incredibly blessed.

"Not many people get to raise their children where they grew up."

He was, of course right, and I frequently recall that conversation as my young son and I walk down the same streets I walked down as a lad his age, 30 or so years ago. Streets which have retained their charm and character through all these years.

I can show my son the route we rode from home to the shops to spend our weekly pocket money (50 cents, by the way). I can point out the intersection where I took my worst bike stack and had to be carted off to Nambour hospital by a caring neighbour (thank you Mr Sales).

And the Sunshine Coast has kept so much of its village charm.

So many towns, villages, beaches and suburbs have catered for population growth without losing the character and charm that drew residents there in the first place.

I grew up frequenting places like Buderim, Maleny, Eumundi, Eudlo and Cotton Tree - places that have been beautifully preserved.

We've not let our region become some endless suburbia.

We've got the most idyllic climate. Our beaches are postcard perfect. We have a beautiful range that is enjoying a tourism boom.

As we heard at the Futures Forum, the Sunshine Coast certainly faces challenges.

We need to keep kicking and screaming until our governments provide the road and rail link from here to Brisbane that is about 20 years overdue.

And we need to future-proof our beautiful region by broadening our economic base.

I was talking to a journalist who recently returned to the Coast from living in France.

He couldn't wait to get back here.

Apparently the economic situation across Europe is exponentially worse than anything we've seen in Australia.

I think we're fortunate to live in Australia. And those of us who are able to call the Sunshine Coast home are among the most fortunate of all.



200,000th resident unveiled in Ipswich population boom

MILESTONE: Megan Sabburg of South Ripley is Ipswich's 200,000th resident and her young son Jackson is the 200,001st.

South Ripley mum gets the honour as city targets 520,000 in 2041

How the city's population is actually measured

Deputy Mayor Paul Tully, councillors Kerry Silver and Andrew Antoniolli and Mayor Paul Pisasale welcome the 200,000th Ipswich resident Megan Sabburg and son Jackson.

Wheelie reliable way to track city's growth

Ipswich model to 'make history' in New York

Model Madeline Stuart now has a visa to live and work in New York City. Photo Contributed

"I am now officially a professional. New York here I come."

Local Partners

Spy trio hitting studio in 2017

GUITAR POP: Brisbane three-piece Dave is a Spy is made up of Fin Taylor, Sarah Bellamy and James Halpert.

Brisbane three-piece set for second EP

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

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