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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 3336

Mr TED O'BRIEN (Fairfax) (13:46): The big news over the last week is not the US election but rather the annual Sunshine Coast business awards. There is no region in Australia whose economy is better primed for growth than Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It enjoys the second highest growth rate of any region across the country, an unemployment rate well below the average, business confidence at an all-time high and a great infrastructure plan for the years ahead.

But it is the private sector, not the government, that drives an economy. Last Saturday night we celebrated some of the best of them: Nutri-tech, Helimods, Walker Seafoods, 4 Ingredients and others. The powerhouse that is the Sunshine Coast economy is more than these young, high-growth businesses. It is also the older businesses—family businesses in particular. I want to pay tribute today to Hall Contracting, which this week celebrates its 70th anniversary. The thing that makes this construction business particularly famous is dredging. What makes it truly great are its values as a business, the culture it embeds and its contribution to the local community. On behalf of this House let me say to Hall Contracting, the Hall family, its suppliers, buyers and staff: happy 70th!