Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Coast’s economy had grown from $13 billion to $16b in his time on the council, making a goal of $33b look within reach.
“As a region, we’re in pretty good shape but it’s not that long ago that it wasn’t,” he said.
Mr Jamieson said light rail was “a piece of kit that could make an enormous difference” and a broadband undersea cable would open the gate for business growth.
The sell-out lunch meeting, organised by the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce and attended by 200 people, also heard an update on the SunCentral CBD project.
SunCentral’s John Knaggs said bulk excavation work had begun at the northern end of the 60ha site and would shortly be followed by civil works.
Mr Knaggs, describing the site, said it included built-in smart technology, such as an underground rubbish “vacuum” extraction system, and provision for a premium hotel with no height limit.