Pioneer of Retail Honoured

Pioneer of Retail Honoured

The late Cliff Butt, MBE once said that a lot of people thought the Butts Shopping Centre was too ambitious. History proved them wrong.

In December I was delighted to acknowledge the contribution of three generations of retailers committed to merchandising and customer service. The Butt name is well known in the retail industry on the Sunshine Coast with a history of service provision extending some 100 years.

It was a privilege to bring to fruition an idea initiated by Mr Barry Woods, OAM to rename the promenade between Duporth Avenue and Horton Parade. The Butt family played a major part in the Maroochy retail industry for much of the 20th century with Cliff's grandparents and parents from 1910 operating a store on the banks of the Maroochy River.

Cliff took over the business following his father's death in 1940 and revamped the Duporth store to include a self-service supermarket and drapery. In 1972-3 he joined with two local businessmen to develop the Big Top, the first drive-in shopping centre, from what wasButt?s cash and carry store, drapery and post office.

Cliff was also credited with helping to establish the fire brigade, Rotary, Lions, ambulance and surf lifesaving. He held positions on organisations such as Blue Nursing, the Ratepayers Association and the Chamber of Commerce.? He also served as a Maroochy councillor from 1952 to 1955.

Three generations of the family have now been recognised for their foresight, initiative, enterprise and hard work in helping to create the flourishing town of Maroochydore.

Renaming Cornmeal Creek Pedestrian Promenade as Cliff Butt Promenade is a truly fitting recognition of Cliff's great contribution made throughout his life to the local community and business. It was wonderful to share the occasion with Cliff's daughter Margaret Theile, her husband David, granddaughter-in-law Marie-Louise Theile and great-granddaughter Alexandra.

In ACCORDance with prosperity goals

In previous issues of Business Matters Magazine I've shared my involvement as Chair of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast. In this role I am ideally placed to work with like-minded professionals who acknowledge the importance of planning and forecasting for infrastructure, transport and affordable living.

A key focus of RDA Sunshine Coast will be on uniting the Sunshine Coast community around the economic, social and environmental issues affecting the region.

In November last year it was my pleasure to unveil RDA Sunshine Coast's first Regional Roadmap. The Regional Roadmap was developed through a series of workshops conducted over six months.

The Roadmap documents local, state and national strategic initiatives, forming a plan that incorporates the region?s economic, social and environmental investments and future potential to 2031.

The Roadmap will provide the foundations for the development of a Regional Accord which will unify the Sunshine Coast around economic development and regional prosperity goals.

In 2011, RDA's focus will be on meeting with industry, business and community stakeholders to form a team - Sunshine Coast United - to progress work on establishing the Accord.

The Accord will build on some hard won institutional, strategic and organisational foundations that already exist on the Sunshine Coast and will reflect a vision for an innovative, dynamic, connected and sustainable future.

If you are interested in learning more about the Regional Roadmap, visit Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast's website at

Cr Debbie Blumel, Division 8, Major Projects Portfolio

Customer Service 
Tel: 5475 7272