Cairns News Report – 11th January 2020

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Welcome to this weeks edition of my Cairns News Report, a complimentary ‘week in review’ of all the pertinent news stories on what’s happening in and around Cairns.

A few of the top news stories from last week included:

  • business leaders ramp up pressure on State over global tourism vision for city;
  • four candidates are in the running for Cairns Regional Council mayoralty so far; and
  • bushfires and shift in Chinese travel market has tourism industry rallying to face the challenges.

If you missed any of the top Cairns news stories from last week, here they all are in full below. Just click the title to read the full story.

If you ever have any comments or queries, or if I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to connect with me. I’d love to hear from you!


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We’re Pitch Perfect, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 06 Jan 2020

Private sports venue shapes up to attract top teams to tropics. A growing sports venue in Cairns is kicking on with its goal of luring teams to the Far North for tropical training. The Grounds at Wore, privately-owned by former A-League soccer player Zenon Caravella and his brother Angelo, plan to develop the precinct into a base for athletes visiting to train in our hot conditions. “We’d look at funding all our upgrades ourselves, so we won’t get bogged down in government grants or anything,” Angelo Caravella said.

US Target for ad Campaign, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 06 Jan 2020

The Sky’s the limit for a New Queensland tourism campaign seeking to cash in on direct flights to the US. Long-haul carries are opening up Queensland to the vast US market like never before, with the launch of direct flights to San Francisco and Chicago on Qantas in April while Texas is also closer than ever with direct flights to Sydney. Direct Flights linking Canada have added another dimension to the North American travel market.

Year of Rat Gnaws at China Visit, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 06 Jan 2020

Tourism operators have their hopes pinned to the tail of the rat as they seek out a temporary boost to numbers as China celebrates the lunar New Year. It should provide a much needed spike – but the Year of the Rat looks leaner than the pig and dog years preceding it.There will be none of the 36 flights China Eastern chartered over 12 weeks last year, and China Southern and Cathay Pacific have both flown the coop A spokeswoman for the Cairns Airport said Hainan Airlines had booked five extra flights with more than 1000 extra seats over the period.

Time to be Smarter With Aviation, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 07 Jan 2020

Building a global freight industry on the back of a new $10 million export Centre at the Cairns Airport could be the elixir the Far North tourism industry needs.Construction on the 3400 sqm Centre is expected to begin about May this year and take at least a year to complete. In the meantime, Advance Cairns chairman Trent Twomey said its looming arrival should be part of any conversation with airlines. “Sustainable route development needs to be about more than just tourism,” he said. “It needs to have a freight component for our primary producers to export to foreign markets.

Harris Scarfe in Cairns One of 21 Stores to Close, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 07 Jan 2020

The only Harris Scarfe store in Cairns is to close by mid-February. After opening in Stockland Earlville shopping Centre on Mulgrave Rd in 2016, the department store’s fate was sealed yesterday after receivers announced to employees that 21 stores across the country would close. Of those, six Queensland stores would shut including the Far North Queensland outlet. A Deloitte spokesman said the Cairns store closure could occur as early as February 2, but “firm dates won’t be known for some weeks”.

We’re in This Together, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 07 Jan 2020

Bushfires and shift in Chinese travel market has tourism industry rallying to face the challenges rallying cry has been belted out for FNQ to come together to face the inevitable challenges that will confront the tourism industry in 2020.While the region has been spared from the destruction of the catastrophic bushfires engulfing southern areas of the nation, the impact on global and domestic visitor numbers is already being felt.

Insurance Need ‘Real’, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 08 Jan 2020

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch is reassuring Far Northerners the Federal Government is looking at every possible way of reducing insurance premiums in the region as the first cyclone of the summer forms near the Gulf of Carpentaria. He said measures to remedy an industry which had been increasing the cost of insurance to Far North residents or refusing to insure them at all was a “work in progress”.“We can see there are some real issues, we don’t have the answers, but we are working on that,” Mr. Entsch said.

Tour Host Makes Turn Towards Mayor’s Seat, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 08 Jan 2020

A new candidate angling for the top job at Cairns Regional Council has vowed to pound as much pavement as it takes to topple Mayor Bob Manning. Georgia Babatsikos has become a CBD fixture since launching Cairns Urban Walking Tours seven months ago. The globetrotting history buff is out there most days of the week with a conga line of wide-eyed tourists by her side as she visits the city center’s cafes, shops and market stalls. Those small business operators convinced her to take the plunge – but only after several months of prodding. “People just kept saying it, I was hearing it three times a day,” Ms Babatsikos said.

Olympics Could Drive Cairns Sports Hub Plan, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 08 Jan 2020

Last year, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said Cairns could host soccer matches in 2032 if Cazalys Stadium was upgraded to 20,000 seats.AFL Cairns owns the stadium and Mr. Young would welcome any news of upgrades but said Cairns deserved more than an Olympic “sugar hit”. He said the city had the potential to establish itself as a tropical sports training Centre, like Singapore and Hong Kong, but current facilities were a long way from meeting requirements of professional teams.

Act Two for Pub King, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 10 Jan 2020

Hedley rebuilding his real estate empireTOM Hedley has built himself a hefty portfolio of properties surrounding one of his most famous Far North pubs – and he has major redevelopment plans in the works.The bar baron known as Barramundi Tom is gradually rebuilding a fortune after his former hotel and property empire collapsed in 2009. Scoring a $10 million government contract to dump dredging spoil from the Cairns Shipping Development project at his Northern Sands quarry has certainly not hurt his stakes. Mr Hedley is back to a position of considerable financial clout and is using his investment muscle memory to amass further assets across the region.

Sydney Brewers Tap in to Paradise, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 11 Jan 2020

Builders and brewers are readying their tools to start construction on a new beer lover’s paradise in Cairns – and it is a race against the clock to get it finished. Sauce Brewing Co has become a fixture in inner-west Sydney’s thriving microbrewery scene and now it is ready to blow the froth off Far North Queensland. It has taken over the former Blue Sky Brewery on Lake St and is ready to transform the space with construction crews to start work by February. A new development application has been lodged with Cairns Regional Council, liquor licensing is in the works and the brewhouse has been ordered. “That’s all the custom kit we get made to fit each time we get a brewery built,” Sauce founder and chief executive Mike Clarke said.

Candidates Offers Three Initiatives, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 11 Jan 2020

I am passionate about our vibrant and naturally blessed FNQ community. “He outlined a three-point plan to breathe life back into the region and said he would announce further priorities as the calendar drew near the March 28 polling day. It starts with reviving the inner-city – and not just the glitter strip.“I want to create a vibrant, well-used and inviting heart for our city,” he said. “My vision is to extend this heart beyond just the Esplanade.

Casino Has the Odds Against it, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 11 Jan 2020

A ludicrous insurance cost increase, slow tourism and reinvestment hamstrung by Global Tourism Hub negotiations have contributed to a slow year for the Reef Hotel Casino. In an announcement to shareholders, the ASX-listed Reef Casino Trust stated it had been challenging to find insurance coverage on commercially reasonable terms. It led to premiums increasing 60 per cent – or a staggering $487,000 – to $1.3 million for the coming year. New limits were imposed on coverage for natural disasters including cyclones (up to $25 million), flood (up to $5 million) and action by the sea, tidal wave and high water (up to $1 million).

It’s Time for Hub Check in, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 11 Jan 2020

Business leaders ramp up pressure on State over global tourism vision for city MARCHING brigade of business and civic leaders is stepping up the pressure on the State Government to deliver an impressive Global Tourism Hub for Cairns. With private investors buoyed by the original announcement already sinking tens of millions of dollars into projects, the hub has the potential to further lift the region’s struggling tourism industry.

Housing Market Ideal for Buyers to Get Into, Cairns Post e-Paper, The Cairns Post – 11 Jan 2020

Belle Property Cairns residential sales consultant Vanessa Robinson said the city was a buyer’s market and low interest rates and affordable prices should be enticing renters to buy. “Should the pendulum swing it may do so quickly, so I honestly think it’s the perfect time to buy, most especially if you are a first home buyer,” she said. “Avoiding the significant cost of mortgage insurance with the Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is great I would sign up tomorrow if I was a first homebuyer.


Cairns Mortgage Broker – Jason Thomson is a Mortgage Adviser and Finance Broker based in Cairns with clients all around Australia. Client reviews featured on his website prove that Jason is a trusted industry professional, facilitating great outcomes for his clients. Using his wealth of experience in financial services, he thrives on delivering superior service. Jason is very approachable and is always looking for new clients to help in the often confusing world of finance and property. Offering a no fee service, you’ve got nothing to lose by having an obligation free chat with Jason today.