Cairns news report – 20th March 2021

Here is my latest Cairns News Report, a complimentary summary of all the pertinent news stories on what’s recently been happening in and around Cairns.

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

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Hard task to stay afloat, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

A GRATEFUL Cairns tourism operator who labelled JobKeeper “an absolute lifeline” is preparing for life without the subsidy she believes should be maintained through a more targeted approach. Ocean Free and Ocean Freedom owner-operator Taryn Agius said her long term business has been running without profits and in survival mode for about a year – a period she did not initially anticipate.

New leader appointed, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

ADVANCE Cairns has appointed an urban planning expert from Brisbane with a PhD in philosophy as its new chief executive after a months-long recruitment process. Paul Sparshott is set to take the helm of the regional advocacy group on April 9, with existing executive chairman Nick Trompf transitioning to a pure chairman role a fortnight later.

Competition to take flight: airport boss, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

TOP-TIER airline competition is set to return to the Far North, says Cairns airport chief executive Richard Barker, as he welcomes Quanta’s promising announcements for the region. The major carrier’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, last week announced at least 21 new services a week from Sydney and Melbourne into Cairns, while declaring the region a “major market”, as well expressing his interest in a Japan Airlines-Qantas partnership.

Faint praise for voucher packages, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

A FAR North economist has declared flight discounts and travel vouchers an “undercooked” failsafe for a region facing a Job Keeper cliff but, despite marginal businesses expected to go under, thousands joining the dole queue on March 29 is not likely. In the December quarter Treasury numbers indicated 16000 Cairns employees received the wage subsidy, which is set to dry up on March 28.

Loophole could see travellers stay put, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

THE state government is racing to close a loophole that could result in thousands of $200 travel vouchers sitting on fridges instead of translating into tourism dollars. More than 100,000 people entered the Cairns Holiday Dollars ballot to win one of the 15000 vouchers to be used on travel experiences such as reef and rainforest tours.

Redtape madness, The Cairns Post 15 Mar 2021

CAIRNS is becoming a bureaucratic hospice where the government reports to go die – or at the very least grow old, decrepit and smothered under procedural cobwebs. High-level reports sitting on administrators’ desks are piling up as the region waits for answers on issues critical to its future growth and prosperity.

Point comes to a head, The Cairns Post 16 Mar 2021

A BID by Far North conservations groups to have the state government buy a piece of headland overlooking the Coral sea may come too late as the bushland site enters a process of formal offers. Taylor point at Trinity Beach has been likened to Flagstaff hill at Port Douglas. The land which separates Trinity Beach from Kewarra Beach, has been owned by low-key developer Rob Prettejohn for more than 20 years.

Upgrades to bring traffic chaos relief, The Cairns Post 16 Mar 2021

CONGESTION-BUSTING infrastructure upgrades on the Captain Cook Highway worth $359m will get under way later this year. Early works, set to kick off in September, will target major bottlenecks in and out of the CBD between Airport Ave and James Street. The $359m Captain Cook Highway project is jointly funded with the federal government committing $287.2m and the state chipping in $71.8m.

Fees waived until 2022, The Cairns Post 17 Mar 2021

CAIRNS tourist boat operators will get a welcome boost, despite the upcoming JobKeeper cut-off date, as the state government announces a fees relief extension until mid-2022. Fees at the Cairns Marlin Marina have been waived for reef fleet operators since February last year in what was initially a six-month relief package as tourism operators first felt the effects of COVID.

Fears of skilled talent setting sail, The Cairns Post 17 Mar 2021

TOURISM bosses fear losing an entire generation of experience as workers desert the industry for better job security. The giant strides made in recent years to convince school leavers that tourism is a genuine career path are at risk of being wiped out as skilled workers ranging from dive masters to marine engineers contemplate career changes.

Convention centre in a race to finish, The Cairns Post 18 Mar 2021

THE race is on to have the $17m refurbishment of Cairns Convention Centre complete ahead of its first conference – the Australian Banana Industry Congress from May 12 to 14. Cairns MP Michael Healy, who hosted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe in the Far North on Wednesday, said the Convention Centre had generated around $80m of economic activity annually for Cairns.

The industry experts who will lead way, The Cairns Post 18 Mar 2021

A HIGH-LEVEL panel of tourism experts will join forces in a bid to guide the Far North industry out of the COVID doldrums. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has named Cairns Airport board member and former Virgin commercial boss Liz Savage to chair the panel alongside Tourism Australia chief executive Andrew McEvoy and Tourism and Events Queensland chairman Brett Godfrey.

Blue sky thinking, The Cairns Post 18 Mar 2021

QANTAS is planning to return to the Cairns-Japan route next year with a three-times-a-week service to Tokyo. The airline has applied for approval in a joint venture with Japan Airlines to operate an A330. Qantas says it will play a critical role in rebuilding the Far Northern tourism economy when international borders reopen.

Little town having big property boom, The Cairns Post 18 Mar 2021

IT’S the little town on the Tablelands where property is in hot demand — people of all ages are buying up in the highest town in Queensland. Ravenshoe, at 920m above sea level, lays claim to the highest golf club in the state — the Ravenshoe Millstream Country Club, and the highest pub — The Ravenshoe Hotel, but it’s the relaxed lifestyle, comprehensive amenities and value-for-money property prices that have interest in the town’s real estate at an alltime high.

Bridge fix inquiry, The Cairns Post 19 Mar 2021

SINGLE-lane operation of the Kennedy Highway bridge across the Barron River at Kuranda will remain in place for the next six months while 1000 welds are individually checked and a multi-million-dollar investigation gets under way.In February 2020 the Department of Transport and Main Roads imposed a load limit of 50.5 tonnes and since November last year commuters have been reduced to a crawl by traffic lights regulating vehicle movements.

Vital step for mine, The Cairns Post 19 Mar 2021

A DEAL by two mining giants has brought a $500m Cape York bauxite project a step closer to reality. Mitsubishi Development has reached an agreement with Glencore as a joint venture partner in the Aurukun bauxite project, which will provide 650 jobs over construction and production phases.

Tourism recovery hopes take flight, The Cairns Post 19 Mar 2021

QUEENSLAND Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has backed a new direct route from Japan to Cairns and declared the state government’s ambition to develop a road map back to international visitation. The announcement of the new Qantas flights from Tokyo to Cairns has been applauded by Mr Hinchliffe and Cairns Airport boss Richard Barker and coincides with a new state government tourism recovery plan.

‘Rolled-Gold’ address, The Cairns Post 20 Mar 2021

HARBOUR Drive at Trinity Park is fast becoming one of the hottest addresses in the Far North with a palatial home selling for a Bluewater Harbour estate record of $2.95m this week. FNQ Hot Property agent Nathan Shingles said the sale set a new benchmark for the development with 130 waterfront lots. “The buyers were looking for a sea change,” he said.The property on 1100 sqm at 115-117 Harbour Drive has 26m of water frontage on the canal and a private 17m pontoon.

June is tipped for NZ take off, The Cairns Post 20 Mar 2021

A GREEN light to Air New Zealand aircraft touching down in Cairns, expected next week, will be a welcome relief to the tourism industry struggling under the fallout of international travel bans. Early next week the New Zealand government is expected to make decisions on quarantine-free travel which will pave the way for the first postCOVID service to ar- rive in Cairns since the pandemic locked down international travel early last year.

Pool cash eaten up, The Cairns Post 20 Mar 2021

A CRITICAL infrastructure project has been sacrificed after millions of dollars were quietly diverted to an overhaul of the Cairns glitter strip. Edmonton residents have been waiting years for Cairns Regional Council to build a new public pool after the southern growth suburb’s former facility was shut in 2016.

Services masterstroke, The Cairns Post 20 Mar 2021

A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR overhaul of the former Masters Home Improvement megastore in Cairns is finally complete with its transformation a massive departure from its old life. The 27,200 sqm former hardware retail warehouse at the corner of Kenny and Draper streets in Portsmith has sat vacant since the WoolworthsOwned chain shut down in 2016.

 

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