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.
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.
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City could Land Major AFL Team, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
AFL Cairns officials have been working the phones tirelessly behind the scenes and believe if it all falls into place, the Hawks, Magpies and Cats would be the most likely to come to FNQ. Even just one of the biggest and most powerful sporting clubs in our country being based in the region for an extended period would be remarkable for Cairns.
Mountain Bike Trails Proposal, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
A push to establish Far North Queensland as a global force in mountain biking is gaining traction in the state’s capital. Sky trails proponents Tony Trafford and Gus Soper have been pushing for investment to enhance existing tracks, forge new ones and use the Sky rail Rainforest Cableway as Australia’s only mountain bike gondola.
Historic Maiden Flight Appeals to Travelers, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
On Sunday afternoon, the first-ever direct flight from Maroochydore to Cairns touched down. Former Trinity Beach residents Sue and Barry Schmidt took advantage of the new service to return to the Far North for the first time in 20 years.
Iron Man Events to Boost Tourism, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
The Far North’s tourism operators and leaders are set for a major cash injection on the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic after one of the largest sporting events confirmed its return in 2020. Ironman Cairns and Ironman 70.3 Cairns will go ahead on September 27, using the same routes as previous years – from Palm Cove to Port Douglas to the Esplanade – and held under an approved COVID Safe plan.
Top Netball League to Play in FNQ, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
Super Netball is coming to Queensland – and Cairns will host at least one game of Australia’s elite competition. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Tourism Minister Kate Jones and Super Netball chief executive Chris Symington on Sunday announced the coup, which will bring all six interstate teams to Queensland to play up to 60 games, including finals, throughout the Sunshine State.
Schoolies to Fly North, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 20 July 2020
Grounded schoolies unable to party in Bali this year have their sights set on the Far North as an alternative end-of-school destination. School leavers forced to abandon South Pacific and Asian destinations due to the COVID crisis now have an option to take a week-long island hopping cruise departing Airlie Beach and arriving in Cairns.
Esplanade Upgrade to be put to the Vote, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
The finishing touches have been applied to new concept art and a 3D flyover video illustrating Cairns Regional Council’s plan to overhaul the popular tourism and hospitality attraction. The design and video will be put to the vote at Wednesday’s council meeting to endorse a project that has already been earmarked for major funding in the 2020-21 budget.
New City Ideas, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
The long-dead casino, hotel and retail development took on a zombie quality due to the State Government’s reluctance to declare its demise until last week. Now a city tired of empty promises is looking for more realistic development opportunities for the waterfront site.
Heritage Centre Back to Future, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
Central Queensland University Associate Professor and Yidinji elder Henrietta Marrie said such a heritage centre that aimed to celebrate indigenous cultures and boost the reconciliation process was a concept traditional landowners had long been pushing for. I’ve been arguing since 1987 that we need to repatriate many of our objects taken in the early 1900s, Ms. Marrie said.
Pools to Close for Repairs, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
Cairns Regional Council completed a mammoth redevelopment of the community facility in June 2016, delivering a new 50m Olympic swimming pool, an artificial wave rider and a suite of major upgrades. It is now about to start work on $350,000 in repairs to the wet deck grades edge-grip tiles of both the 50m and 25m pools, which have started to show signs of deterioration and need to be replaced to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.
Win for Ring Road Bid, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
A stretch of the Captain Cook Highway is now officially a National Highway after months of bickering between the state and federal governments. The Federal Government has added a key part of the route to the National Land Transport Network.
Reverse Heist is Golden, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 21 July 2020
The boost to the Cairns economy from elite-level sport has been likened to the great Victorian Grand Prix heist of the 1990s. Advance Cairns chairman Nick Trompf said it was ironic that, even for a short time, the Far North could be flush from the Victorian game. Back in the 1990s, Jeff Kennett used great events to revive a very sickly economy, he said. His biggest coup was stealing the grand prix from Adelaide.
Airport Records a 1.4 Million Drop in Passengers Due to COVID-19, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 22 July 2020
The airport recorded about 3.6 million domestic and international passengers in the 2019–20 financial year compared with 5.01 million in the previous period. The average between 2005 and 2019 is 4.46 million. But June figures showed a rebound after more domestic flights resumed.
What we need to get Region Firing, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 22 July 2020
The COVID pandemic has severely impacted areas such as Cairns while other regions in Queensland (such as those based around agriculture or mining) have been much less affected. To ensure the considerable challenges ahead for the Cairns economy are at the forefront of pre-election considerations, this week a senior delegation from business and industry as well as Cairns Mayor Cr Bob Manning spent two days in back-to-back meetings with Government.
Bold Plan to Create work for Young, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 22 July 2020
An ambitious plan to create up to 500 jobs a year around the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics could help young people get out of the struggling Cairns tourism industry to find new work. Business and conservation organisations from around the Far North are pushing for a $180 million Green and Blue Economic stimulus package focused on creating jobs out of repairing and maintaining the environment.
Cash Splash Pledged, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
Millions of dollars in unused Global Tourism Hub funding will be redirected to the Far North if the LNP wins the next state election — and the first recipient has already been earmarked. The Sky Trails proposal to position Far North Queensland as an international powerhouse in mountain bike tourism now has the Opposition’s locked-in support.
New Centre Rejected, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
Cairns Regional Council has unanimously rejected plans to build the Smithfield Hub shopping centre after its approvals were allowed to lapse. Division 8 councillor Rhonda Coughlan argued the area could not support another retail centre. To approve this development would create an overlapping of trade and huge impacts on the surrounding retail landscape, she said.
Shopping Developers Duel in Crowded North, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
Far North Queensland, and central and northern regions, are not represented in a government group formed to future-proof the Bruce Highway. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed to forming the Bruce Highway Trust as part of her signature road policy in 2017, and the group met for the first time last week.
Esplanade Refreshed, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
3D videos showing how $28m of ratepayer money will transform the Cairns Esplanade outdoor dining precinct – later in the year – have been viewed by the Cairns council. Cairns regional councillors watched the footage at a meeting on Wednesday, before ticking off a striking redevelopment concept for the waterfront real estate.
Hotter Days Hit Green Policies, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
A dramatic spike in temperatures has alarm bells ringing as a new report is released outlining the city’s biggest wins and losses in the battle against pollution. Cairns Regional Council’s State of the Environment report is an annual benchmark of the local government’s clean and green credentials.
Cairns Richest Suburbs Revealed, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
The Cairns’ northern beaches postcode of 4879 recorded an average taxable income of $57,643 during the 2017/18 financial year, an increase on 2016/17 figures of $55,348. People living in the remote mining town of Weipa did best in the earning stakes in the wider Far Northern area by earning an average taxable income of $80,084.
Taipans thrown lifeline, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
The Cairns Taipans have secured a welcome lifeline with Cairns Regional Council ratepayers set to maintain their sponsorship of the National Basketball Team club for years to come. The agreement, endorsed at Wednesday’s council meeting, guarantees a $250,000 injection to the Taipans’ coffers over the coming two years.
Zip Style Merging to Ease Gridlock, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 23 July 2020
Traffic congestion on Cairns roads during peak times is to significantly improve with the roll out of a new merging system. Zip merges will be implemented at up to 16 locations across Cairns to make merging from two lanes into one safer and more efficient.
Here Comes AFL’s Stars, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
How can a player charged with indecent assault be allowed to play football? Sure, he hasn’t been found guilty, but there should be respect for the police’s process of investigation and the alleged victim. To watch him play football as if nothing else was going on was mystifying and infuriating.
Airport Targets West, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
A bold plan to entice Western Australia’s would-be Bali holiday-makers to the Far North is on the agenda of Cairns Airport’s new head of aviation to boost the region’s road to recovery. Garry Porter, who was Mackay Airport’s general manager and is new head of aviation in Cairns, said the short-term goal was to work with its airline and tourism partners to look at each opportunity available at each airport and around border restrictions, including the west.
Cairns Tops Search List, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
More Australians are looking for family friendly destinations to travel despite lockdowns and border restrictions, with the Far North high on the list. New Jet star data provided to News Corp has revealed in recent month’s searches on its website reveal nearly 70 percent of those who intend to travel domestically want to for holiday purposes.
Casino’s Workers Face Big Struggle, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
Reef Hotel Casino boss Allan Tan is worried about the future of the venue with hundreds of staff members on Job Keeper and sharing shifts to keep working. The Cairns casino reopened its doors with a COVID-Safe plan in place on July 3 thanks to the State Government’s easing of restrictions.
Covid Fallout claims Newly Branded Hotel, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
Claims high profile hotel in CBD a Cairns hotel has closed its doors as a result of the COVID crisis, mere months after a new-look rebrand. The Reef Plaza Hotel, formerly Rydges Cairns, on the corner of Grafton and Spence streets, has ended operations.
Makeover Ramps up at Station, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
The Sheridan St facility was labelled arguably the worst station in Queensland by union officials last year with some officers forced to relocate due to illness prior to a cash splash announcement in December last year. Initial works, which began in April, involved repairs to the leaky roof and external paintwork.
Rallying to Help Region Recover, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 24 July 2020
At the first function to be held at the recently reopened Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, tourism stakeholders heard from city leaders about what initiatives needed to be prioritised to enable a successful return to prosperity from a COVID downturn. Advance Cairns in partnership with Tourism Tropical North Queensland hosted the panel discussion moderated by Cairns Post editor Jennifer Spilsbury.
Beaches Shore up Rentals, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 25 July 2020
Units at Holloways Beach reported a 10.75 per cent yield in the past 12 months, collecting $310 rent on average. Usual frontrunners Woree and Manoora, which were among the nation’s best last year, were second and third in Cairns, returning at 9.86 and 9.54 per cent respectively.
Save our Lifestyle, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 25 July 2020
Frustrated northern beaches residents are putting pressure on Cairns Regional Council to tighten planning loopholes to protect the character and charm of their seaside suburbs. They want to stop any Gold Coast or Noosa-style developments that could overrun their laidback style of living.
Special Project for Port, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 25 July 2020
A Stunning new residential development is set to offer villas similar to those owned by some of Australia’s rich and famous. Port Douglas-based developer John Morris plans to build a new high-end 28 villa complex on Escape Street where a four-bedroom apartment with private pool and garage is expected to fetch in the vicinity of $1.2 million.
New Sporting Capital, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 25 July 2020
Pete Martinelli to form for Cairns as a host city for elite level footy codes. Sport coming into the north is great thing, Cr Manning said. We had a bit of a run here with AFL, but have seemed to take our eyes off the ball I think. Let’s see how it goes from here. When you look at regional centres, there is no regional centre with a better AFL ground than Cairns.
Subdivide and Prosper, Cairns Post e-Paper, the Cairns Post – 25 July 2020
The threat of Yorkeys Knob becoming a homogenised version of every other personality deficient beachside on earth proved too much for locals to bear. Andy Hinchcliffe opened bar and restaurant Ten06 in February after succumbing to more than a pang of inspiration from George Lawson, the historical one-armed angler whose genealogical moniker gave the suburb its name.
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