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.
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Hope of New Deal for Dunk Island, The Cairns Post – 28 Jun 2021
MISSION Beach locals have their fingers crossed a musical millionaire with links to Van Halen and Aerosmith could finally be the “white knight” they need to bring Dunk Island back to life. Entrepreneur Mark Spillane, the co-founder of Upsense Capital Pty Ltd, has reportedly pledged to buy and resurrect the once-popular holiday island in a deal worth between $20-25m.
THE Koppen family is moving ahead with a long-planned subdivision at Callum St in Mooroobool and lots could go to market this year. Urban Sync director Stuart Ricketts, whose town planning company prepared the latest development application for the project, said work on the 21-lot subdivision was progressing well
A 3.54HA block of bushland in Stratford will remain just that – for now – after a developer lost their three-yearlong court fight to extend a development approval originally granted more than a decade ago. The planning and environment court originally granted Sevmere Pty Ltd approval to develop a 29-unit development at 1 Stratford Parade on April 30, 2010.
AN EXTRAORDINARY year is about to be distilled into an extraordinary budget as Cairns Regional Council plots a financial recovery path amid immense uncertainty – and it could translate to hip pocket pain. Mayor Bob Manning will hand down the council’s 2021-22 budget on Wednesday morning, with every indication pointing to rates rising by more than CPI for the first time in seven years.
THE mantra “debt is not a dirty word” will be on repeat in city hall this financial year as Cairns Regional Council draws down $30m more in loans to negotiate its way through a tricky period in history. Mayor Bob Manning has handed down a new 2021-22 council budget with a 2.5 per cent rate increase across the board – the equivalent of an extra $1.25 per week on a median residential property.
THE Far North economy is bleeding $6m a day after Covid-19 put the brakes on what was meant to be a bumper school holiday period as tourism leaders call for fresh government support. While Victorian visitors were making up some of the shortfall, the region has been left reeling from the effects of New South Wales, the Northern Territory, southeast Queensland and Townsville lockdowns.
RESIDENTIAL water rates will rise by 20c per kilolitre as Cairns Regional Council’s unprecedented budget focus on water security raises one key question – why now? The 16 per cent price hike to $1.43 a kilolitre will help fund consultancy, design and early works for the $4.4m Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 project while the council tries to get federal and state governments to pay for the overall $215m scheme.
A MYSTERIOUS new hotel inspired by the glitz and glamour of The Great Gatsby is about to open in Cairns – and the anticipation is killing us. The Benson Hotel will launch with a bang at 5pm on Friday with live band The Bourbon Gorillas performing while guests indulge in amusebouche meals, cocktails and gallons of ice-cold beer.
EVENTS planned for the Far North in the coming weeks are set to go ahead as scheduled with organisers keeping a close eye on parts of the state currently under lockdown. While FNQ’s tourism industry has felt the immediate impact of the three-day lockdown in the Townsville and southeast Queensland regions, local event organisers are saying it will be business as usual.
A LAND wave is hitting the market as developers push hard to keep up with demand. Blocks and estates in varying sizes are expected to be snapped up at Mt Whitfield, Mt Peter, Mt Sheridan, Redlynch, Clifton Beach and Smithfield. The latest land rush comes as the rental crisis proves it doesn’t discriminate. AN ENTICING selection of new home sites is becoming available as families scramble to secure their own slice of the Far North.
THE glitz and glamour of The Benson was on full display as Cairns’ newest hotel welcomed guests for its grand opening on Friday. Staff will be busy this weekend with the fancy new hotel already booked out. Lisa Harriman, reservations, sales and event co-ordinator, was thrilled with initial bookings.
THE city’s naval and industrial future hangs in the balance as a critical masterplan collects cobwebs more than a year after it was due for completion – and the former boss of the Australian Army wants action. Ports North last published a project update for the Cairns marine precinct masterplan on its website in November 2019, flagging a completion date from February to May 2020.
WORK on the site of a new $3.2m “hybrid” police station aimed at targeting the crime hit suburb of Manoora has begun. Demolition and clearing works for the new West Cairns Police Facility, across the road from the Cairns Villa and Leisure Park, were completed in late June. It is expected the project will be complete in June 2022.
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