Construction Projects in and around Cairns


The crew at TropicNow have compiled a special report detailing a comprehensive list of upcoming construction projects for Cairns. Check out what’s already commenced, what’s starting soon, and some of the maybe’s from their special report shared below:


Crystalbrook Collection’s Bailey and Flynn hotels are progressing at an impressive rate, with openings due in October and early 2020 respectively.

The sight of so many cranes across our skyline in recent times has been a beacon of confidence during a period of flat residential housing construction and softening tourism numbers. But concerns are emerging about a potential jobs cliff once tradies and sub-contractors employed by Prime Construction down their tools at Crystalbrook’s CBD sites.

But as this special Tropic report shows, there are still plenty of projects to keep construction momentum and optimism alive as the Crystalbrook Collection hotel jobs wind down.

To really get the economy firing, we also need other developments currently in limbo to get off the ground, from Nova City to State Government infrastructure projects.



1/ Smithfield Bypass

What: A single lane road linking the McGregor Road roundabout at Smithfield with the Caravonica intersection to bypass the Smithfield roundabout.

Investment: $152 million

Completion date: Late 2020

2/ Cairns Shipping DevelopmentWhat: Dredging of Trinity Inlet to allow vessels over 300m in length to enter Cairns Port, establishment of a new shipping swing basin plus wharf construction works.

Investment: $127 million

Completion date: Early 2020

3/ JCU Cairns Innovation Centre

What: Three storey education facility at James Cook University’s Smithfield Campus designed to enhance innovation and scientific activities.

Investment: $30 million

Completion date: July 2020

4/ Centre of Contemporary Arts facelift

What: Redesign of façade and entry at the Abbott Street premises as well as new office and studio spaces, a theatre upgrade and enhanced gallery spaces.

Investment: $5 million

Completion date: Late 2019

5/ Kubirri Aged Care Centre

What: 42 bed aged care centre at Mossman being built by the Salvation Army.

Investment: $10.7 million

Completion date: Late 2020.

6/ Warrina Innisfail

What: 64-bed high care nursing home in Innisfail

Investment: $18 million

Completion date: Mid 2020

7/ Atherton Hospital redevelopment

What: Replacement of hundred-year-old facility including the emergency department, operating theatres and a new clinical services building.

Investment: $70 million

Completion date: Mid 2020



8/ Cairns Convention Centre upgrade

What: Expansion and refurbishment of the existing centre

Construction start: May 2020

Investment: $176 million

9/ Cairns Central upgrade

What: A Myer relocation, new Woolworths and fresh food market hall included in the shopping mall’s first major redevelopment in 20 years.

Investment: $60 million

Completion date: Late 2020

10/ Botanica Lifestyle Resort

What: 196-home over 50s lifestyle resort at Caravonica

Construction start: Late 2019/Early 2020

Investment: $90 million

11/ Captain Cook Highway upgrade

What: Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch secured a “congestion busting” upgrade of the Captain Cook Highway as part of the Federal Government’s 2019 Budget.

Construction start: 2020

Investment: $287.2 million

12/ Wangetti Trail

What: 94 km pedestrian and cycling trail from Palm Cove to Port Douglas.

Construction start: September 2019

Investment: $36 million

13/ Cairns South Health Facility

What: Community health facility at Edmonton, which will also act as a back-up to Cairns Hospital during cyclones or floods.

Construction start: Late 2019

Investment: $25 million

14/ Cairns Regional Council’s capital works program

What: The 2019 Council budget featured significant spending on roads, bridges, CBD upgrades, water and waste infrastructure, and a range of community, sport, cultural and tourism projects.

Construction start: 2019-20 financial year

Investment: $164.7 million



Paradise Palms re-development

PPNQ Developments has lodged a DA with Cairns Regional Council for a $330 million project to turn the Kewarra Beach golf course into residential estates, a tourist park, childcare centre and a retirement village. It’s hoping to begin construction in 2020.

Port Douglas Marina re-development

A new DA was originally slated for submission to Douglas Shire Council in June 2019, but Crystalbrook Collection’s ambitious redevelopment of the Port Douglas marina remains in the design and planning phase.

CQUniversity campus

The go-getting uni has talked about plans to expand beyond its current Cairns Square building and into bigger premises of its own in the CBD. Watch this space.

Ellis Beach Surf Club

A DA for the $3.5 million relocation of the Ellis Beach Surf Lifesaving Club across the Captain Cook Highway to a block of beachside land has been submitted with Cairns Regional Council.

Northern Beaches Secondary Catholic College

Catholic Education has signed an MOU with James Cook University to build a high school at JCU’s Smithfield campus. It’s planning to open to the first students in 2022.



Nova City

Here at Tropic we continue to hear “it will go ahead”, but Singaporean development giant Aspial remains quiet on its $550 million project, despite final approvals being received in 2018.

C3 Cairns

$550 million six-star city resort proposal by Gasparin Group was approved in 2016 but there’s no word on when construction might begin.

Eco Resort Ellis Beach

Melbourne-based Bellbird Park Developments received federal environment approvals a year ago, but a DA is yet to be submitted to Council.

Crystalbrook project on Grafton St

Ghassan Aboud bought the half-hectare site of the former Cairns City Library with frontages to Lake and Grafton Sts back in December 2017 but his plans for the site remain under wraps.



A range of major projects are either on hold or awaiting Queensland Government support, with city leaders hoping the state election in October 2020 will finally see our fair share of funding flow to the region.

Cairns University Hospital: Another project hinging on State Government support, with funding for Stage 2 of this $90 million joint project by James Cook Hospital and Cairns Hospital missing from this year’s Budget.

KUR-World: the State Government’s lack of action to upgrade the Kuranda Range Rd has put this $640 million integrated eco-resort development in jeopardy.

Tropical North Global Tourism Hub: The State Government’s announcement of its preferred proponent was overdue when Tropic went to print.

Western Arterial road upgrade: Advance Cairns wants the State to commit $365.5 million to upgrade this grid-locked section of the proposed Cairns Ring Road. So far, we’re only getting a $12 million planning and design study, which will take a staggering five years to complete before construction can even be considered.

Gallery precinct: Cairns Regional Council wants all three levels of government to contribute equal funding for this $40 million CBD project. Both the State and Federal Governments haven’t come to the party with their $13 million share yet.

(Article Source)


TropicNow constantly produce great content featuring local news from Cairns to the Tablelands, Cardwell to Cape York, plus information, guides and lists for a Tropical North Queensland lifestyle. Go visit them here.


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