From the CEO
The year has continued to run at full speed, and we have now released our Federal Budget Submission 2022-23 which is included in this newsletter.
In the three months between now and the federal election, we look forward to gaining bi-partisan support for the much-needed investments that now include approximately $300-$400M of essential infrastructure required to grow our port.
It has also been time to look back at our Year in Review 2021. What a both eventful and successful year for Advance Cairns.
With international borders reopening, business and industry leaders are confident the long-term future for Cairns TNQ is looking bright.
Dr Paul Sparshott
Chief Executive Officer
Federal Budget submission released
Advance Cairns has released our Federal Budget Submission for 2022 ahead of the Budget delivery on March 29.
This year’s submission is as crucial as ever for the region, with an upcoming Federal Election promising big announcements from both parties.
Key recommendations from the submission include joint funding to construct a Common User Facility following results from the Cairns Marine Precinct business case, $20M for aviation attraction to rebuild the local tourism sector, and $50M in Federal funding for the new CQUniversity CBD campus.
The submission also includes two new priorities, Future Growth – Cairns 2050 and Enhancing Natural Urban Landscapes – Rainforest to Reef.
Cairns 2050 aims to address our city’s growth problems resulting from an increasing population and sprawling urban development limited by the bordering World Heritage-listed reef and rainforest. Recommendations include the development and implementation of a Strategic Integrated Urban Development and Transport Plan that will guide and inform the future long-term growth of our city.
Enhancing Natural Urban Landscapes highlights the impacts urban development is having on our region’s surrounding natural habitats and considers ways in which we can restore these environments through the establishment of a $29.4M fund.
To read these new priority papers along with the complete 2022 Advance Cairns Federal Budget Submission, click here.
Year in Review
Our 2021 Year in Review is out now, showcasing events, significant appointments, and major priority wins throughout the past year.
From the 20th Anniversary Black-tie Gala Ball to meetings with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other high-ranking MPs during the Connecting to Canberra virtual convoy, Positioning for Growth features the very best highlights of 2021.
Click on the image below to view the full 2021 Year in Review.
$200M injection for international tourism
Cairns International Airport is partnering with the State Government and the state’s three other largest airports to invest $200M to secure more direct international flights into Queensland.
Cairns, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast airports are investing a combined $100M in a dollar-for-dollar partnership with the government to rebuild Queensland’s $6B international tourism industry.
The funding injection is expected to deliver more than 5.3M airline seats and almost $4B each year. It is the largest investment of any state or territory to secure inbound international flights following COVID-19.
Advance Cairns is proud to have been part of the team that advocated for such a strong outcome for international tourism across the state.
View the full media release here: $200 million to fly international visitors to Queensland – Ministerial Media Statements
Final option for Cairns Western Arterial Road revealed
The preferred option for the Cairns Western Arterial Road upgrade between Redlynch Connector Road and the Captain Cook Highway has been finalised.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP said the project will duplicate the remaining single-lane sections of the road to address safety and capacity issues.
The project also includes installation of new paths and upgrades of existing paths to improve safety and connectivity for bike riders and pedestrians.
The upgrade will be carried out across three stages to minimise traffic disruptions. It is expected to support around 185 jobs throughout its lifetime.
The Cairns Western Arterial Road upgrade follows successful advocacy from Advance Cairns and is being carried out thanks to joint funding of $240M from the Federal Government and $60M from the State Government.
In another positive step for the Cairns Ring Road project, field investigations are now underway on the Captain Cook Highway to gather initial geotechnical data and topographical surveys along key areas of the corridor.
Geotechnical testing will start in the next few weeks and will continue for six weeks to assist in further planning for the project.
To read more on the Cairns Western Arterial Road upgrade, click here: Final option for Cairns Western Arterial Road duplication revealed | Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure
For more information on the Cairns Ring Road field investigations, click here: Next step for Cairns Ring Road – Ministerial Media Statements
Boost for local manufacturing
The Cairns Manufacturing Hub has received a boost as part of the Queensland Government’s $17M statewide investment in manufacturing.
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water the Hon. Glenn Butcher MP visited Cairns this month to announce permanent funding for the hub, which will provide continued support for regional manufacturers and more local jobs.
Cairns will share in the $17.75M investment with five other regional hubs across the state.
Manufacturing in Queensland currently contributes $20B to the state’s economy, including $780M from Cairns’ local sector each year.
To read the State Government’s full press release on the announcement, click here: Cairns manufacturing sector boosted with Hub funding – Ministerial Media Statements
Farewell to Professor Sandra Harding AO
Seven Prime Ministers and nine Education Ministers – that’s the extraordinary tally of senior Federal Government leaders with whom Professor Sandra Harding has had to deal during her 15-year tenure with James Cook University.
The JCU vice chancellor and president officially stepped down this weekend and was given a send-off by the Cairns business community early last week where she reflected on her journey, including the revolving door of politicians.
Among the extensive list of Prof Harding’s achievements outlined by JCU chancellor Bill Tweddle was the fact that she is currently the longest-serving vice chancellor of any Australian university. Her realm has seen a transformation of the university’s Smithfield campus, as well as the opening of a campus in the CBD plus the soon-to-be-created health and innovation precinct at north Cairns.
Advance Cairns would also like to pay tribute to her as our longest-serving director. Thank you for your enormous contribution to our organisation and the wider community in this region and Townsville.
New vice chancellor Prof Simon Biggs begins in the role next week and we look forward to hosting him with members in due course.