March 2022 Newsletter

From the CEO

Earlier this month I travelled down to Brisbane armed with our newly released State Budget submission to meet with several high-ranking State and Shadow Ministers and advisors. 

With the State Budget looming in June it is imperative that we have our needs heard now. The discussions in Brisbane were extremely promising and I believe the future looks bright for TNQ. 

It is the strength of our organisation and our membership that allows us such access to the State’s most high-level politicians and officials. We are your voice and we will do all in our power to bring grow and prosperity to our region.

Particularly encouraging was my appointment with the Hon Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, alongside Ms Charis Mullen MP, Assistant Minister for Treasury; Michael Healy MP, Member for Cairns; Daniel De Voss, Senior Policy Adviser (Office of the Treasurer); and Chris Le Serve, Acting Head of Investment, Queensland Treasury.

The full list of appointments included:

  • Mr Shane Knuth MP, Member for Hill and Mr Nick Dametto MP, Member for Hinchinbrook
  • Mr Tony Perrett MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Hon Curtis Pitt MP, Member for Mulgrave and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Hon Craig Crawford MP, Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
  • Mrs Deb Frecklington MP, Shadow Minister for Water and the Construction of Dams and Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing
  • Hon Julieanne Gilbert MP, Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure
  • Dr Carl Ungerer (Office of the Hon Steven Miles MP)
  • Mr Steve Minnikin MP, Shadow Minister for Customer Service and Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads
  • Ms Ros Bates MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services and Shadow
  • Mr Felix Gibson (Office of Hon Mark Bailey MP)
  • Hon Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment with Ms Charis Mullen MP, Assistant Minister for Treasury, Michael Healy MP, Member for Cairns, Daniel De Voss, Senior Policy Adviser (Office of the Treasurer), Chris Le Serve, Acting Head of Investment, Queensland Treasury

We now look to the Federal Budget tomorrow night (March 29) to see what lies in store for TNQ.

Advance Cairns continues to advocate strongly for our region and we are proud to have our members alongside us on this journey.

Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Dr Paul Sparshott
Chief Executive Officer
Advance Cairns

State Budget submission released

Critical demand on the region’s health services and an urgent bed shortage at Cairns Hospital have headlined vital requests in Advance Cairns’ State Budget submission released this month.

The submission highlights ever-increasing pressure on the local health sector, with Cairns Hospital now at capacity across all bed types and facing a 300-bed shortfall in little more than a decade.

Further investment is being sought across Defence, education, water infrastructure, manufacturing, and tourism in Far North Queensland as the submission places a strong focus on diversification within the region in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Advance Cairns would especially like to thank Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, RDA Tropical North, and local government for working closely with our team to ensure we are giving our region the best chance for prosperity now and into the future.

Follow the link below to download a copy of the submission: 
Advance Cairns State Budget Submission 2022-2023

Funding boost for TTNQ

In a major coup for the region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Cairns on Tuesday to announce $15m in funding for TTNQ to bring international visitors back to Far North Queensland.

The funding boost was announced as part of a $60m package to rebuild international tourism in areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 border closures.

The Prime Minister said Australia remained a world-leading tourist destination because of its unique attractions, high-quality tourism operators and lifestyle.

“As the world reopens, and travellers get out and see the world again, we want to ensure that at the top of every must-see-list is Australia.

“I have been listening to tourism industry operators about what they will need to rebuild their international tourist businesses and this funding boost will deliver on these needs.

“The return of our international tourism market will support hundreds of thousands of tourism jobs, strengthen our economy, and back our world-class tourism operators and the many regions reliant on international visitors, like tropical North Queensland.”

The announced followed relentless advocacy from Advance Cairns, TTNQ, Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.


JCU has opened a limited number of free tickets exclusively for Advance Cairns members to attend the International Conference on Business, Economics, Management, and Sustainability (BEMAS) later this year.

Hosted by the Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) and the college of Business, Law, and Governance (CBLG) at JCU, the conference will run from July 1-3 both in Cairns and online.

This year’s theme, Re-Imagining Economic Resilience and Urban Futures in a Post-COVID-19 Era, will consider the impacts of a recovering economy and urban population growth around the world.

CITBA aims to create a platform for academics, researchers, practitioners, and students to share their research findings with experts across the globe.

Email to register for your free ticket before it’s too late.

Major charity event opportunity

FNQ Emergency Services Association is seeking local businesses to sponsor this year’s gala ball and take part in the most popular event in the region.

With last year’s event selling out to 600 people throughout the community in just three and a half weeks, now is the time to secure your place.

Businesses can donate prizes worth $5 to $500+ in exchange for premium advertising spaces on the night and across social media. There is also the chance for one local business to score the event’s lucrative naming rights sponsorship.

Each year the Association chooses a worthy local charity to be the recipient of funds raised on the night, with last year’s gala ball raising a record $63,800 for Kick On Charity.

To take part in this exciting sponsorship opportunity, email

You can also score a chance to secure the best seats in the house early with their charity raffle being drawn on April 29. Click here for more information.

Advance Cairns Platinum Members