Who We Are

Advance Cairns is the peak independent non-government Advocacy and Economic Development Organisation for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ). We are a-political and work beyond election cycles to deliver a stronger, more prosperous future for the Tropical North Queensland region.

The Advance Cairns region covers 26 local government areas including Cairns Regional Council, Aurukun Shire, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. It serves an estimated population of 280,000 people.

Advance Cairns operates on a membership based model. Our members are socially responsible businesses that have committed to securing a legacy of prosperity for the region.

Under this model and as a collective voice, members have the opportunity to actively influence the strategic direction of Advance Cairns and ultimately the future of TNQ.

We are also a proud member of the Committee for Cities & Regions Network and the Regional Australia Institute and secretariat for the Northern Australia Alliance. These influential networks bring together independent and like-minded committees across Australia and New Zealand to advance issues of national significance around population growth, economic development, and social cohesion.

Our Vision

To create a self-sustaining, resilient, and prosperous Tropical North Queensland community.

Our Mission

To provide wise, a-political, and united advocacy that stimulates innovative and strategic initiatives for our regional advancement.

Recent achievements include

  • Successful advocacy to add the Captain Cook Highway from the CBD to Smithfield to the National Land Transport Network, which recognises the critical importance of the road and is a pivotal step towards realising the ambition of Cairns Ring Road.
  • Significantly strengthening the regional advocacy strategies and capacities through the establishment of the infrastructure and policy priorities for the Tropical North Queensland Region.
  • Four Advance Cairns members (three Board members) on the Prime Minister’s Northern Australia Advisory Group.
  • Successful advocacy to obtain Government commitment to complete the sealing of the Hann Highway and undertake feasibility studies of the development of Nullinga Dam as part of the Northern Australia White Paper.
  • Inclusion of Nullinga Dam on the key water infrastructure priority list and Northern Australia White Paper.
  • Established the Northern Australia Alliance to bring Economic Development organisations across Northern Australia together.
  • Completed industry audits for the Construction, Resources and Agriculture Sectors.
  • Developed key employment strategies paper.
  • Supported the successful tender of the Primary Healthcare Network.
  • Successfully advocated for the headquartering of the $5B Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility in Cairns.
  • Achieved ongoing funding commitment for the region’s marine and defence industries.