Who We Are

Advance Cairns is the peak independent advocacy and economic development organisation for Far North Queensland. We are a not-for-profit, non-partisan body which works beyond election cycles to deliver a stronger, more prosperous future for the region.

Our advocacy spans a vast and economically diverse area of 380,000km, slightly larger than the size of Japan, and impacting a population of about 280,000 people. The region stretches from Cardwell in the south to the Torres Strait in the north, and west to the Northern Territory border. It is Queensland’s largest region, covering over 20% of the state and 26 local government areas.

Operating on a membership-based model, Advance Cairns represents leading businesses and employers committed to securing a legacy of economic growth and success 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 Far North Queensland.

Our region

Our vission

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.

Our achievements 

  • 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.