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    Cairns council highlights big projects for 2017

    Cairns' mayor says multi-million dollar plans to reinvigorate two key venues shouldn't hurt ratepayers.

    Cairns mayor Bob Manning says he’ll be seeking government funding for several major projects in 2017.


    Cairns Regional Council highlighted its key goals this week including the expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre and an ambitious redevelopment of Cannon Park racecourse.

    Cr Manning says he will lobby both sides of the Queensland political divide for more funding next year.
    “With a state election likely in 2017, we will be looking for a commitment to expand the Cairns Convention Centre,” he says.

    “We have commenced a master planning project for Cannon Park that will show us the true potential of the site.

    “This is an initiative that could have a profound impact on the future of the city.

    “Without pre-empting the outcomes of the master plan, a future Cannon Park could be a multi-purpose venue containing built facilities that could cater for horseracing and equestrian events, exhibitions and trade events and outdoor entertainment.”

    Improving public transport across the region remains a priority.

    “Public transport was identified as a major area of concern in the recent Our Cairns survey,” Cr Manning says.

    “The majority of respondents supported the pursuit of light rail and this is something we will be investigating further in 2017 through the development of a smart transport strategy.”

    The Mayor says new projects shouldn’t hurt ratepayers.

    “Through prudent financial management, we have delivered rate rises of 1.5 per cent for each of the past three years – this is the lowest in the state,” he says.

    “Our capital expenditure programs have been at record levels and our debt remains the second lowest per capita of the state’s major councils.”