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    Your daily local news briefing // Wednesday 12 April 2017

    WEATHER
    Cairns: 20-31C max, 90% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 24-31C max, 90% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 17-29C max, 50% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 19-29C max, 90% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    COUNCIL SCRAPS GRAFTON ST LANE CHANGE PLAN
    A proposal to reduce traffic lanes from two in each direction to one on busy Grafton St has been abandoned by Cairns Regional Council.
    The council last month floated the idea of reducing the number of lanes to allow for the addition of bicycle lanes, a larger centre parking buffer and increased kerbside parking.
    But feedback received during the public consultation period over-whelmingly rejected the idea.
    “We went out to the community because we value their opinion and, in this case, the opinion was to leave things as they are – so that’s what we’re doing,” Deputy Mayor Terry James said.

    CENSUS TASTER RELEASED
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a sample of Census 2016 data, providing profiles of the “typical” Australians.
    According to data, the most typical Aussie is a 38-year-old married woman – born in Australia and of English ancestry – with two children. She has completed Year 12, lives in a three-bedroom house, has two cars and spends between five and 14 hours a week on domestic work.
    Meanwhile, the typical Australian male is aged 37 and spends less than five hours a week on domestic work.
    The typical Queenslander has English ancestry, was born in Australia, lives in a three-bedroom home – either rented or on a mortgage – and has two cars. A typical Queensland migrant was born in New Zealand.
    Full story to come on TropicNow.

    CHARACTER HOME DEMOLISHED
    A landmark home in Edge Hill has been demolished without approval, sparking public outcry and investigations by Cairns Regional Council.
    The owner of the house, at 23 Fleming Street, had received council approval to move the Queenslander to 1 Fleming Street.
    Instead, the home was destroyed yesterday morning.
    Division 7 councillor Max O’Halloran told News Corp that council officers were investigating, saying that “The right to move it and the right to smash it to the ground are two different things.”
    Council’s planning and environment general manager Kelly Reaston told journalists she was seeking advice “regarding options for prosecution”.

    CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY ON STATE-OF-THE-ART SMITHFIELD FIRE STATION
    Construction has begun on the new $3.5 million Smithfield Fire and Rescue Station at Ainslie Place.
    The new facility, which will include a two-bay engine room, additional training facilities, office spaces, staff amenities, a recreation room, a covered road crash rescue training pad and ample storage space for equipment and supplies, will replace the existing Fire and Rescue Station on the Captain Cook Highway.
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the old station, opened in 1980, was getting too small and was lacking the functionality its 16 firefighters and station officers required.
    The existing station, which will remain operational until the new facility is complete, will likely be refurbished for other community use.

    CYCLONE PARTY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR DEBBIE VICTIMS
    Fun and fundraising is the name of the game for a different kind of cyclone party to be held at The Jack tomorrow night.
    The Cairns Cares Cyclone Party will raise much-needed funds for Whitsundays residents affected by Cyclone Debbie.
    Organiser and musician Drew Brauer called on local businesses to donate goods to be raffled and auctioned off at the shindig.
    Mr Brauer’s band – Drewboy and the Sax Addicts – plus a slew of other musicians will be playing at the party, which starts at 6pm.
    Entry is $10, with all funds going to cyclone victims. To donate or find out more, click here.

    RABBITOHS ALL SET FOR BARLOW PARK CLASH
    A visit by South Sydney Rabbitohs centre Aaron Gray has marked the official launch of the Round 19 Souths vs North Queensland Cowboys clash in Cairns.
    The Cowboys romped in the clash last year, keeping the Rabbitohs scoreless with a 20-0 drubbing.
    Gray says the Sydneysiders are keen to redeem themselves this year in front of a huge local crowd.
    Around 1000 Cairns residents are members of the Rabbitohs, one of the highest numbers in regional Australia.
    The big game takes place at Barlow Park on Sunday July 16. Tickets available by clicking here.