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    Your daily local news briefing // Tuesday 18 April 2017

    WEATHER
    Cairns: 22-29C max, 80% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 24-30C max, 80% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 19-27C max, 70% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 22-29C max, 80% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    MAYORS CALL FOR CROC-REMOVAL POWERS
    Three Far Northern mayors have asked the state government for the power to remove crocodiles from their waterways amid fears of rising croc attacks.
    The mayors of Douglas, Cassowary Coast and Mareeba councils claimed the state’s new crocodile management plan was putting people at risk.
    In separate letters to Environment Minister Stephen Miles, the mayors asked for the power to remove crocodiles for the sake of locals and tourism industry.
    “Residents who previously enjoyed the beaches and boat ramps within the Douglas Shire are now feeling under threat and concerned about the unprecedented number of crocodile sightings in recent times,” Douglas Mayor Julia Leu told News Corp.
    Despite their desire to see crocs removed, the mayors rejected Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter’s call for a cull.

    JCU CITY CAMPUS OPENING
    James Cook University is officially launching its new Cairns City Campus today.
    The five-storey building at 36 Shields St features start-of-the-art teaching, study and meeting facilities, as well as a moot court where law students will hone their courtroom skills.
    Law and business subjects, particularly in the Master of Business Administration, will be taught at the campus in response to community requests for after-hours teaching in the city centre.
    Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the university was delighted to further expand its Cairns presence.
    “This morning, I recommit this campus and the University to be an economic and social engine for Cairns and the broader Far North Queensland community, to bring the power of our education, research and engagement to bear on the growth and well being of this exceptional region,” she said.
    Full story to come in TropicNow.

    JAPANESE VISITOR NUMBERS TO TNQ SKYROCKET
    Numbers of Japanese visitors to Cairns are the highest they've been in 12 years, prompting tourism industry outsiders to speculate on a boom reminiscent of the 1990s.
    Monthly visitor statistics show 32,880 passengers flew on the Tokyo and Osaka routes to and from Cairns last month, the highest number since 2005.
    The number is particularly impressive, given the traditional peak month is August.
    Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Alex de Waal told News Corp that Cairns has “back on the hit list” and was viewed as a trendy destination.
    Treasurer Curtis Pitt told News Corp that resurgent Japanese economy represented an enormous growth opportunity "if we get it right".

    HEAT BURN MAREEBA, PRIDE HUMILIATED BY JETS
    While most of us were busily gorging on Easter chocolates over the long weekend, two local sports teams were slugging it out on the field, with decidedly different results.
    FNQ Heat gave the Mareeba Bulls a 4-1 caning on Friday night to advance to round six of the FFA Cup.
    On the other end of the spectrum, Northern Pride suffered a painful 24-10 loss to Ipswich Jets on Saturday night.
    The loss has notched up a two win-five loss record after seven rounds of the Intrust Super Cup.
    Pride coach Ty Williams told News Corp reporters that the loss was disgusting”, and their worst loss of the season.