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Your daily local news briefing // Wednesday 19 April 2017

WEATHER
Cairns: 22-30C max, 80% chance of rain
Port Douglas: 24-30C max, 80% chance of rain
Mareeba: 19-28C max, 60% chance of rain
Innisfail: 23-29C max, 80% rain


TODAY'S TOP STORIES

INDUSTRY CONCERN OVER SCRAPPING OF 457 VISAS
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that 457 visas will be dropped has caused consternation among Cairns business leaders, who say overseas workers are vital to the TNQ economy.
The 457 skilled migrant scheme will be replaced with a tighter model that ensures workers brought into Australia would fill critical skill gaps, rather than simply making hiring foreigners easier than hiring Australians.
Industry leaders in Cairns have urged the PM to tread carefully with the new scheme, with TTNQ chief executive Alex de Waal calling on the government to ensure they did not disadvantage tourism.
More to come in TropicNow.

IKEA HAS COME TO TOWN
Shopaholics, brace yourselves: Ikea’s Cairns click and collect service launches today!
After weeks of speculation, the address for the Cairns depot has finally been released: shoppers will pick up their purchases from 12 Spoto Street, Woree. The depot will be open weekdays between 10am and 4pm.
The much-anticipated service will allow locals to purchase IKEA products online and select their preferred collection date starting from seven days from the order date.

PENALTIES ON THE CARDS FOR CROC TRAP BOTHERERS
The Queensland government is considering the introduction of penalties for people caught interfering with crocodile traps after people were caught playing on one at Ross and Locke.
The baited trap was set up after confirmed sightings of a two-metre saltie lurking at the popular swimming hole.
Following the report of people riding on the trap, State Environment Minister Steven Miles lashed out at the “crazy” behaviour, saying it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt.

CRIME ROUNDUP
Cairns Police are again calling on residents to lock their vehicles and hide the keys, saying 39 cars have already been stolen in the region this month.
Overnight, the police made a number of arrests, including one of a woman who allegedly ran a red light and crashed into another car while drunk driving on Sheridan Street at 10pm.
Two men were also arrested after allegedly bashing a tourist outside a backpacker bar.
Also keeping the police busy was the mysterious appearance of anti-superhero Deadpool on Cairns streets: they were called to investigate the costumed character’s weapons, which turned out to be harmless replicas.

LOCAL SIDE SEEKS TO SALVAGE PRIDE IN COMING CLASH
Northern Pride players are looking to turn around a disastrous start to their season at this weekend’s clash against Norths Devils.
Coach Ty Williams told News Corp that the team played “too deep” at last weekend’s “disgusting” 24-10 loss against Ipswich Jets.
While admitting the coming battle would be a tough one, Mr Williams said he was expecting his side to turn their luck around by making the most of their dominant forward pack.