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    Your daily local news briefing // Friday 21 April 2017

    WEATHER
    Cairns: 23-29C max, 90% chance of rain
    Port Douglas: 24-29C max, 90% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 20-27C max, 70% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 23-28C max, 90% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    PROPOSED TRADE CENTRE TO GIVE CAIRNS A LEADING EDGE
    The establishment of an international Tropical Trade Centre would give Cairns the potential to become the world’s leading tropical city.
    Speaking at the regional launch of the government’s Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022 in Cairns this morning, Treasurer Curtis Pitt threw his support behind the concept, which would co-locate a key selection of apex organisations that support trade, investment, international government relations and business development to the city.
    “While visits from international investors are frequent, the Tropical Trade Centre will ensure better coordination by becoming the clear first point of contact for efficient and effective engagement with foreign delegations,” he said.

    NEW TTNQ CEO TO TACKLE TNQ MISPERCEPTIONS
    Incoming TTNQ CEO Pip Close says challenging public perceptions about the TNQ region will be among her biggest challenges.
    Ms Close, who will replace current chief Alex de Waal in July, told ABC Far North that she would be focussing on issues including dealing with the “fallout” from issues like coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.
    “One would assume that all of Queensland was closed for business, which is absolutely not the case,” she said.
    “The challenge is having the world understand that the region will always be open for business.”

    JJJ UNEARTHED WINNER GIGGING AT GREEN ANT TONIGHT
    Triple J darling Greta Stanley will be performing a special gig tonight in the lead up to her big-league show at Townsville's Groovin the Moo festival next week.The young local songstress was chosen as JJJ's Unearthed artist for the festival for her "very pretty and a little bit gritty" signature style.Greta - along with her full band - will take to the stage at Green Ant Cantina tonight from 7pm to perform songs from her upcoming debut album.

    THUNDER HOPES TO RAIN ON TOWNSVILLE’S PARADE
    The Far North’s best rugby union players are hoping to end a four-year drought and take home the North Queensland Senior Rugby Championship cup this weekend.
    FNQ Thunder will take on reigning champions Townsville Brolgas – on their home turf – on Saturday.
    The Brolgas beat Thunder last year 27-24.The championships also serve as selection trial for the NQ representative team.
    The Thunder squad is made up of players from teams including Northern Beaches Mudcrabs, Brothers and JCU Mariners.