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Lobbying starts to upgrade Cairns Convention Centre

Despite bringing in millions of dollars to the Cairns community, civic leaders say the Cairns Convention Centre must get better to stay relevant on the international stage.

Entertainers, politicians and sportspeople are backing calls to upgrade the Cairns Convention Centre’s facilities [CCC] in 2017.

Named the world’s best congress centre in 2014, the CCC underwent a $13 million refurbishment last year.

But Member for Cairns Rob Pyne says concern has emerged that major conferences may be lured away from Cairns in the future due to its size. 

“There have been previous plans to build increased capacity for the convention centre,” Mr Pyne says.

“It sounds funny but size has become the big issue.

“There are an increasing number of international conferences that we aren’t able to host because they are just so big.”

Concerts and sporting events could be improved with a big screen and updated scoreboards, Mr Pyne says.

“We certainly need to think on a bigger scale,” he says.

Cairns Taipans captain Cam Gliddon says he would welcome improved facilities.

“It would be great,” he says.

“A lot of teams have big screens and there are a lot of things you can do [with a big screen] to enhance game night entertainment.

“That would be a great addition.”

Teammate Nnanna Egwu says players enjoy having a big screen.

“Sometimes things happen on the court and I look up at the big screen just to see what’s going on,” he says.

“As fans, you miss stuff too. You’re on your phone and you look up and think, ‘Oh. What’s happened?’”

CCC general manager Ross Steele was unavailable for comment over the holiday period.

Cairns Regional Council says it will seek a commitment to expand the Cairns Convention Centre from the state government in 2017.