Your daily local news briefing // Monday 20 June 2017
Cairns: 19-27C max, 40% chance of rain
Port Douglas: 21-25C max, 70% chance of rain
Mareeba: 17-23C max, 30% chance of rain
Innisfail: 19-23C max, 70% rain
TODAY'S TOP STORIES
PERFECT TIMING FOR CONVENTION CENTRE EXPANSION
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has defended the timing of the State Government's funding pledge for the Cairns Convention Centre, saying construction on the expansion plan would happen after conferences already booked in were staged.
The government's $176 million pledge drew criticism from some quarters after it was revealed only $1 million of the total cost was allocated in the new state budget. But construction cannot start at the site due to existing commitments, including Commonwealth Games basketball matches.
GAMES TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
Speaking of the Commonwealth Games, tickets are still available to those basketball matches due to be held in Cairns in April next year.
Despite more than a million tickets being requested in the pre-order program for the Games across the state, organisers say there are still seats available for the preliminary rounds of the basketball competition in Cairns. Tickets will be released in July: for ticket information go to www.gc2018.com
NO WORD ON FUNDING FOR CAIRNS AQUARIUM
State Environment Minister Steven Miles has refused to comment on the possibility of funding for Cairns Aquarium, despite using the site to stage a media conference yesterday.
Mr Miles faced the media at the aquarium to announce $1.3 million for some minor tourism infrastructure, but would not be drawn on the Aquarium's funding hopes. An Aquarium spokeswoman told local media the attraction was continuing to seek grants from all levels of government, particularly for research and awareness programs.
LEGENDS ARE BACK TO CLAIM ORIGIN 2 WIN
The Maroons hope two legends of the game will help them level the State Of Origin series in game 2 tonight.
Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater return to the Queensland line-up after NSW's bruising win in game 1.
Captain Cameron Smith is confident going into tonight's clash in Sydney, saying game 1 was a "wake up call" for the team. The bookies are backing NSW however, with the Blues paying $1.65 against the Maroons $2.30.