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    Your daily local news briefing // Thursday 8 June 2017

    WEATHER FORECAST
    Cairns: 20-26C max, mostly sunny
    Port Douglas: 21-25C max, 5% chance of rain
    Mareeba: 11-24C max, 5% chance of rain
    Innisfail: 13-24C max, 5% rain


    TODAY'S TOP STORIES

    INTERNATIONAL TOURISM GROWTH
    Backpackers account for 22% of Tropical North Queensland's international visitor market, while Japan has continued to surge as a major source market. The latest international visitor survey also shows total international visitors to the region climbed to 890,000 in the 12 months to March, a 7.2% growth rate.
    Japan is now TNQ's second biggest market with 110,000 visitors a year, just ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom.
    China remains our biggest source of tourists, with 218,000 visitors in the 12 months to March, an 8.8% rise.

    ARRAY OF CHARGES FOR PROPERTY OFFENDERS
    From Cairns Police: Officers from the Cairns Property Crime Squad charged a number of youths yesterday as a result of investigations into recent property offences committed across the area. A 17-year-old Yarrabah man was taken into custody at a caravan park in Manunda yesterday afternoon and was charged overnight with a total of 42 offences comprising:

    • 14 counts of burglary
    • 15 counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle
    • 5 counts of stealing
    • 3 counts of attempted burglary

    Single counts of entering premises and stealing, possession of stolen property, unlicensed driving, attempted unlawful use of a motor vehicle and failing to appear in court in accordance with an undertaking.The charges relate to offences allegedly committed at Babinda, Gordonvale, Yarrabah, Edmonton, White Rock, Bayview Heights, Mooroobool, Manunda, Kanimbla, Edge Hill, Whitfield, Brinsmead and Kamerunga between mid-December and yesterday.
    He is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court this morning.

    CLUBHOUSE KITCHEN SET FOR OFFICIAL OPENING
    Federal Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash will join Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch to officially open a new commercial kitchen at mental health support centre The Junction Clubhouse tomorrow.
    The kitchen, made possibly by a $60,000 Federal grant, will allow members of the clubhouse to offer a catering service to local businesses and become more financially independent.
    The Junction Clubhouse provides a range of support services to help with housing, employment, personal development and healthy lifestyles as people transition from mental health treatment back into the community.

    FA'AOSO HOSTS FILM FESTIVAL
    Local director, producer and actor Aaron Fa’aoso has been named as the host of the upcoming Understory Film Festival.
    The Cairns-born star of Black Comedy and The Straits will present the showcase of local films and announce the genre winners at the fourth annual Understory festival. “It can be really challenging for film professionals in the Far North to be visible in the industry,” Fa’aoso said. “There is some great work being produced but it’s hard to get noticed from up here.
    “Understory is a great platform for emerging filmmakers to not only develop their skills and help launch their careers, but also to showcase the talent we have here in Far North Queensland.”
    The free community event features more than 20 locally produced short films from a range of genres at Tanks Arts Centre on 17 June.