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    Wrap-up of our Cairns 2030 wishlist

    In the final instalment of our Cairns 2030 wishlist, we ask local leaders what their vision for 2030 is. In this edition we speak with Luckbir Singh from MacDonnells Law / yRepublic and Fiona Jose from Cape York Partnership.


    It is a very aspirational list set out by our Cairns 2030 think tank, however most, if not all are within reach if the community and it's leaders pulled together with the common goal of achieving a vibrant, successful, economically robust region.

    Before we explore the next five items on the wishlist here is a quick recap of the first ten:

    01. Convention Centre is extended

    02. Another national sporting team

    03. Thriving small bar scene and laneway culture

    04. Major roads upgrade

    05. A third university

    06. Planning started for Cairns Airport’s second runway

    07. Sustainable tourism sector in Cape York

    08. Great Barrier Reef is alive and well

    09. More residential living in the Cairns CBD

    10. Second hospital and health precinct

    11. Prosperous towns across the region

    12. Internationally renowned annual festival

    13. Wangetti trail is built

    14. Aquis has opened its doors

    15. Rectangular stadium

    And now for the final five: 

    16. WATERFRONT SEAFOOD MARKET

    Some of the world’s best seafood is caught in the waters surrounding the tropical north and our region has a rich history in the fishing industry. We love to imagine a bustling weekend seafood market full of fresh local produce, small oyster bars and outdoor dining options. While Rusty’s Markets caters for land-based agriculture, we think our growing population and booming tourism sector will one day make a seafood market viable. A section of the Cruise Liner Terminal could be the ideal location.

    17. PASSENGERS ALL ABOARD THE CAIRNS LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM

    The vision of a light rail system zipping around Cairns was a key promise of Mayor Bob Manning in this year’s council election. Dubbed “The Green Train”, Cr Manning said it could potentially take passengers from Mt Peter in the south to Clifton Beach in the north. Significant funding from all levels of government is required, but our public transport system needs it. The Green Train would solve a range of transport issues facing our city into the future.

    18. ACCESS TO EXPORT MARKETS FOR OUR AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

    As Tropic Magazine columnist Shaun Donaldson explains on pages 22-23 of edition 1, the Tropical North has the potential to be Asia’s delicatessen, rather than the much-talked about food bowl. The clean, green credentials of our local produce holds massive potential for growth as Asia’s middle classes seek out high quality food. But getting our produce to those potential customers is still a major hurdle. We’d like to see facility upgrades at Cairns Airport to allow our region to capitalise by 2030.

    19. CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR PERFORMING ARTS

    The Tropical North is home to some incredible talent in drama, theatre production, film-making, dance and music. We think there’s huge potential to grow this creative sector of our community with a dedicated performing arts school, either utilising TAFE resources or university curriculums, while also incorporating primary and high school students. Fostering indigenous talent should also be an important component of the centre. A site such as the Centre of Contemporary Arts building on Abbott St might be the ideal location.

    20. FOCUS ON TROPICAL ARCHITECTURE

    We don’t live in a cold climate, yet so much of our residential architecture and building design is better suited to Canberra than Cairns. Local award-winning architects like Jesse Bennett are leading the way with a melding of traditional tropical style with modern touches that bring the outside in while embracing the environmental context in which the buildings are situated. By 2030, we’d love to see more homes and buildings reflect our heritage – and our future – as the globe tilts towards the tropics.