Curtis Pitt, Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, has unveiled initial concept drawings for the massive $176 million overhaul of the Cairns Convention Centre.
The Queensland Government allocated $176 million for the expansion project in the 2017/18 State Budget, which will include 3,000 square metres of new exhibition space and meeting rooms as well as the refurbishment of the existing space.
The Cairns Convention Centre is located on the edge of Cairns CBD and is bound by Hartley, Sheridan, Wharf and Grafton streets.
“We are massively expanding the capacity and potential of the Cairns Convention Centre as part of the revival of our CBD to ensure it’s a legacy that will benefit our region long into the future,” Mr Pitt said.
“I want it to be an exciting statement about who we are in the north, something that reflects our ancient cultures and environments but with a modern eye to the future.
“There are some space constraints to consider in fitting a new 3,000m exhibition hall and supporting plenary space into this CBD location, given existing buildings and roads in this area and also the Port Authority building and fig tree to the east.
“That’s why these concepts provide options to expand to the North or the East with a determination to be made that provides the best benefits for Cairns, the Port and the city well into the future.
“Additional convention business will be a catalyst for investment in the region in particular with continued hotel refurbishments and new hotel infrastructure.”
Mick de Brenni, the Minister for Housing and Public Works, said the project will boost the regional economy and the overall vibrancy of the CBD.
“These initial concepts for this major upgrade for the Convention Centre are about giving Cairns a competitive advantage in the hotly contested global convention market,” Mr de Brenni said.
“When works starts there’ll be immediate employment opportunities in construction and it will provide ongoing direct and indirect employment opportunities long into the future through hospitality, logistics, security, maintenance and much more.”
“We’re estimating that the new exhibition space will add around $30 million additional economic benefit to the region each year. An expansion will bring an additional 25 large conventions and events per year to Cairns and around 20,000 additional visitors per year to experience the wonders of the tropics,” Ross Steele, Cairns Convention Centre General Manager said.
Mr Steele went on to say that the facility is already punching well above its weight on the global stage but it was time for the centre to modernise and expand to enter a new phase of life.
“Investing in this kind of growth will enable us to take on new conferences and events of even greater sizes and complexity which will cement our position on the global stage,” he said.
Stay up to date with the latest industry news and project updates by subscribing to PlantMiner's blog.
Source: Queensland Government