Premier Anna Bligh today welcomed today’s vote by the Cairns Regional Council in favour of the $154.6 million Cairns Entertainment Precinct.

“This is an extremely important day in the future of Cairns,” Ms Bligh said.

“It’s full steam ahead for this project which will help transform the city and breathe new life into tourism in the region.

“Now only Campbell Newman and Gavin King stand in the way of the Precinct.

“Campbell Newman says it’s not a priority and Gavin King doesn’t back the Precinct either.

“Make no mistake this project is dead in the water if the LNP gains government,” Ms Bligh said.

The Premier said the Queensland Government had already gifted land valued at $40 million and following a business case that “stacked up” had committed a further $57.3 million to be funded by selling a section of the Brisbane CBD.

Following today’s vote the Cairns Regional Council will match the $57.3 million in state funding and the Federal Government will provide $40 million.

“That’s $154.6 million on the table for Cairns to build a world class entertainment precinct,” Ms Bligh said.

“But the whole project falls down like a house of cards if Campbell Newman gets elected.

“He’s on the record as saying the project needs to be stopped.

“Gavin King is weak and ineffectual – he wants a smaller precinct in a different location but has no alternative plan.

“Only the Bligh Government is backing this project.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost the social, cultural and economic life of Cairns and the LNP will kill it,” Ms Bligh said.

The $154.6 Million Precinct will deliver:

  • A Performing Arts Centre – including a 1,100 seat performance space and 23 metre wide stage.
  • A multi-purpose rehearsal space which can be used by performing arts companies and community groups for small performances of up to 150 seas
  • A low height rehearsal studio for small rehearsals or performances like cabaret
  • Restoration of the heritage-listed White’s Shed so it can be utilised for community cultural activities, along with enhanced connectivity to the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal
  • A public plaza with canopy for weather protection
  • A pedestrian link connecting the Cairns Convention Centre to the Cairns Entertainment Precinct
  • Additional capacity enabling the Convention Centre to bid for more conferences