22 November 2019
Enterprise North Calls for State Government to Abandon Global Tourism Hub Casino Project
Ongoing uncertainty around the process surrounding the Cairns Global Tourism Hub which remains linked to the second casino licence on the Gold Coast decision, continues to haunt Cairns and should be abandoned immediately Executive Manager of Enterprise North Kevin Byrne said in a statement today.
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that there is unlikely to be a second casino on the Gold Coast anytime soon as the political process keeps kicking the can down the road, so the State Government needs to decouple Cairns from the Global Tourism Hub (GTH) process to allow the City to chart its own course and to allow for an orderly development process to occur on the currently designated Ports North precinct” he said
“There are a number issues here, not the least of which is to allow the existing casino the freedom to pursue its own business plans for the future without the threat of another licence, as well as sending a strong signal to current and future investors that Cairns is again open for business without being shackled to a pre ordained process being played out 2000km away. We have waterfront property available, we have three new large hotels coming on line in the CBD, we have a renewed focus on some fair dinkum marketing and advocacy around the core strengths of our destination, we have a commitment to a long overdue upgrade of the convention centre and we have a recently completed dredging program so some of the fundamentals are in place for us to look positively at the future”
Mr Byrne says the missing ingredient for a city like Cairns in attracting its market share of the international visitor market remains reliable and affordable direct access to the Cairns International Airport, as well sufficient and affordable domestic capacity on appropriate aircraft to ensure the destination “sells”.
“You can always put the best spin on anything, but if the fundamentals are not in place then the investment just won’t happen and you get caught out. There is much work needed to be done to get Cairns back into the game and we have always been at our best when we have set our sights optimistically on what is realistically achievable for a city of our size”
“It is really time for us to demonstrate some independence of purpose here now and abandon the mindset of the reliance on Brisbane to continuously influence our future growth and development particularly with projects such as these which could have, and should have been concluded some time ago”
About Enterprise North
Working in collaboration with other like groups, Enterprise North is an economic infrastructure and policy advocacy group driving a fresh agenda to grow the city and region within the Northern Australia growth framework. Our agenda is double the city and region population numbers in the next 30 years.
Media contact: Kevin Byrne 0447 280 923 firstname.lastname@example.org