In a coup, the Mayor has gotten $38 Million from an already-strapped state government in commitments to overhaul the entire Cairns CBD including the tired transport element. First stage money will be used to remove City Place and reopen Lake Street to bus and other traffic. Council should be praised for their open and transparent consultation process, which clearly recognised that the day of City Place has ended, with the social hub now the Esplanade. So with traffic returning to Lake Street, Grafton can be narrowed and calmed to benefit the coffee club and shopping area there. While some lamented the closure of City Place, most could clearly see that time has moved on in the CBD.
The second plaudits go to Mayor Schier for her dogged determination to build a well-needed replacement to the Civic Theater in a high-visibility and public friendly location. Reports today of a population spurt to over 210,000 in ten years will make this new Entertainment Precinct a well-needed "investment in Cairns future".
The Entertainment Precinct support has reached critical mass in the last few weeks. With the State and Federal governments already showing their financial support, the biggest push has come from leaders like former mayor Tom Pyne and even now the grudging support of Federal opposition MP Warren Entsch. With all the leaders now firmly on board, it will be damn near impossible for the 300 4CA Hillbillies to derail this project now!