Sources Saturday advised HBW that financiers for the planned Cairns Aquarium have pulled the plug on the development. Is anyone surprised?
Developer Daniel Leipnik was set to build the modest $35M Aquarium on a (too small) site next to the Novatel Cairns "Batshit" Hotel. Aquis is set to build "one of the world's largest aquariums" as part of their project at Aquis Beach. So the predicted 500,000 visits per year to the CBD aquarium are gone.
This explains why LNP Member for MacKenzie Gavin King, known for his description of Chinese as "freaks and weirdos", was so quick to knock back any LNP support for the project.
Currently, Australia's largest aquarium is the Aquarium of Western Australia.
When the Cairns Aquarium project was first announced, city leaders fawned over the project and its importance to the
struggling CBD. Leipnik observed "Cairns just needs a major flagship attraction in the CBD and it marries up all the wonderful things that the city is about, which is reef and rainforest". Nothing about this has changed. And a little more air is drained out of the CBD. The axing of the Val Schier council's Entertainment Precinct and Museum CBD drawcard by the Sleepy Manning Council is looking more idiotic by the day.
The Aquis project also is set to include a waterpark on a site five times the size of what car wash queen Paul Freebody has unsuccessfully tried to build 2km away. The only one who hasn't written this project off the books is Freebody himself, who was seen bending the ear of every Asian-looking attendee at the Trinity Luncheon. This included two waiters.
You've got to wonder the fate of all the operating tourist attractions in Cairns. Their survival will depend on deals made to access the Aquis tourists for daytrips. Will this be an open process for all? Will places like Skyrail and the Cairns Zoo thrive, or die?
And do any of our leaders give a shit?