Cairns Convention Centre set for expansion with $176 million government funding
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the funding will be put towards expanding the centre into a “state-of-the-art international venue”.
“This catalytic investment will enhance Cairns’ reputation as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and underpin the future economy in the Far North,” he said.
The expansion will include a refurbishment of the existing centre plus the addition of new exhibition space and meeting rooms. The government predicts the expansion will have major economic benefits for Cairns, including an additional $30 million of economic benefit for the regional economy each year, greater investment in Tropical North Queensland, and 20,000 extra visitors annually.
Cairns Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele welcomed the announcement.
“The continued commitment by the State Government will allow the Cairns Convention Centre to grow in line with the aspirations of the city, with new hotels, new aquarium and continued strong investment in the city heart, it really is an exciting time in Cairns,” he said.
“We look forward to progressing our plans for construction which is expected to commence following the Commonwealth Games basketball preliminaries which will be held at the Centre in April 2018.”
The Budget also included a $120 million commitment to the Cairns Shipping Development Project, which Pitt described as a “much needed project to deliver growth in cruise shipping and jobs in the tourism sector”.