Friday 30 March 2012

Cairns Cultural Precint to be first casualty under a Unity Council

Cairns mayoral candidate Bob Manning vows to move precinct

Daniel Strudwick
Saturday, February 11, 2012
© The Cairns Post

Precious land: Cairns mayoral candidate Bob Manning is keen to keep port land.

The former Cairns Port Authority chief executive Bob Manning says saving port land earmarked for the Cairns Entertainment Precinct will be his top priority if elected mayor in April. Do you agree with his plans?

Mr Manning and his team of council candidates have pledged to move the proposed complex to another site, scrap any facilities not related to the performing arts, and scale back the project’s size and cost. But the group concedes it could have trouble dismantling the current $155 million proposal if the cost of tearing up existing contracts and funding deeds proves too dear.

Despite assurances from Ports North that the current precinct site is "entirely compatible" with its master plan and strategic plan, Mr Manning insists the region cannot afford to give up port land to non-marine ventures. "We will do everything we can to protect that port – that is the most crucial issue," Mr Manning said yesterday.

Mr Manning's Unity 2012 team says it will consider other sites for construction such as the existing Civic Theatre, Munro Martin Park, the Ports North car park site or Hartley St opposite William McCormack Place. And they said a budget of about $85-90 million was "fair".

According to Unity's action plan released yesterday, a council led by Mr Manning would immediately scrutinise the current council's dealings to ensure all contracts comply with relevant legislation. Mr Manning said if the $155 million precinct was "contractually bound up" by the works already under way, he would have no choice but to proceed with the existing proposal.

Contracts already signed include funding deeds with the State and Federal governments worth $97.3 million.And the contract for project management rights could also be signed with a construction company before the April 28 local government elections. But Mr Manning said the next council should put forward a case to governments to spare the port land by building the precinct elsewhere."That story has not been taken forwardly strongly," he said.

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  1. Well wait until he sees the fight against anything he wats, he wants division then I will ensure he gets it.

  2. Ross - it's not a "casualty"!
    You should choose you headline more thoughtfully.

    It is a sensible decision, one that this Council nearly made if Cooper hadn't done a "hey look at me" act.
    Yes an expenditure of less than $100 million on more suitable land not prone to flooding and storm surges - is the way to go.

    I believe that the tired old Munro Martin Park site is the perfect place.
    Bob and Unity - you have my full support.
    With Campbell-Newman running the State Govt shortly the funding will still be there.

  3. Thoughtful voter, We cannot affrod to start again. Get serious, how is that wise? lol lol lol lol lol lol

  4. To all those interested individuals that think Munro Martin Park is the answer, I believe you are short sighted and don't love the City of Cairns. Parks and open spaces are the lungs of any city and that includes Cairns more so as it is short of parks. Would you cut your nose to spite your face?

    It was a dreadful decision, the Goss Government made in the early 90's to cement over and hand to private enterprise ANZAC Park. Do not allow this to happen to Munro Martin Park!

  5. I agree the park should stay, in fact I think we need more as the CBD is too sprawly with empty shops and dead streets, Using Munro Park would make it just a bigger concrete sprawl and Sheridan Street well and truly over developed.. I would like to Munro improved though.

  6. Thoughtful Voter, I agree with you on everything but where the New Civic Theatre should be placed! The Council owned land, where once the Shed of Shame stood, would be perfect as the building could incorporate a carpark area, walkway above the road to the Convention Centre and does not suffer the floods or tidal water!!! As for the Funding, Some of that money was for the Stimulus Package for the Cairns Region, yet it still sits in some lost coffer not available to us, why should we, as Ratepayers, be held out to accept an expensive plan which will put us, our children and our grandchildren in debt for such a few to attend, remember most Musical Groups, Rock Bands shows and the like, attract upwards of 30 thousand people, are the rest of these people going to listen to their fav bands outside as they could not secure one of the 11oo seats???!!! We have so many empty shops in the CBD and surrounding centres do we really need more to be put into the area??? I agree the fact that this Council is ploughing forward with no regard for the majority of ratepayers thoughts, is scary as they are trying to pass on issues which will impede any, and I mean ANY Council who are elected in April. It seems they just want to put us all in more and more debt and then when they are voted out, including Ms Cooper, what will they do? Oh Yes Ms Lesina will still be using our ratepaying money for a few weeks to Campaign for her Labor seat!!! Boy Kirsten, where is the young National Party girl we met a few years ago, money talks and turns! It is not that long ago that Tom Pyne used a piece of wasteland on which to place the Council Chambers, some said it was too far out of town and no one would use it as they felt it would be hard to access, now it is not that far out of town, easy to access, plenty of parking and a great asset to our Region! Why put what could be a fabulous asset on a piece of land which, as we all know, is in the line of a tidal surge, a cyclone, tidal water and not enough room for parking! Why, why,why???? Boss Hog

  7. Ross, Boss Hog here. Can you enlighten me and my mates who this Zac Murphy character is and where he comes from. We have never heard of him. The Brain character, We believe is some sort of ex army guy who needs a job now he has decided to leave his cushy job, and we have been on the Sue FB site to see what she is all about, but the other two characters have said very little. What's their story?? Would love for you to find out. Boss Hog Also What is a URL?? I can type ok but not real computer savvy!!!

  8. Ross, Boss Hog again, I would appreciate a reply as I find it rude of you not to reply to my questions, and so to do my mates here! Boss Hog

    1. Boss Hog, thank you for your query and my aplogy for not replying sooner. I have only just this minute logged on. You are doing well so far so you must be a little computer savvy. I have done some research for you about URL and the below is what I found out.

      "URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL can be shortened to or This is especially convenient for messaging technologies such as Twitter".

      Now, with regards to the candidates. You are right about Steve Brain he is an ex army person looking to serve the community from the Council table. Am unsure who Zac Murphy is and what he does for a quid but I will find out for you and let you know as soon as I find out. Likewise, for Sue Bertuch I will have to do my research. Community Alliance is having difficulty finding a suitable candidate for Div.1. Stay tuned for research results. Hope you enjoy the postings.

  9. So Ross ... according to your poll we have 70% against the present CEP proposal.
    That's representation is because no other mayoral candidate agrees with the present contrived size, shape and most importantly, location.

    That's the Schier/Boyle Labour Party way of deciding for you.

    No consultation, no pragmatic outlook, no conscience whatsoever.
    Just, we know what's right for you, people of Cairns.

    Once the contracts are signed then Kirsten will resign.

    For gods sake - why build a structure on the fringe of a storm surge location?

    Surely remedial design adds millions to the price ...

    Port land should be kept for port use - once it's gone, it's gone.

    1. Good evening 'Thoughtful Voter'. Yes, you are correct in your assessment about CEP support if you add up all votes cast other than Val Schier vote. Within the next couple of days I will articulate my thoughts on the CEP proposal.Thank you for reading my Blog.Cheers.

  10. Ross, thankyou about the URL, still non the wiser as I do not use Twitter and have only just got onto using a computer for keeping up with things going on! I used to only play cards on our kids one!! In relation to Sue bertuch, she I found on Facebook as her car was parked at Gordonvale the other day and I saw the sign she has on it. She has a good timeline and profile. Steve Brain I found on Google but He has not done anything to excite me and Zac Murphy again I found on Facebook and he is ???? Unknown! I think I will reserve my vote til later and find out some more.! Thanks for replky though. Boss Hog

  11. Thanks Ross,

    One of the biggest impediments to the CEP is the inability of the current councillors to evercome their bitter stalemate and get on with the job of building a new facility.

    Bob Manning and Unity 2012 has committed to a new entertainment centre and will deliver it. I seriously doubt that re-electing the same dysfunctional independents on April 28 will get us any closer to the entertainment centre we need and deserve.

  12. Hi Ross, There are explosives that move through that port (general cargo for mines elsewhere) and the latest documentation from the Council, at long last! is taking this into consideration and it took Bill Cummings to bring it up... not Ports North???. The CEP in its current location now has an evacuation plan set at 20mins that take these explosives into consideration. 20min! The site for the last couple of decades at least has been called a buffer zone! The site lies smack bang in the middle of an over pressure zone! The CEP group are making recommendations to Ports North that maybe they can monitor activity to minimize impact to the CEP???, the port was there first, it can't go anywhere else??

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