Cairns Convention Centre expansion

Cairns Convention Centre expansion

The Queensland government unveils draft concept designs for the $176 million expansion project that will feature more space for exhibitions and meetings.

A number of major projects are getting underway, as the federal and state government pump the largest tourism investment into the Sunshine State.

An estimated 20 000 new jobs will be created in Queensland, thanks to $14 billion dollars worth of building and construction projects.

And Cairns is set to receive a large chunk of the pie, which includes new luxury hotels, restaurants, arts centres and an expanded marina. Such developments will cater to the millions of visitors flocking to explore sandy beaches, lush rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and other tropical gems.

The award-winning Cairns Convention Centre has a major overhaul to look forward to, as the Queensland government unveils draft concept designs for the $176 million expansion project. The existing space will be refurbished and there will be an extra 3000 square metres for exhibitions and meetings.

But it won’t all be smooth sailing. The designs provide various options to tackle the challenge of fitting the exhibition hall into the surrounding area, which includes existing buildings, roads and a fig tree.

Conveniently located only 10 minutes away from the airport, the centre has served as a meeting place for national and international guests since 1997. It was Australia’s first environmentally-designed major public building, thanks largely to the design of its roof, which channels tropical rainfall into a water storage tank that irrigates the garden.

The expansion is expected to attract around 20 000 extra visitors to Cairns each year, according to Ross Steele, general manager of the Cairns Convention Centre.

“We’re estimating that that the new exhibition space will add around $30 million additional economic benefit to the region each year.”

The minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, expects the project will boost the regional economy, by giving Cairns a competitive advantage.

“When work starts there’ll be immediate employment opportunities in construction and it will provide ongoing direct and indirect employment opportunities long into the future through hospitality, logistics, security, maintenance and much more.”