I’m writing today to tell you about The Precinct project which will go before Council for consideration and endorsement at a meeting to be held tomorrow.
The Precinct involves the construction of a purpose-built theatre complex (Cairns Performing Arts Centre) on the site of the existing Cairns Civic Theatre, and to complement the facility and to create a unique and attractive new precinct, Munro Martin Park will be developed into a tropical parkland with an outdoor performance space (Munro Martin Parklands).
This Council has been committed to creating a new dedicated performing arts venue that will serve the Cairns community for the next 50 years. The Precinct achieves this by providing a new theatre which will address the shortfalls of the existing facility while creating a lush parkland on the fringe of the CBD for residents to enjoy.
The cost of the overall project is estimated to be approximately $65 million.
Over the past decade, Council has considered a number of options to replace the ageing Civic Theatre, the most recent being the $155 million Cairns Entertainment Precinct (CEP) which did not proceed for a number of reasons. The following developments have occurred which resulted in Council proposing the current course of action.
u On 11 April 2012, the then Minister for Local Government advised the previous Mayor of his decision to revoke an earlier approval by the former Minister to appoint a Managing Contractor for the project. This decision followed a clear message from the Newman Government (when in Opposition) that it did not support the project on strategic land adjacent to the Cairns waterfront.
u On 30 May 2012, the current Council resolved to confirm the suspension of the CEP project.