CAIRNS is to get a major new entertainment, tourism and leisure precinct, as part of a $23.3 million project to redevelop the Port of Cairns foreshore, Acting Premier Paul Lucas announced last week.
Mr Lucas said the works were the largest investment in the Cairns CBD and tourism industry in many years.
"This is a big shot in the arm for Cairns and is the most extensive development of the foreshore since the Cityport North works and the Cairns Esplanade and Lagoon opened in 2003.
Queensland Government-owned Ports North is bringing forward the redevelopment to support jobs, investment and economic development in Cairns and the region, Mr Lucas said.
"This work will complete the 1.6 kilometre public waterfront promenade linking the Esplanade through to the new Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.
"The redevelopment will improve and expand public space with a series of linked and activated parklands which showcase the tropical environment of Cairns," Mr Lucas said.
Minister for Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure, Craig Wallace said the centrepiece of the new development will be an interactive play and climbing structure built through and around the 70 year old fig tree adjacent to Wharf 1.
"As well a major heritage restoration of Shed 2 will be undertaken to create new commercial space suitable for a wide range of opportunities including retail, restaurants, exhibition and markets together with a new kiosk and public seating areas on Wharf 1," Mr Wallace said.
The development will also include new featured lighting to the historic wharf piles, additional public view platforms over the water, BBQ areas and shelters and a special refurbished fishing deck," he said.
According to the government, other key aspects of the new foreshore development include:
- A new seawall to the whole of the precinct;
- Palm tree lined seating areas to the front of the Hilton Hotel;
- A range of small and large public artworks;
- Refurbishment of the existing car park to service the development;
- New link from Wharf Street through to the waterfront; and
- Tropical landscaping throughout providing a balance of shaded and open parklands