Cairns Convention Centre building
Cairns Convention Centre building

FNQ Mayors to Palaszczuk: We're "running out of time"

FAR North mayors have issued a plea to the State Government to release business case studies into crucial infrastructure saying the region is "running out of time".

Building Queensland has completed a detailed business case for the Cairns Convention Centre in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works and for Nullinga Dam after discussions with SunWater and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. They are now with the Queensland Government for perusal.

Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore said he would give the state two months to look over the Nullinga Dam documents before they should lay "them out on the table so we can all see it".

"It certainly is a matter of urgency. We've all been through this process for a considerable period of time. When you come to a point like this everyone wants to see the document," he said.

"But I do understand the Government needs to see it and absorb it," he said.

"I would like to see it released as quickly as possible.

"I've already seen a first draft of the document and it looked very positive, but the final document is the final arbiter of this.

"We know within 30 years Cairns City won't have water for further development. There is only one answer ... that is to build a dam.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he would speak to the state government about the Cairns Convention Centre Case Study. Cr Manning with Member for Cairns Michael Healy. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he would speak to the state government about the Cairns Convention Centre Case Study. Cr Manning with Member for Cairns Michael Healy. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"We can talk about it and do reports and look at numbers, but we know ultimately we need that dam.

These things are self evident and I hope State Government sees it that way too."

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he would speak to the State Government today about the Cairns Convention Centre case study.

He said both the dam and the CCC were "critically important developments".

"Especially the convention centre, the ministry has been working hard to get ahead, but it is one of biggest operations in Cairns and one of our most important in terms of attracting people to Cairns and keeping people here for a long time so they spend money," Cr Manning said.

"The budget for the project was $174m but there was a specification this was being built to. It has to meet that and if the cost is going to be more, I expect the government will do what they did in Townsville (for the stadium) and dedicate more money to it."

Building Queensland chief executive Damian Gould said the Nullinga Dam case was endorsed by the BQ board on June 20 after 12 months.

The CCC case was endorsed on June 21 after being developed over seven months.

"The scale of investment required for these projects warrants rigorous analysis to support decision-making processes to ensure any investment delivers the best outcomes for the community and the best value for taxpayers," he said.

"Building Queensland supports transparency around project decision-making and will release further information, including estimated costs, after government has considered the outcomes of the business cases."