Cairns MP Gavin King says CBD revival is still on the cards
CAIRNS MP Gavin King insists the revamp of the Cairns CBD can go ahead without the $38 million that was pulled from the Lake St upgrade, but projects will be smaller and money will have to come from multiple sources.
Mr King is tight-lipped about a series of proposals he has for the CBD revitalisation, some of which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Mr King, who held talks with inner-city business owners yesterday, said reviving the CBD would involve money from all levels of government and the private sector.
"Public-private partnerships aren’t a dirty word any more because we very much need to encourage the private sector into investing in the CBD," he said.
Pharmacist Nick Loukas, who has a shop on Lake St, said the talks were optimistic, and the proposals for small-scale projects did not mean a broader vision would vanish.
"There are some immediate things that can happen without costing much money, but the overall picture for the city is still the ultimate aim in everyone’s minds," Mr Loukas said.
The group of CBD stakeholders who met the Cairns MP yesterday agreed Cairns Regional Council’s city centre master plan contained the sort of planning needed to pull the CBD from its doldrums.
"The existing master plan is the best on the table and we’re still loving that," arts industry representative and CBD Revive mainstay Melissa Robertson said.
Some small works from the award-winning master plan have already started, including tree planting on Sheridan and Abbott streets.
Mr King said Cairns could only seek money for big-ticket transformations, such as opening up Lake St to traffic, when all stakeholders agreed on the projects.
He said Mayor Bob Manning and his council should have the city heart at the centre of its thinking when it puts together its capital works budget for the financial year.
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Pushing ahead: Cairns MP Gavin King insists the revamp of the Cairns CBD can go ahead without the $38 million that was pulled from the Lake St upgrade, but projects will be smaller and money will have to come from multiple sources.