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PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY ADVOCATING FOR CAIRNS TNQ

Australia’s most global regional city Bernard Salt, April 5, 2019 Future Cairns


CAIRNS CITY IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE GROWN BY

CAIRNS CITY POPULATION

FAST FACTS A

s Australia’s most global regional city, Cairns is a prosperous, growing and investment-ready regional centre located in the heart of Tropical North Queensland. Strategically located between two World Heritage listed sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest – the region is more than simply a world class tourist destination. It is fast becoming known for its tropical expertise in health, agriculture, marine science, engineering, construction and education. The region is well connected to the rest of Australia through direct airline links to seven countries, and has competitive access to significant global markets. With easy access to the Pacific via Cairns International Airport and the Cairns sea port, and with air, road and rail links to all major Australian cities, the region offers unrivalled connectivity to northern Australia.

REGIONAL POPULATION

166,862 279,948

0.85%

CAIRNS IS THE FIFTH LARGEST CITY IN QUEENSLAND AND THE FIFTEENTH LARGEST CITY IN AUSTRALIA

TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND BOASTS A

IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS

$16.33B

TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

2.2 MILLION DOMESTIC VISITORS 842,000 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS 5.2 MILLION+ PASSENGER MOVEMENTS ANNUALLY

$3.5B An analysis of jobs held by the TNQ Regional workforce in 2018/19 shows the five largest sectors were: HEALTH CARE & SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

17,816 (13.4%) RETAIL TRADE

13,455 (10.1%) CONSTRUCTION

12,985 (9.8%) ACCOMMODATION & FOOD SERVICES

GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT

ANNUAL EXPENDITURE

OUTPUT BY INDUSTRY SECTOR

INDUSTRY $M 18/19% Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

2,659.6

8.7

Mining

1,388.5 4.5

Manufacturing

2,821.5 9.2

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

1,436.1

Construction

3,765.9 12.3

Wholesale Trade

4.7

715.2

2.3

1,203.6

3.9

Accommodation and Food Services

1,419.3

4.6

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

2,321.7

7.6

Retail Trade

Information Media and Telecommunications Financial and Insurance Services

344.5

1.1

1,004.1

3.3

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

3,033.7

9.9

12,937 (9.8%)

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

1,388.3

4.5

963.3

3.2

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Public Administration and Safety

1,593.1

5.2

Education and Training

1,089.0

3.6

Health Care and Social Assistance

2,180.4

7.1

11,279 (8.5%)

These five industries accounted for 68,472 people, or 51.6% of the total TNQ Regional workforce.

Administrative and Support Services

Arts and Recreation Services

383.5

1.3

Other Services

822.1

2.7

30,533.3

100.0

Total Industries

Source: Tourism Tropical North Queensland, National and International Visitor Surveys 2019, Cairns Airport, Passenger Statistics 2019 Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils and Cairns Regional Council, Economic and Community Profiles (.id - the population experts)

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ADVOCATING FOR CAIRNS TNQ

FROM THE EXECUTIVE CHAIR The Cairns region faces a long road to recovery from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Official Treasury JobKeeper data released in June 2020 reveals Cairns is one of the hardest-hit areas economically in the country, with more workers on JobKeeper wage subsidies in Cairns than any other postcode in Queensland. The city ranked fifth in Australia behind the CBD areas of Sydney and Melbourne, which clearly demonstrates the devastating impact coronavirus has had on sectors such as tourism, hospitality and education. Since March there has been a 95% reduction in flights into Cairns and this has had a knock-on effect for the wider Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) economy. Governments at both Federal and State level have recognised the severity of the challenges facing Cairns and have been strongly supportive with a suite of assistance measures so far, most focused around business survival. Tourism remains a core pillar of the economy and its survival and resurgence will be vital for regional recovery, particularly as it is a key driver of aviation connectivity. However, there is consensus amongst regional leaders that now, more than ever, it is important that we escalate the broadening of our economic base to mitigate the impact of future shocks. To achieve this, we have identified a prioritised sequence of complementary projects that build on our tourism base and will enhance economic resilience through diversification. This first phase of investments are related to the marine, aviation, health and agriculture sectors, with several shovelready projects that can be fast-tracked

with the support of the Queensland Government. These projects will generate hundreds of jobs in traditional and advanced manufacturing, health and allied industries, engineering and design and construction. They will inject much needed confidence into the business sector, and community more broadly. Supported in the short-term by the extension of JobKeeper and other immediate survival measures such as payroll tax relief, electricity support, lease fee waivers and small business COVID-19 adaptation grants, the recommended initiatives will help to support the recovery of the Cairns region. In addition, fast tracking of capital works, the re-establishment of domestic aviation connectivity, investment in destination marketing, and the easing of interstate travel restrictions will be critical for TNQ. In selecting priority projects for the region, Advance Cairns recommends the following catalytic investments: • $115 million to progress Stage 2 of the Cairns University Hospital Innovation Precinct; plus $60 million to fund 80 new beds in the existing hospital; • $365.5 million to upgrade the Western Arterial section of the Cairns Ring Road; • $21 million to undertake a Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements, Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case for Kuranda Range Road upgrades; • $854 million for 80% of cost of Nullinga Dam (Option 2A in detailed business case) with water users funding $215 million; • $174 million for Stage 2 and 3 upgrades of the Cairns Marine Precinct, delivering a strategic national Defence asset

NICK TROMPF EXECUTIVE CHAIR

which meets the security needs of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update; plus sustainment and maintenance contracts for up to six Offshore Patrol Vessels to be home based in Cairns; • $95 million for two tertiary education projects - CQUniversity’s Cairns CBD campus and CQUniversity’s Asia Pacific Aviation Hub; plus recurrent funding of $26.7 million per year for 80 new medical student placements at James Cook University; • $62.6 million to deliver three arts, culture and sport projects - Cairns Gallery Precinct, Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct upgrades, and a sports tourism sector business case; • $136 million to seal remaining sections of Gulf Savannah Way in Queensland; • Revisions to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 to allow foreign superyacht vessels to charter in Australia; • The establishment of an Office of the Pacific bureau in Cairns; • $100 million over four years to establish a state-wide Aviation Capacity Expansion fund; • A framework for prioritised Strategic Agricultural Areas and the establishment of an Office of the Coordinator General in Cairns; We look forward to discussing these projects in detail.


MEET THE TEAM

OUR TEAM

OUR DIRECTORS

Nick Trompf, Executive Chair (above)

Michael Delaney, Director and Deputy Chair; Partner, BDO Cairns

Sean Adams, Director and Deputy Chair; Managing Director, CSF Industries

Taylor Moy, EA Business Operations (right)

PATRONS/ LIFE MEMBERS Clive Skarott, AM Patron

Sean Walsh, Director Partner, Miller Harris Lawyers

Trent Twomey, Director and Immediate Past Chairman; Pharmacist and partner, Alive Pharmacy Warehouse

Chris Boland, Director CEO, Ports North

George Chapman, AO Patron

Lt. Gen John Grey, AC (Ret’d) Patron

Tracey Groves, Director Chief Commercial Officer, Cairns Airport

Professor Sandra Harding, Director Jodie Duignan-George, Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University Director Associate Vice Chancellor, CQUniversity

Richard Ireland, Inaugural Life Member

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT SUMMARY

Tropical North Queensland has significant opportunities for growth and diversification with the key to success being location and connectivity. To achieve our vision of a prosperous, productive and sustainable city and region, Advance Cairns is seeking State and Federal commitment to the following catalytic projects.

Cairns University Hospital Redevelopment Project $174 million

Cairns Ring Road

National Highway A1

$724.5 million

$21 million

INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES Dams and Water Security $868 million

Education and Research Sector $106.7 million

2020/21

Cairns Marine Precinct $594 million

Arts, Sport and Culture

Gulf Savannah Way

$67.6 million

$136 million


PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT SUMMARY

Superyacht Chartering Revisions to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012

Cairns University Hospital

Cairns City Deal

Funding of Level 6 referral status services plus $9 million for business case

Tripartite signing of a Statement of Intent

POLICY PRIORITIES

Pacific Engagement Strategy Establishment of an Office of the Pacific in Cairns

Cairns Aviation Route Development $100 million for ACE over 4 years plus $10 million per annum for TTNQ

2020/21

Land Use and Agriculture Establishment of an Office of the Coordinator General in Cairns

Population and Migration Strategy $1.5 million

Strategic Energy Sector Investment Framework $1.5 million

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Clinical research, education and expanded health services are critical to meeting the health needs of Tropical North Queensland’s growing population. Establishing a Cairns Health and Innovation Precinct (CHIP) and an expansion of services at Cairns Hospital will be a key element in the transition of Cairns Hospital to university status, allowing the hospital to deliver world-class, high-quality care to address the critical health challenges facing TNQ. It will also enable the hospital to address its current challenges related to hospital capacity, site resilience, workforce attraction and retention, and bringing care closer to home for our community. The proposed CHIP is intended to be adjacent to and support the Cairns Hospital in the areas of research, development and training, transforming the sector to a high-tech, research-driven collaborative enterprise between the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS), James Cook University (JCU), TAFE, scientists, and private medical and technology firms. The CHIP will enable some services to be relocated from the main hospital, freeing up critical assets for clinical services. Some of the hospital’s critical services on the ground floor may also be shifted to other parts of the Cairns Hospital to address shortterm service continuity risks. The proposed CHIP will enable CHHHS to address known research gaps, such as: • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; • Tropical health and medicine; • Healthcare data linkages and health service models of care; and • Equity of access to healthcare for patients with rheumatic heart disease, sexually transmitted infections, renal disease, diabetes and blood borne viruses. In addition to clinical research, the CHIP will provide

opportunities for innovative delivery of health workforce education programs, plus ongoing clinical advancement in nursing, medical and allied health services for its patients and its workforce. It will also enable and rapidly expand virtual health care models. The CHIP will house a clinical education facility and a virtual care facility to support the delivery of telehealth patient services. A core element of the precinct will be JCU’s CTEC, a research-driven medical facility that has received a $60m Federal Government commitment including a contribution towards acquiring land for the joint facility. State Government funding is now sought for CHHHS to progress Phase 1 of the Cairns University Hospital Redevelopment Project, comprising: • Optimising the fit-out of Cairns Hospital to facilitate an extra 80 beds • Designing and constructing the CHIP in partnership with JCU Investment of $5m is now sought to progress a detailed business case for Phase 1 of the project, along with funding for land acquisition for the CHIP. A further $160m is sought to progress the CHIP to design and construction, as well as fit out the additional 80 beds. A further $3m is sought to commence highlevel planning for Phase 2 of the project, which incorporates a new acute services building at Cairns Hospital, providing sufficient capacity to 2036/37 and beyond.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Cairns Hospital will be at capacity across all bed types by 2022. • CHHHS is seeking to progress Phase 1 of its Cairns University Hospital Redevelopment Project – comprising an additional 80 beds and establishing the Cairns Health and Innovation Precinct (CHIP). • The new CHIP is proposed to be built in partnership with JCU’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC), on land adjacent to the Cairns Hospital. • JCU has received a Federal Government commitment of $60m towards CTEC (including land acquisition contribution). • State Government investment of $5m is now sought to progress a detailed business case for Phase 1 of the project, along with funding towards land acquisition. • A further $160m is sought to progress the CHIP to design and construction phase, as well as fit out the extra 80 beds at Cairns Hospital. • Funding of $3m is also sought for Phase 2 planning for a new acute services building at Cairns Hospital, providing sufficient capacity to 2036/37 and beyond.


BACKGROUND The Cairns Hospital supports an estimated resident population of 278,000 and regularly provides acute medical services for residents of the Cape and Torres region (population of 26,399). Combined with estimated population growth of 1.1% per annum, and an ageing population, it is estimated that by 2026 an additional 67,000 people will reside in the catchment area with close to one in five residents being over 65. In 2018-2019 there were 74,667 presentations to the Cairns Hospital emergency department, a 24% increase over the preceding five years, and 82,727 patients were admitted to the Hospital. Throughout 2019 the emergency department faced unprecedented pressure, averaging 211 patients per day, an increase of 4% year on year. Also 30% of emergency patients were tourists or people who live outside Cairns, in rural and remote areas including Cape York and Torres Strait. The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Strategic Infrastructure Master Plan outlines the critical need for investment in health facilities in Cairns to address current and predicted health needs.

NEXT STEPS There are significant short-term capacity constraints and resilience risks at Cairns Hospital. The plan outlines a number of strategic options to address these issues – including optimising existing assets. Cairns Hospital will be at capacity across all bed types by 2022 (c. 70 beds short) – even accounting for improvements to care models. By 2036/37, this gap will have widened to 200+ beds. This is constraining the hospital’s ability to deliver new and improved services and innovate to meet community needs. The proposal for a CHIP to service this population has broad partner support and seeks to build on successive government investments. CHHHS, supported by the Northern Queensland Primary Healthcare Network, JCU and Advance Cairns, is seeking to improve the ability of Cairns to build its own medical, nursing and allied health workforce and translate research into practice to improve health outcomes in our community.

PHASE 1 (2020-2025) “Optimise”

To deliver on the vision for the CHIP, CHHHS is required to construct a dedicated new facility adjacent to Cairns Hospital. Having secured $60 million in Federal funding as a contribution to the construction of the new facility, a further $115 million is now sought from the State Government to progress the CHIP to design and construction phase as well as $60 million to fit out an additional 80 beds in Cairns Hospital. Through expanding the Cairns Hospital precinct to accommodate medical research and specialised workforce training, the CHIP will support the transition of Cairns Hospital to Level 6 University status. A core element of the precinct will be James Cook University’s CTEC, a research-driven medical facility. CTEC will also support the delivery of JCU’s proposed Tropical Global Health Centre, which will allow expansion of the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program to offer Years 1-6 in Cairns (and Mackay).

PHASE 2 (2020-2035+)

“Innovate”

“Transform”

Optimise the use of existing Cairns Hospital

Establish the Cairns Health and Innovation Precinct (CHIP)

New, transformed Cairns Hospital

» Relocate some services offsite (e.g. outpatients) to free up capacity for acute services

» Construction of new Precinct in partnership with James Cook University on land adjacent to Cairns Hospital.

» Invest in an expanded hospital footprint to meet projected services demand:

» Refurbish the Emergency Department, improve theatre utilisation

» Relocate services off the main Cairns Hospital site – freeing up critical assets for clinical services

» Accommodate short-term growth within the existing facility (NB. Short-term capacity only)

» Deliver new, innovative care models – virtual health, ambulatory care, clinical trials

OUR RECOMMENDATION • That in 2020, the State Government fast tracks the purchase of the land for the CHIP, and contributes $5m for a business case for Phase 1 of the Cairns University Hospital Redevelopment Project. • That the State Government commits $160 million to Queensland Health to progress the implementation of Phase 1 (based on the business case), comprising an additional 80 beds at Cairns Hospital and the construction of the CHIP with JCU. • That the State Government provides $3 million in 2020-2021 to fund a preliminary business case for high-level planning for Phase 2 of the project (long-term CHHHS master plan).

» New Acute Services Building – ED, theatres, ICU, inpatient beds » Expanded sub-acute services – B Block » Further spaces available (A Block) for consolidation of other leases / admin / research space

ESIMATED PROJECT COST $174M* Phase 1 (Cairns Hospital 80 beds plus CHIP) Phase 2 (master plan) Total State investment

https://profile.id.com.au/cairns/populationestimate Queensland Treasury, Service Delivery Statements, Queensland Health 2019-2020 https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/ hospital/310000214/cairns-hospital/ emergency-department https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/ hospital/310000214/cairns-hospital/ admissions

2020 - 2021 Full business case

Land acquisition

$5m

$market value

High-level planning

-

$3m $8m

$market value

2021/22 2024/25 Delivery of projects

$160m Full business case

$6m $166m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS RING ROAD COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Access to the Cairns airport and seaport from the north, south and west is adversely impacted by a highly inefficient road network, with all directions constrained by the need to travel directly through the Cairns CBD. There is significant traffic congestion on the Captain Cook Highway and along the Cairns Western Arterial Road, both of which lead from the northern beaches into the city, and this makes the transport of freight to, from and between the key port locations difficult. While there is significant potential to expand export activities for the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region, particularly to Asian markets, connectivity between ports is a critical enabling factor in the future development of Cairns as an export and service hub. The need to upgrade Captain Cook Highway to enhance connectivity was recognised by the Federal Government in its July 2020 release of the 2019 National Land Transport Network (NLTN) Determination Review. The review confirmed the National Highway A1 would be extended to Smithfield, with works on the first phase between James St and Airport Ave to begin in mid-2021. The extension of the A1 will free-up State Government funding that would previously have been required for Captain Cook Highway upgrades. However, the State-owned Western Arterial section of the Cairns Ring Road carries 36,550 vehicles per day and is not included in the 2018 National Land Transport Network extension request. Upgrading this section is essential to connecting Cairns’ freight routes with the region’s premier agriculture producing areas (Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and Mossman), while also meeting demand for daily commuter traffic.

BACKGROUND The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The National Highway A1 currently terminates in the Cairns CBD at the corners of Comport and Draper Streets, but the Federal Government is expected to deliver on its promise to extend the Highway to the intersection of Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways and Mount Milman Drive, Smithfield, north of Cairns, leading to a major upgrade of the Captain Cook Highway. However, the effectiveness and safety of the road transport network in and around Cairns will be adversely impacted until the State-owned Cairns Western Arterial Road is also upgraded. The Cairns Arterial road network has been underfunded for many years in terms of capacity upgrades, with residential and industrial land development outpacing road project investments. In January 2019, Cairns Regional Council identified a number of underfunded Stateowned roads and listed them as priority infrastructure projects for the region. The Cairns Western Arterial Road is a significant component of this list as the road is heavily congested on a daily basis and when the Captain Cook Highway is flooded during wet season or natural disaster, is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Federal Government has confirmed National Highway A1 will be extended from Cairns to Smithfield, providing much better links between the CBD and the Cairns sea port, Cairns airport, the northern beaches and southern access route. • As Stage 1 of the Cairns Ring Road, Federal investment of $287.2 million has been committed, which has been matched by State investment of $71.8 million. • The Western Arterial section of Cairns Ring Road intersects with the northern point of National Highway A1 and urgently requires State funding of $365.5 million for essential upgrades as Stage 2 of the Cairns Ring Road. • When the Captain Cook Highway is flooded, the Western Arterial Road is the only flood free access route between Cairns, the northern beaches and Kennedy Highway.

The Cairns Arterial road network has been underfunded for many years in terms of capacity upgrades, with residential and industrial land development outpacing road project investments


NEXT STEPS Investment in key roads infrastructure is critical to ensuring sustained economic growth for the region, which will lead to greater diversity in incomes and job security. The required infrastructure upgrades can be achieved through: • Creating Stage 1 of the Cairns Ring Road by upgrading the Bruce Highway and linking the northern-most part of the National Highway to the Cairns Port and Airport; • Stage 2 includes duplicating the Cairns Western Arterial to provide a minimum of two lanes in each direction, beginning with the section between Smithfield and the Barron River at Kamerunga; • Duplicating the Barron River Bridge at Kamerunga and the Redlynch overpass; • Upgrading three major intersections through a combination of overpass, traffic signal and slip lane projects; • Constructing the McCoombe Street connection road between Ray Jones Drive and Mulgrave Road. It is estimated that a $365.5 million investment is required to cover the cost of the Western Arterial Road upgrades. A combined State and Federal investment of $359 million has already been indicated in the Queensland Transport and Investment Road and Rail Program for Cairns Ring Road Stage 1. However, the funds have not been committed in the Capital Budget Statements and remain indicative only.

Cairns Ring Road

National Highway A1 State Arterial Road Recommended first stage of CWAR duplication

SMITHFIELD

Bridge duplication required

STAGE 1

Cairns Airport

STAGE 2

CAIRNS CBD

Cairns Seaport

OUR RECOMMENDATION • That the Queensland Government include capital funding of $437.3 million for the Cairns Ring Road and Cairns Western Arterial Road projects, to be invested over four years from FY22-FY25. • That the CWAR upgrade begins with $125m for duplication between Smithfield and Kamerunga, followed by $100m to duplicate the Barron River bridge • That the Queensland Government fast track detailed planning of the Cairns Western Arterial Road to ensure plan completion by December 2020. • That the Federal Government commit to capital funding of $287.2 million for Cairns Ring Road in the 2020 Budget, to be invested over three years to 2023-2024.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $724.5M

20212022

2022- 2023- 20242023 2024 2025

Recommended State Investment

$60m

$65m

Recommended Federal Investment

$50m

$100m $137.2m

$100m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY

$212.3m

-


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

NATIONAL HIGHWAY A1

COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, CASSOWARY COAST, HINCHINBROOK ,TOWNSVILLE STATE ELECTORATE: BARRON RIVER, CAIRNS, MULGRAVE, HILL, HINCHINBROOK, TOWNSVILLE FEDERAL ELECTORATE: HERBERT, KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE An integrated and efficient road transport network is critical for economic stability and growth in northern Australia. In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), the road network underpins the economy and is vital to the resident population of 279,948, ensuring accessibility to health, education and community services. Due to rapid population growth, TNQ’s road transport system faces increasing pressure, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which acts as the main distribution hub for the region. Meeting the growing demand for freight has strained existing infrastructure, impacting transport costs and service levels across the supply chain. The strain has been exacerbated by uneven population dispersion, the shared passenger transport task on TNQ roads, and resilience gaps in the road network which is frequently impacted by weather events. Via road, the city of Cairns is serviced by four main arterial roads, two of which are critical freight routes – the Bruce Highway and the Kennedy Highway. The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway A1, providing the vital link between Cairns and Townsville, other Queensland coastal cities and Brisbane. The highway supports the transport of freight into and out of the region and currently ends in Cairns at the sea port. The Kuranda Range Road (Kennedy Highway, Cairns/Mareeba section) links Smithfield with Kuranda and is the coastal gateway to Mareeba, Atherton Tablelands, Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Savannah. It is a critical link for commuter, commercial and visitor traffic in TNQ and a vital strategic corridor linking the Atherton

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • TNQ’s road transport system is under pressure due to population growth, particularly on the road network in and out of Cairns which is the main distribution hub for the region. • The Bruce Highway is one of Australia’s highest-risk roads and in the 5 years to 2017, there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities on the stretch between Cairns and Townsville. • The Kuranda Range Road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements.

Tableland, North Tropical Coast and Cape York to the Cairns Airport. Both the Bruce Highway and Kuranda Range Roads underpin the commercial viability of primary industries, producers and exporters in the region. However, both are operating at or near capacity with safety and traffic efficiency now at critical levels for action. While unprecedented State and Federal funding has been allocated for Bruce Highway upgrades between Cairns and Townsville, to maintain and grow TNQ’s competitiveness through improved productivity a number of catalytic projects are still needed. These include a strategic transport plan to deliver a transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road. This need is supported by the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, which recommends that the Department of Main Roads plan for and preserve transport corridors to construct bypass roads around Innisfail, Ingham, Cardwell and Tully, and plan for and construct the duplication of Kuranda Range Road.

• While the Bruce Highway has seen unprecedented State and Federal investment since 2013, many future TNQ projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. It is essential these be brought forward to 2020-2023 to address critical congestion and safety issues. • A strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville is required, together with a significant upgrade of Kuranda Range Road.

Queensland Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan 2009-2031 Australian Automobile Association, How Safe Are Our Roads? Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP): Risk Mapping, 2016 Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP), Risky Roads Project Examples include: McIntyre M (2000). Integrated Transport Study for Kuranda Range: impact assessment study. Prepared for Department of Main Roads; Environment North (2004). Integrated Transport Study for Kuranda Range – Impact Assessment Study IAS Addendum. Prepared for Department of Main Roads; Environment North (2006). Integrated Transport Study for Kuranda Range Further Information Report. Prepared for Department of Main Roads. Department of Main Roads: RTI 135-05880 North Queensland Region


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND Over the past decade, the Bruce Highway has consistently been rated one of Australia’s highest-risk roads. In 2016 the highway accounted for 48% of Queensland casualty crashes and more than half of the State’s fatalities. Nationally, this equates to more than 17% of fatalities on only 7.5% of the entire national network. On the 299 km section between Cairns and Townsville, which carries an estimated 17,250 vehicles per day, in the 5 years to 2017 there were 328 casualty crashes and 22 fatalities. To address the significant safety issues, in 2013 the Federal Government introduced the $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, which has led to step-change investments in north Queensland sections of the highway. Together with the State Government, to date this has delivered: $595 million for Stages 1 to 4 of Cairns Southern Access upgrades with another $226 million committed for Stage 5; $20 million committed for Innisfail bypass planning and to improve flood immunity between Cardwell and Ingham; $48 million committed to plan for upgrades to the Cardwell Range; and another $63 million committed for Townsville Northern Access upgrades. In contrast to the Bruce Highway, the Kuranda Range Road has been the subject of multiple impact assessment and design studies dating back to 2000 but is yet to see significant investment. The road has already exceeded its capacity of 9,500 vehicle movements per day, catering for up to 10,000 daily traffic movements. And in the 10 years to August 2018, the Cairns to Mareeba section of Kennedy Highway experienced 493 unplanned closures with total closure time of 1,111 hours and an average close time per incident of 2 hours and 15 minutes. While the need to upgrade the road was identified in the 2009-2031 Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan, more than 10 years on this remains a critical infrastructure project but is yet to secure significant funding.

A number of significant investments have been announced that will continue to address safety and efficiency challenges on the TNQ road network. However, many of these projects are scheduled for commencement after 2023. To address the critical congestion and safety issues faced on the road transport network, it is essential that the following key projects be brought forward and commenced in 20192023: 1. Kuranda Range Road: Deliver the findings of the $1.25 million Cairns to Northern Tablelands access strategy (due for completion mid-2020). 2. Kuranda Range Road: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements ($1 million) and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case ($20 million) with a view to completion by 2021.

3. Bruce Highway, Innisfail Bypass: Continue to preserve the existing bypass corridor and commence transport project planning ($9 million) with a view to completion by 2022. 4. Bruce Highway, Ingham to Cardwell Range Deviation: Continue to preserve the existing transport corridor and commence transport project planning ($48 million) with a view to completion by 2023. 5. Bruce Highway, Townsville Northern Access Intersections Upgrade: Commence transport project planning ($72 million) with a view to completion by 2023. 6. Bruce Highway, Cairns to Townsville: Undertake Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements and Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case with a view to completion by 2024.

• That through the Roads of Strategic Importance Fund, in 2020-2022 the Queensland and Federal Governments commit $21 million (shared 50:50) to undertake the Strategic Assessment of Service Requirements, preliminary evaluation and Business Case for Kuranda Range Road. • That through the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program, the State and Federal Governments bring forward their commitments to upgrade north Queensland sections of the National Highway A1 to 2020-2023, and commit to developing a strategic transport plan linking Cairns and Townsville. 2020-2021

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $21M

Kuranda Range Road SASR

Kuranda Range Road Business Case

Recommended State Investment

$0.5m

$10m

Recommended Federal Investment

$0.5m

$10m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

FOOD AND WATER SECURITY COUNCIL: CAIRNS, MAREEBA, ETHERIDGE, COOK, TABLELANDS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, HILL, TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) has seen sustained population growth during the past 30 years underpinned by expansion of industries including agriculture, tourism, fisheries, education, health and retail. At the forefront of agricultural growth has been the Atherton Tablelands, driven by the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme (MDWSS) with rapid expansion in high value crops such as avocados, bananas, berries and sugarcane. Water is now 100% allocated and 80% used, with purchase prices rising more than threefold since 2011, peaking at $4000ML. To address high prices and supply issues on the Tablelands, a short term and long term implementation strategy needs to be agreed and acted upon. The short term strategy requires efficiency improvement in the current MDWSS and the construction of the North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme. These projects need to be fasttracked to construction. During 2019 the proposed long –term solution for the region, Nullinga Dam was shelved as not meeting the current economic criteria. We believed that the detailed business case did not include all the relevant information. This needs to be re-assessed as it is the only long term solution for the region to meet the projected long term growth for water in the region. In addition, agriculture in areas such as the District of Lakeland and Etheridge Shire have potential to expand rapidly with high value crops such as bananas, grains, cotton and watermelons proving feasible. Water security has been a concern for a number of years and is now limiting supply in both regions. Agricultural exports are vital to Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) with the industry sector output currently valued at $2.8 billion, constrained mainly by factors such as irrigation and access to market Recent trade deals secured with China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia present new market access

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The ability to supply increased demand for fresh Australian food from North Queensland is at risk due to a lack of long term water implementation strategy • To cater for growing demand for fresh foods, five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: Nullinga Dam, North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme, Lakeland Irrigation Area Project, Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme and Tablelands Irrigation Project. • All five projects require bilateral commitment and shared investment (split 50:50) to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to construction stage. • Nullinga Dam is the most advanced project and requires bilateral investment of $854 million to unlock additional agricultural production worth more than $200 million per annum while supporting the growing urban water needs of the region.

Artist impression of Nullinga Dam

opportunities, with Cairns International Airport providing direct air access to these markets from northern Australia where agricultural exports underpin sustainable tourism flights. Urban demand also continues to increase with Cairns’ population growth averaging 1.4% per annum. Combined with an estimated three million tourists visiting TNQ annually, to ensure the growing needs of the region can be met an effective and multi-faceted water supply strategy is required. Five significant water supply and infrastructure projects are considered essential enablers for the region: • Nullinga Dam • North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme • Lakeland Irrigation Area Project • Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme • Tablelands Irrigation Project

Building Queensland, Detailed Business Case: Nullinga Dam and Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Improvements Project, June 2019 North Queensland Market and Agricultural Supply Chain Study, May 2019 Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tablelands Agricultural Profile: Mareeba, 2016 Water Exchange: Mareeba-Dimbulah irrigation water prices, permanent trade – medium priority, accessed July 2019 https://economy.id.com.au/cairns/population https://economy.id.com.au/fnqroc/value-add-byindustry


BACKGROUND On the back of record drought periods in Australia, water security and food security have become priority national policy issues, leading to controversial decisions around water allocations and infrastructure. In recognition of this, in 2019 the Federal Government expanded the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund by $500 million to more than $1 billion, adding to the existing $2 billion for the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility program. In strengthening the role of northern Australia as a food bowl, substantial feasibility work has progressed in the past three years to explore new agricultural development opportunities. With many of these studies now coming to a close, there are clear priorities for progressing environmental impact and construction activities and a coordinated approach to development is required. Nullinga Dam and North Johnstone River Diversion Scheme: The Queensland Government, through Building Queensland, has released a detailed business case showing costs for a 74,000ML stand-alone dam at $1.068 billion. The project will require shared State and Federal investment of $854 million on top of industry contributions of $213 million (based on $2900ML price). A Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries study showed agricultural output on the Tablelands grew 30% in four years to $552 million. Nullinga Dam would unlock additional agricultural production worth around $200 million per annum. The Queensland ALP Government has announced it would ‘protect’ the proposed dam site but would investigate alternative water supply solutions such as the North Johnstone River diversion scheme in

preference to Nullinga Dam. The diversion scheme is considered a viable short-term option to stimulate the economy, delivering up to 50,000 ML with a lower capital cost, and a $7 million investment for a full business case is sought to progress this project. However, longer-term Nullinga Dam will also be required to service the growing agricultural and urban water supply needs of the region. Lakeland Irrigation Area Project: Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS, through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF), funded a strategic business case that investigates new water storage options to expand the Lakeland irrigation area. When constructed, the proposed dam will store 200,000ML and irrigate 8,000ha of arable land. The Federal Government has committed an additional $10 million to further develop the business case. The project will require bilateral Government support to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the dam. Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme: Etheridge Shire Council proposes to manage water from the Gilbert Catchment general reserve and facilitate construction of an irrigation scheme along the Gilbert River, distributing water to an estimated 30,000ha of irrigable land. A detailed business case funded by the State Government’s Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program is currently under way and due for completion in March 2020. Preliminary modelling suggests the scheme is economically feasible, and that the area is suited to a range of irrigated crops including grains, pulses and cotton.

Tablelands Irrigation Project: The prefeasibility of the Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation Project has been completed and indicates a detailed business case would cost $2.2 million, with an additional $5 million required for an environmental impact study. The Tableland Regional Council is seeking an investment of $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress this project. The proposed Woodleigh Dam includes a 35,000ML capacity and 98.5% water reliability, and the project would facilitate a land use transition from predominantly beef cattle to higher value crops. The dam will also provide hydro power benefits, irrigating 4,200 hectares.

NEXT STEPS Development of the five proposed water infrastructure projects would meet a range of State and National Policy objectives: • Expand northern Australia’s agricultural productive capacity – this is nationally significant given the impact of drought on food and water security in southern Australia; • Increase northern Australia’s contribution to GDP through an increase in agricultural production; • Diversify northern Australia’s economic capabilities to facilitate investment and reduce reliance on tourism; and • Strengthen Australia’s international competitiveness through proximity to Asia.

OUR RECOMMENDATION • That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest $7 million through SunWater to progress the full business case for the North Johnstone River diversion scheme. • That the State and Federal Governments commit to invest $854 million as a 50:50 contribution to the construction of Nullinga Dam with $10 million of Federal funds going towards an environmental impact statement in 2020-2021. • That, subject to completion of the business cases, the Queensland Government works with the Federal Government to facilitate and coordinate the development approval processes for the Lakeland Irrigation Area Project and the Gilbert River Irrigation Scheme. • That in 2021-2022 the Federal Government invest $7.2 million through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to progress the Tablelands Irrigation Project.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $868.2M Recommended State Investment Recommended Federal Investment

20202021

2020- 20222021 2023

Business case (North Johnstone)

Environmental Approvals (Nullinga)

Planning & Design (Nullinga)*

$7m

-

$50m

-

$10m

$50m

20222023

20272031

Business case (Tablelands)

Procurement & construction (Nullinga)*

-

$7.2m

$377m* $367m*

*staged funds to flow for Nullinga Dam from 2021-2031

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS MARINE PRECINCT COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE The Cairns Port is a critical enabler of the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) economy, with the region welcoming the Federal Government’s commitment to base at least four new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) in Cairns. The sustainment and maintenance of vessels in northern Australia aligns well with existing shipbuilding commitments in southern Australia, and complements Australia’s Step-Up to the Pacific foreign policy initiatives. As one of three Regional Maintenance Centres (RMC) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the others being Darwin and Perth, Cairns provides a national naval sustainment and maintenance hub enabling the Cairns Marine Precinct (CMP) to build on its present commitments of servicing vessels from HMAS Cairns, Darwin, the United States and the Pacific Islands. The significant Defence and Border Force contracts managed out of the precinct ensures a skilled, year-round permanent marine and engineering workforce of 4600. Cairns is also home to a large and diverse marine sector with 1603 commercial vessels across tourism, fishing and shipping, and an active cruising yacht squadron. The precinct also hosts superyachts and cruise liners visiting the Pacific and supports the aviation and education sectors through its economic multiplier effects. Having now expended the $24 million Federal Government commitment, Stage 1 of the Cairns Marine Maintenance Precinct upgrade has delivered preliminary improvements to wharves, hardstands, slipways and services. Moving forward a combined State and Federal

commitment of $174 million is sought for Stages 2 and 3, which will lead to significant increases in precinct capacity and complement the Department of Defence $420 million commitment to expand the HMAS Cairns naval base. State funding of $150 million is sought in two tranches during the next term of government – $40 million over two years as part of Stage 2 (to meet the Navy’s Cairns RMC timetable) and a further $110 million in 2022-24 for Stage 3 upgrades. The initial $40 million is for investment in agreed RMC upgrades under the auspice of Ports North, the three shipyards and TAFE and also includes $1 million for an industryled precinct-wide business case, which will subsequently inform the Stage 3 investment of $110 million. At a Federal level, Stage 2 requires $24 million to be shared across each of the three shipyards in 2020-2021. The $174 million investment in additional capacity and skills will ensure that Cairns complies with the RAN’s Plan Galileo which requires that Cairns be fully operational as Regional Maintenance Centre North East by 2022. The commitment will also give effect to CMP Master Planning objectives while providing post COVID-19 economic stimulus, creating muchneeded jobs, diversifying the regional economy and ultimately providing for a more secure Australia in line with Pacific Step-Up and Defence initiatives.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Australia’s Defence shipbuilding programs have recently been substantially boosted from 12 to 26 vessels. • The Cairns Regional Maintenance Centre (RMC) is a national defence asset that currently employs 4600 people. • The State-recognised RMC requires government funding commitments, aligned with policies which create jobs, build vital infrastructure, diversify the region’s economy, provide positive economic return and facilitate ongoing private investment. • A $174m investment is sought from the Queensland and Federal Governments to develop the precinct and create new direct and indirect Queensland jobs, adopt new technology and build tomorrow’s workforce to RMC standards. • This commitment enables a fully operational RMC by 2022 as required by the Royal Australian Navy.

1 Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning. Manufacturing Hub Delivery Model: Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton. November 2018. The specialisation ratio is measured by comparing an industry’s share of total employment in a particular regional economy with the corresponding share of total employment for the overall Queensland economy for a given time period. An industry recording a ratio above 1.2 is considered ‘specialised’ in terms of employment, indicating its comparative importance.


Table 1: Capability enhancements needed in Cairns marine precinct to maximise jobs and diversify regional economic growth.

NEXT STEPS

INFRASTRUCTURE

SHORT TERM

LONGER TERM

Capability (vessels)

Vessels to 120m LOA homeported RAN fleets and majority of regionally based commercial vessels

Vessels 150m to 175m LOA – full RAN fleet/maximal commercial vessel opportunities

Lift out capacity (shiplift/dock)

3500 to 5000 tonnes capacity

8000 tonnes capacity

Berth length

3 to 4 vessels at any one time; additional berth of 150 – 350m

800m to 1km of quayside, separate superyacht berth facility comprising floating pontoons

Extra yard and warehouse facilities, plus out of water capacity

3 to 4 vessels up to 120m LOA; 5 hectares of additional land + SPMT corridors; additional paint / blast workshops; ability to sub-divide land areas for a security/ship type purposes

6 – 8 hectares of additional land for vessel lay down purposes, separate landside areas for superyacht maintenance and refits (up to 3 hectares)

INFRASTRUCTURE: Investment in ‘fit for purpose’ infrastructure is key to unlocking the maritime opportunities for Cairns with completion of the Ports North master plan a critical enabler. As outlined in Table 1, this investment needs to cater for larger vessels (up to 120m), have ship-lift capacity of 3500- 5000 tonnes, provide up to 350m of extra wharf, see multiple large vessels simultaneously in dry dock and allow considerable extra land for maintenance activities. The facility must also have the capacity to allow future expansion in the long term. This program of work should be guided by a comprehensive planning and business case for the precinct which details demand, economic benefits, risk assessments, operating model, cost benefit, gap analysis of skills and infrastructure and funding. WORKFORCE: To capture unmet demand and opportunities, the CMP expansion needs to be complemented by a significant step up in industry workforce skills, training and development, both within the shipyards and also within the sector support industries. The Queensland Government has a clear mission to grow Queensland’s Defence industry and to increase the number of Queenslanders working in Defence manufacturing from 6,000 to 10,000 over the next decade. To support the Cairns RMC, there is a major role for training to upskill existing workers, contextualise training for the marine sector, and to recruit and grow the workforce through stronger training pathways. Informed by the precinct’s business case, a range of upskilling initiatives will need to be undertaken. Among those to be considered is a virtual sustainment college through the Great Barrier Reef International Maritime College. The College will develop and deliver agile micro credentials that meet future Defence sustainment demands.

BACKGROUND On 1 July 2020 the Morrison Government announced a $270 billion investment over the next 10 years to upgrade the capability and potency of the Australian Defence Force. The 2020 Defence Strategic Update signals a key change in Australia’s defence posture as it prioritises the Indo-Pacific region. The strategy will see continued investment in 12 Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels, and extra spending on six new Cape Class patrol boats and up to eight new vessels optimised for mine countermeasures and hydrographic survey, taking Australia’s total shipbuilding activity from 12 to 26 vessels. The CMP is Australia’s main Patrol Boat maintenance centre. It has serviced the Defence, Border Force and marine industries for many years and, as home to Fleet Base Pacific (HMAS Cairns), is one of the few ports in Australia that can offer the Department of Defence significant expansion opportunities in berth and land facilities. Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018) the Cairns port is a critical national infrastructure asset. It is the

• •

northern-most naval base on the eastern seaboard and plays a key strategic role in Australia’s northern naval capability. In acknowledging this role, in 2017-2018 the Federal Government committed to upgrading the precinct through staged investment. There is unmet and growing demand in naval, commercial and superyacht maintenance opportunities that supports a step change in ship maintenance capacity in the CMP. There has been significant investment by State and Federal Governments in facilities in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Without a significant step-up in infrastructure and capability at Cairns, the existing CMP based operators may not be able to compete for all future sustainment contracts, and/or maintain or grow their business. This will result in a potential decline in market share, loss of economic opportunity and overall regional activity levels in allied industries will also sharply decline.

That the Queensland Government support and facilitate the Federal expansion of HMAS Cairns, ensuring the Department of Defence delivers on the initial $300 million upgrade of the navy base by 2025. That the Queensland Government invests $150m in Stages 2 & 3 to further develop the Cairns Marine Precinct to Regional Maintenance Centre requirements and the Federal Government commits $24 million for stage 2, delivering a strategic national Defence asset which meets the security needs of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and provides for a virtual sustainment college that delivers a skilled local workforce. $1m of the QLD Government investment will fund a comprehensive planning and business case for the precinct which details demand, economic benefits, operating model, risk assessments, cost benefit, gap analysis of skills and infrastructure, funding etc. That the Queensland Government work with the Federal Government to secure the long term, continuous maintenance and sustainment industry for Defence and Border Force vessels in Cairns, and support the home porting of Naval Platforms, including OPVs and their associated sustainment and maintenance work.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $594M

2020- 2021- 2022- 2023- 2024- 20252021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026

Recommended Federal Investment

$24m

-

-

-

-

Recommended State Investment

$20m

$20m

$55m

$55m

-

Recommended Defence Investment

-

-

$100m $100m $100m $120m

-

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH SECTOR COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland has a dynamic and vibrant education sector with two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and a number of private language and business schools. Prior to COVID-19, nearly 13,000 people were employed in education and training in TNQ, accounting for 5.2% of the State education workforce and contributing $1.1B to the economy. The region is shifting towards a knowledge-based economy, which has implications for educators and regional training facilities. To accommodate the shift, the sector has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure in recent years, and a number of additional projects are flagged for investment. With a strong student base now established, CQUniversity (CQU) and James Cook University (JCU) continue to grow in the Cairns region. Through collaborative partnerships and to address current gaps in education pathways the two universities are working to build capacity across a range of industries and community initiatives. CQU: Since commencing on campus delivery in Cairns in 2016, CQU Cairns has experienced more than 20% year on year growth. Given this it has outgrown its current premises and requires new purpose-built facilities. As part of its 2019 Community Impact Plan, CQU has two shovel-ready projects:

A permanent new CQUniversity Cairns CBD campus ($55 million consisting of $50m for campus construction/fit out and $5m for allied health clinic fit-out); and • Stages 2 and 3 of the CQUniversity Asia Pacific Aviation Hub ($45 million). CQUniversity currently operates from four leased premises across Cairns. The proposed new campus will allow the consolidation of these sites, with the exception of the Aviation Centre which will remain co-located with Cairns Airport. JCU: Building on 30 years of commitment to Cairns and the Far North, James Cook University proposes to expand Cairns based activity to ensure that students can study a full medical degree program in Cairns. JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, allied health, pharmacy and veterinary health professionals.

BACKGROUND The TNQ region has an estimated resident population of 278,080 and population growth of 1.1% per annum. The attainment of a university degree in Cairns is 54% lower than the national average at 14.3%, while 8.5% of residents have an Advanced Diploma or Diploma and 22.9% have a Vocational certificate, on par with the rest of the State. In April 2020 (early figures for COVID-19), annual trend unemployment sat at 8.1% however most jobs are in the 25-44 year age group, leaving youth unemployment (15-24 years) at a much higher estimated 13.2%. While Cairns

has two universities, access to appropriate courses and pathways into university are critical in bridging the high youth unemployment rate and encouraging young people to enter the workforce. Nationally over the next five years, an additional 85,000 health workers and 28,000 educators will be needed to fill jobs in regional areas. To fill this need, the importance of regional universities cannot be overstated with more than 55% of employed regional university graduates remaining in regional areas on completion of their studies.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Tropical North Queensland’s education sector includes two universities, six TAFE campuses, 35 secondary schools, and private language and business schools. • Youth unemployment sits at 13.2% and the region faces a skills shortage in health, allied health, aviation and a number of other STEAM professions. • Two key infrastructure projects have been identified to address regional skills shortages with $55 million sought for a permanent new CQUniversity campus in the Cairns CBD and $10 million for stage 2 and $35m for Stage 3 of CQUniversity’s Asia Pacific Aviation Hub. The campus project is shovel-ready and will create an estimated 330 jobs (direct and indirect) during construction and contribute $549 million to the regional economy over 10 years. • Regional skills shortages will also be addressed by James Cook University by establishing a medical school in Cairns, with $26.7 million sought to support 80 student places (50 designated Commonwealth Supported Places for domestic students and 30 student places for international students), enabling students to complete JCU’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery program in Cairns.

Cummings Economics, Economic and Socio Economic Impact Analysis, May 2020 Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Treasury, Queensland Regional Profiles: Resident Profile for Cairns Statistical Area Level 4 and https://profile.id.com.au/ australia/qualifications Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend data for the SA4 Regions of Queensland. Regional Labour Force Briefing – May 2019.


NEXT STEPS In addressing youth unemployment and preparing the region’s workforce for the future, the following four projects have been identified as essential enablers. 1. CQUniversity seeks $55 million to establish a permanent, purposebuilt CBD campus capable of accommodating 4,000+ students by 2030. Due to the proposed location adjacent to the Cairns Convention Centre, the new Campus will complement existing infrastructure, effectively creating a knowledge hub precinct in the Cairns CBD. The close proximity to the Convention Centre provides an important link for conference organisers and allows for greater co-operation with regard to facilities and human resources such as the employment of students for events. Most importantly, the new campus will address the significant skill gaps identified in the region, particularly in terms of allied and mental health. The allied health courses will be supported by the establishment of on-campus health clinics staffed by supervised student practitioners. The project is shovelready and will generate an estimated 330 jobs during construction (80 direct) plus more than 300 direct jobs through expanded university operations, and staff and student expenditure in the region. The economic impact over 10 years will be around $549 million.

2. CQUniversity seeks $45 million for the second ($10 million) and third ($35 million) stages of its ambitious AsiaPacific Aviation Hub. This funding will secure a second hanger at the Cairns International Airport, new laboratory facilities including specialist space for aviation accidents forensics, new flight simulators including a high-fidelity, world class flight simulator capable of attracting global commercial flight training business, and the roll-out of new aviation courses. CQUniversity will partner with Cairns Airport and Aviation Australia to grow skills to support emerging industry opportunities. It is estimated Stage 2 alone will generate 55-70 construction

• That in 2020-2021 the State Government invests $5million for fitout of allied health laboratories and clinics within the proposed new CQUniversity CBD Campus, with a further $10 million for Stage 2 of the CQUniversity Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub. • That the Federal Government invests $50m to establish a new CBD campus for CQUniversity with a further $15m in 2022-2023 to progress Stage 3 of the CQUniversity Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub. (The remaining $20m in funding for Stage 3 will be sought through public/private partnership.) • That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, plus an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

jobs and 10-15 permanent operational jobs, leading to a long-term economic impact of $30 million across Cairns. 3. To support the training and recruitment of Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 designated Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer Years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $106.7M

2020-2021 CQUniversity CBD Campus

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

Recommended State Investment

$5m

$10m

Recommended Federal Investment

$50m

-

2022-2023 JCU medical school

Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub

$26.7m

for student places

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY

$15m


DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORT COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Cairns’ ambition to be the Arts and Cultural Capital of northern Australia is an objective embedded in the Cairns Regional Council Corporate Plan 2017-2022, the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, and widely supported by Cairns business and industry. The Cairns region has seen recent investment in arts, sport and cultural facilities such as the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) and the Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, and plays host to events of international significance such as the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship, Paralympic Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF), UCI World Mountain Bike Championships and Targa Great Barrier Reef. However, the continued growth of arts, sport and culture requires additional investment. To achieve this, three key projects have been identified: 1. Cairns Gallery Precinct development ($39.8 million) 2. Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct redevelopment ($40 million) 3. International sports destination market assessment and business case ($1 million) The Cairns Gallery Precinct is an initiative of Cairns Regional Council and is aligned with the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, which was launched in partnership with industry stakeholders in 2018. The project aims to

connect three regionally significant heritage listed buildings in the Cairns CBD (the existing Cairns Art Gallery, the Old Cairns Courthouse and the former Mulgrave Shire Council offices) and establish a new world class precinct that has a strong connection to the region’s indigenous communities. The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct plays host to Australia’s biggest regional show, a key annual event that provides education pathways and exposes residents to rural activities that would otherwise not be experienced. The precinct also facilitates activities that are affordable and family oriented, making this critical infrastructure for communitybased events that cannot be accommodated elsewhere. Redevelopment of the precinct will grow community engagement in the region. As an international sports destination, Cairns has a unique opportunity to further position itself as a destination of choice for sports tourism, elite level sports training camps, mass participation sporting events and sports related research and education. With a solid track record of attracting and hosting large scale events and elite athletes, the opportunity exists to unlock further potential in areas such as professional women’s sport and tropical sports conditioning.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

With Cairns positioning itself to be the Arts and Cultural Capital of northern Australia, to cater for its multicultural community, welcome new migrants and encourage social cohesion, further investment in infrastructure is required.

To strengthen arts and culture, the Cairns Gallery Precinct will showcase domestic and international touring exhibitions as well as contemporary local and indigenous art. The project requires tri-partite investment of $39.8 million.

The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct requires considerable infrastructure upgrades to unlock the potential of this significant community precinct. Master planning indicates a $40 million investment is required to upgrade this vital community asset.

Cairns is positioned as an international sports destination, which represents an important and growing sector of the region’s economy. To unlock the potential further, a $1 million business case investment is sought to identify catalytic infrastructure required.


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND The Cairns region has an estimated resident population of 279,948, with 10.7% of people identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and 18.3% being born overseas. The multicultural nature of the region is reflected in the importance of the arts and recreation sector to the economy, which employs 1.8% of the total workforce and contributes $383.5 million to the economy annually. To cater for the multicultural community, welcome new migrants and encourage social cohesion, a range of facilities are required to accommodate community activities while also catering for elite athletes. To strengthen arts and culture, the Cairns Gallery Precinct will showcase domestic and international touring exhibitions as well as contemporary local and indigenous art. The precinct will provide community arts and cultural facilities including collaborative working and learning spaces, production spaces, civic function and events spaces and food, beverage and retail facilities. It will provide a significant positive economic impact during construction and once operational, will add $20.7 million annually to Gross Regional Product and support 177 ongoing full-time jobs. To accommodate community events, the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct requires considerable infrastructure upgrades. Located near

the Cairns CBD, the site covers 25 hectares of State-owned land with Cairns Regional Council appointed as Trustee. In 2018, the QLD Govt funded a Master Plan and financial feasibility for the precinct, which indicates that significant upgrades are needed to unlock the potential of this significant community precinct. In September 2019, Council approved a three year permit with the Cairns Agricultural Pastoral and Mining Association (CAPMA) to provide interim tenure over the precinct site. This interim tenure will enable further analysis of the Master Plan to be completed which in turn, will inform future negotiations between CAPMA and Council for longer term tenure to the site. To unlock potential as a sports destination, an important and growing sector of the Cairns economy, a detailed business case is required that includes an implementation plan for key initiatives. The business case will identify key opportunities to ensure Cairns can best position itself as a sports destination of choice. Potential projects flagged include the establishment of a Women’s NBL Basketball team, a Tropical Sports Conditioning Centre, and a multi-use rectangular stadium.

That under a tri-partite funding arrangement, the Federal and Queensland Government’s each commit $13.3 million in the 2020-2021 budget to invest in the Cairns Gallery Precinct. That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest $40 million to upgrade the Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct in line with the Master Plan. That in 2020-2021 the Queensland Government invest $1 million to facilitate a detailed business case that identifies catalytic projects for the sports tourism sector.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $67.6M

In developing the arts and culture and sport sectors in Tropical North Queensland, the following three projects are considered essential enablers and require investment to proceed: 1. The Cairns Gallery Precinct, which has an estimated capital cost of $39.8 million. Cairns Regional Council is seeking a tri-partite funding model with the Federal, State and Local Governments each contributing $13.3 million. A detailed business case has been completed and the project is ready to progress to design and construction phase. 2. The Cairns Showground, Sporting and Community Precinct upgrade has an estimated capital cost of $40 million. With the Master Planning process complete, the project requires a business case to facilitate environmental approvals and progress to design and construction. 3. Positioning Cairns as a Sports Destination requires further scoping to identify and unlock catalytic project opportunities. A two-stage detailed business case is required to achieve this, with the project to be led by CQUniversity.

20212022

2020-2021 Gallery Precinct

Showground upgrade

Sports Tourism Business Case

Showground upgrade

Recommended State Investment

$13.3m

$20m

$1m

$20m

Recommended Federal Investment

$13.3m

-

-

-

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ENABLING INFRASTRUCTURE

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

UPGRADE GULF SAVANNAH WAY COUNCIL: BURKE, CARPENTARIA, DOOMADGEE STATE ELECTORATE: TRAEGER FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY

THE ISSUE The Gulf Savannah Way traverses Northern Australia, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. The route is approximately 3,700 km long, crossing 15 National Parks, five World Heritage areas and a variety of natural routes across the Top End. Considered to be in the top 10 greatest road trips of Australia, the self-drive tourism market delivers $69.8 million annually into the Gulf region, with 38% of visitors starting the journey in Cairns. The North West Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way takes in 313km with almost 60% of the road already sealed, however there are critical missing links that require pavement upgrades, bitumen seal,

minor realignment of substandard curves, concrete causeways and four major river crossings. As large sections of the Savannah Way remain unsealed and flood prone, communities become isolated during the annual wet season which limits the economic value of this northern road link. Upgrading the Queensland segment of the Gulf Savannah Way will require replacing existing substandard infrastructure with a 7.5m wide bitumen sealed pavement, with concrete causeways through creek crossings and raised floodways (using 1.2m high culverts) through major river crossings.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • The Gulf Savannah Way stretches for 3,700 km and is considered to be one of the top 10 Great Australian Drives, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley. • Drive tourism delivers $69.8 million into the Gulf region annually, with 38% of visitors entering the Savannah Way via Cairns. • Large segments of the Queensland section of the Savannah Way are unsealed and flood prone, isolating communities during the wet season and limiting the economic value of this northern road link. • Sealing the Queensland section of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million, split 80:20 between the State and Federal Governments. • Federal investment of $50 million was allocated in 2019 through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. To ensure this funding is matched 80:20 by the State, sections of the Savannah Way require formal declaration as a Statecontrolled road.


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND Normanton to Burketown is approximately 221km with about 50% unsealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, some minor realignment, concrete causeways and a major culvert crossing at the Leichhardt River. Burketown to Doomadgee is approximately 88km long and fully sealed but has two major river crossings at the Gregory River and Nicholson River which require some minor pavement, alignment and causeway improvements. Doomadgee to NT Border is approximately 104km long with only 30% sealed. This section requires pavement augmentation and bitumen sealing to 7.5m wide, minor realignment

and concrete causeways plus a major river crossing at Branch Creek. In recognising the need to seal the Gulf Savannah Way, in 2019 the Federal Government committed $50 million to road upgrades through the Roads of Strategic Importance – next priorities initiative. However, large sections of the Savannah Way have a Regional road designation, meaning formal declaration as State-controlled road is required to ensure this funding is matched by the Queensland Government under the 80:20 Commonwealth State Roads funding model.

Sealing the remaining Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way is estimated to require a total investment of $186 million. Completing the project over a 10-year period with funds made available to local councils each year will allow the retention of a local workforce. The estimated investment breakdown is as follows: • Normanton to Burketown - $100 million to be constructed progressively over 10 consecutive years. • Burketown to Doomadgee - $30 million funded over 4 consecutive financial years (equally in years 1-4). • Doomadgee to NT Border - $56 million to be provided in equal instalments over the 10-year project period. • The project will extend across North West Queensland, travelling along the Gulf of Carpentaria from Normanton to the Northern Territory boarder, passing through Burketown, Doomadgee and Hell’s Gate in Queensland and connecting to Wollogorang in the Northern Territory.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

hat the Queensland and Federal Governments support the sealing T and improved flood resilience of the western Queensland section of the National Highway by providing 80:20 project funding in accordance with the Commonwealth State Roads funding model. That during 2020-2021 the Queensland Government work with local Councils to amend the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Act (1994) to declare all Queensland sections of the Gulf Savannah Way as Statecontrolled road. That allocation of funds be distributed to the controlling Local Government Authorities in equal portions over a 10-year period from 2020-2021.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $136M

20202021

Recommended Federal Investment

$14.88m $14.88m $14.88m $14.88m

Recommended State Investment

$3.7m

20212022

$3.7m

2022- 20232023 2024

$3.7m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY

$3.7m


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

SUPER YACHT CHARTERING

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

he Special Recreational T Vessels Bill 2019 passed by the Senate on 5 December allows foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia via temporary licences which are issued under the Coastal Trading Act.

hile the change in W policy will unlock an estimated 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy by 2021, a sunset clause attached to the Bill will see the temporary licensing option expire on 30 June 2021.

he inability for foreign T flagged superyachts to charter in Australia has historically been the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry.

llowing foreign flagged A superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021 requires a revision of The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 or an extension of the current Special Recreational Vessel laws.

COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Allowing foreign superyachts to charter in Australia without the need to be imported is worth an estimated 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy. To unlock this market and attract increased visitation to Australia, in December 2019 a Special Recreational Vessels Bill was passed by the Senate, allowing foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia under temporary licencing arrangements. However, the Bill contains a sunset clause that expires on 30 June 2021. A permanent solution is therefore needed, which requires a revision of The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

BACKGROUND The inability for foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia has been the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry. In neighbouring countries such as Fiji, changes in legislation to allow foreign flagged superyacht charters has shown a 40% increase in vessel visitation and an increase of average stay from 21 days to 136 days. New Zealand enjoyed an increase of 54% in superyacht visitation in 20142015 with new legislation permitting a vessel to stay up to 2 years and conduct charters. In 2017, the Federal Government submitted changes to The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 into Parliament that removed the current requirement for five voyages, removed the requirement for each voyage to be between two separate ports, and allowed exemption from the Customs Act while alongside or in a maintenance yard. The amendments were passed by the Lower House in August 2018, however were not sent to the Senate and in October 2019, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications advised the superyacht sector that consultations regarding amendments to the Act would be reopened. To limit the impact of extended consultations on superyacht sector growth, in December 2019 the Morrison Government introduced a

Special Recreational Vessels Bill into Parliament that allows superyacht owners to apply for a temporary licence, enabling superyachts to engage in coastal trading in Australia over a 12-month period. The Bill will expire on 30 June 2021 when it’s anticipated broad reform of the Coastal Trading Act will have been achieved. With no change to the current policy, economic modelling of the Australian superyacht industry suggests the $1.965 billion industry would grow by approximately 13% over the five years from 2016 to 2021. However, with appropriate policy settings the superyacht sector’s annual contribution to the Australian economy could grow by as much as 70%, delivering $1.64 billion more in GDP and 11,800 more Australian jobs based on pre COVID-19 economic modelling. In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), prior to COVID-19 the industry injected $324.1 million into the regional economy and supported 2664 full-time equivalent jobs. This represented 18% of the 14,500 jobs supported by the superyacht industry Australia-wide.


NEXT STEPS Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) strongly recommends that following the new round of industry consultation, the resulting amendments to the Coastal Trading Act be passed by Government before 31 December 2020 in order to permit foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021. There is no requirement for Government investment in order to secure the additional $1.64 billion in GDP per annum and provide surety to the sector.

The urgency of a solution is demonstrated by interest from international companies such as Burgess (world’s largest superyacht charter company) which has recently established an office in Sydney to support the growing number of international events that will attract superyachts to the Indo-Pacific region.

hat in 2020-2021, consultations on options T for reform of the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 be fast-tracked by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. That to provide surety to the sector and allow foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia beyond 2021, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications work with the Senate to secure the passage of amendments to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 by 31 December 2020.

1 Economic Impact of the Superyacht Sector on the Australian Economy, December 2016 2 Economic Impact of the Superyacht Sector on the Australian Economy, December 2016

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


REGIONAL PLANNING

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget of $1 billion for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. • Significant additional recurrent funding* beyond the current budget is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 tertiary referral). • Level 6 status will facilitate new services, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment.

THE ISSUE Expanded clinical services and a qualified and comprehensive workforce at Cairns Hospital are critical for meeting the health needs of Tropical North Queensland’s (TNQ’s) growing population. Over the past three years, the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) has addressed this need with an expansion of clinical services, including: • locally based urology services; • a new adolescent ward; • 24-hour availability of the cardiac catheter laboratory; • an expanded intensive care unit; • a dedicated stroke service; and • increased cancer care services. In 2019 the State Government announced an operating budget for CHHHS of $1 billion, plus $70 million to upgrade the Mental Health Unit, $2.8 million to build a second catheterisation laboratory and $4 million for a vascular surgery theatre. In coming years, the CHHHS is aiming to obtain Level 6 status in in a range of

clinical areas including renal, endoscopy, cardiac (coronary care unit), cardiac medicine, some medical and surgical specialties, perioperative (operating suite and post anaesthetic room) and anaesthetics, reducing the need to travel outside the region for medical treatment. Following these investments, the Cairns Hospital will be delivering its highest level of care to date. However, to cater for growing demand and address the critical health challenges facing TNQ, there remains an urgent need to continue to increase surgical capacity (outpatients, pre-admission clinic and operating theatre time) and to recruit Cairns-based clinicians to provide specialist services currently being delivered elsewhere. The CHHHS has recently completed a master planning process identifying infrastructure needs worth over $500 million over the next 20 years and is now seeking $9 million for preliminary and detailed business cases to map out this significant upgrade.

• The CHHHS master planning process has identified over $500 million in infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, and $9 million is now sought for preliminary and detailed business cases for the Master Plan. • To attract, retain and educate the workforce required, JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry requires an extra 50 Commonwealth Supported Places, 30 International places and an allocation of scholarships through the Destination Australia scholarships program.

1 https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/hospital/310000214/cairns-hospital/emergency-department 2 https://www.myhospitals.gov.au/hospital/310000214/cairns-hospital/admissions


BACKGROUND In 2018-2019 there were 74,667 presentations to the Cairns Hospital emergency department, a 24% increase over the preceding five years, and 82,727 patients were admitted to the Hospital. Throughout 2019 the emergency department faced unprecedented pressure, averaging 211 patients per day, a 4% increase on the previous year. Also 30% of emergency patients were tourists or people who live outside Cairns, in rural and remote areas including Cape York and Torres Strait. The Cairns Hospital supports an estimated resident population of 278,080 and regularly provides acute medical services for residents of the Cape and Torres region (population of 26,399). Combined with estimated population growth of 1.1% per annum, and an ageing population, it is estimated that by 2026 an additional 67,000 people will reside in the catchment area with close to one in five residents being over 65. The Cairns Hospital also provides medical services for the three million tourists that visit the region annually. Demand for CHHHS services will therefore continue to increase, requiring continued investment in specialised training for the local health workforce, with current planning predicting an extra 80 inpatient beds are needed by 2028 and 223 by 2037. When combined with the expansion of University medical training facilities in the region, particularly by James Cook University (JCU), there is growing

NEXT STEPS momentum to upgrade Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital. For example: • Based within JCU’s Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, JCU proposes to establish a Tropical Global Health Centre to produce research-enabled clinicians with extensive clinical training in population health and global public policy. The Centre will leverage investment in the Cairns University Hospital to provide students with globally relevant training and deliver a medical workforce specifically prepared to handle regional health challenges. Although initially focused on the medical workforce, the program will subsequently expand to include nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health and veterinary health professionals. • The CHHHS strategic plan includes a priority to build a Cairns Health and Innovation Precinct (CHIP) in Cairns that will provide state of the art research and education infrastructure for the region. Once constructed, through partnerships with educators, scientists, medical practitioners and technology firms, the CHIP will ensure skilled health workers are attracted to, and remain in the region, building clinical capability to improve patient outcomes in the region. • Cairns Hospital is the first regional digital hospital in Australia, which demonstrates its ability to manage

To successfully transition Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital, an increase in Level 6 services is required over the next three years across specialties such as cardiac medicine, endoscopy and other medical and surgical specialties. Master planning by CHHHS has also identified the need for over $500 million in infrastructure during the next 20 years with $9 million now needed for preliminary and detailed business cases. In addition, to support the training and recruitment of Cairns-based clinicians, JCU requires an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and 30 international places recurrent for the JCU Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. This will allow JCU to offer years 1-6 of the MBBS in Cairns and Mackay. The additional places will be distributed across the regional centres of Cairns (30), Mackay (10) and Townsville (40).

OUR RECOMMENDATION • Additional funding is sought to facilitate the transition of Cairns Hospital to Cairns University Hospital (Level 6 referral status). • That the State Government provides $9 million in 20202021 for preliminary and detailed business cases to support implementation of the CHHHS master plan over the next 20 years. • That to support the training of a regional medical workforce, the Federal Government allocate an additional 50 Commonwealth Supported Places and 30 International places recurrent, together with an allocation of Destination Australia scholarships to JCU’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

ESTIMATED ADDITIONAL RECURRENT FUNDING

Recommended State Investment Recommended Federal Investment (CSP)

20202021

20212022

$9m

TBC*

-

2022- 20232023 2024 TBC*

TBC*

$26.7m $26.7m $26.7m

*To be informed by various studies and business case to finalise requirements

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


REGIONAL PLANNING

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS CITY DEAL COUNCIL: CAIRNS STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS FEDERAL ELECTORATE: LEICHHARDT

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY

THE ISSUE Cairns is the capital of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), the largest region in northern Australia and the strategic national gateway to the Pacific, Asia and beyond. The city itself has a resident population of 166,862 people. To unlock significant opportunities for TNQ, and position Cairns as an economic powerhouse in the north, a City Deal is required to fast track catalytic investments. This will ensure that infrastructure projects are linked with urban governance and land use reform, while taking into consideration workforce planning and liveability factors. The implementation of a City Deal for Cairns aligns with and supports the implementation of a number of key strategies at Local, State and Federal Government level. These include: • The National Population Policy framework, which identifies City Deals as a platform for managing growth through better urban planning;

The northern Australia agenda, which is focused on growing the northern Australian economy through long-term investment and support; • The Far North Queensland Regional plan, 2009-2031; • The Cairns 2050 Shared Vision; and • The Cairns Regional Council Economic Development Plan 2018-2022. While acknowledging that City Deals are historically driven by Federal Government, in preparing for a Cairns City Deal the Cairns Regional Council has undertaken a substantial amount of background work, developing the platform required to demonstrate widespread support across local government, business and the community. This support is documented through the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision, which was created in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders and launched by Cairns Regional Council in November 2018.

• To position Cairns as an economic powerhouse in northern Australia, a City Deal is required to fast track catalytic investments. • The implementation of a Cairns City Deal aligns with and supports the implementation of a number of key strategies at the Local, State and Federal Government levels. • The Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia has recommended the establishment of a City Deal for Cairns to accelerate growth and Cairns Regional Council has endorsed a City Deal proposal. • To establish a City Deal for Cairns, the Queensland and Federal Governments are now required to join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent.

https://profile.id.com.au/fnqroc/population Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Planning for Australia’s Future Population, March 2019


BACKGROUND City Deals are a mechanism to bring together the three levels of government, the community and private enterprise to create place-based partnerships, delivering on the opportunities and challenges in Australia’s cities. They work to align the planning, investment and governance necessary to accelerate economic growth and job creation, stimulate urban renewal, and drive economic reforms to secure prosperity and liveability for Australian cities. Importantly for Cairns, for every 100,000 Australians choosing to live in a regional city instead of a metropolitan capital, it is estimated an additional $50 billion is released into the Australian economy over 30 years in reduced congestion costs and increased consumption. The savings in congestion costs alone are estimated to be $292 million per year or $4.9 billion over 30 years. With a resident population of 166,862 people and an average 30,000 additional visitors staying in the city on any given night, Cairns is one of the largest and most dynamic regional cities in Australia and is well placed to deliver on these national benefits of regional migration. Unique liveability and solid economic fundamentals have seen Cairns experience significant population growth (2.3% per annum in the 15 years to 2016), well in excess of the national growth rate. Combined with significant private investment and renewed business confidence, the region’s unemployment rate has reduced significantly in recent years. Cairns’ unique combination of economic potential, geographic location and liveability means the city is strategically positioned as a growth centre for both northern Australia and the State of Queensland. In order to realise this potential, Cairns requires the three levels of government to work together to deliver the projects, policies and investments that will make a catalytic difference to the region.

NEXT STEPS In June 2018 the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia released its report ‘Northern Horizons – Unleashing Our Tourism Potential’. A key recommendation from that report was the establishment of a City Deal for Cairns. To action this recommendation, Cairns Regional Council has endorsed a new Cairns Region City Deal proposal which highlights projects that are critical to securing the economic future of the city. Using the Cairns 2050 Shared Vision as its foundation, the proposal carries the support of State Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Federal Member for Leichhardt the Hon Warren Entsch, and was developed with input and consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders. To progress the Cairns City Deal initiative, the Queensland and Federal Governments are required to join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent to establish a City Deal for Cairns. The Statement of Intent will provide a starting point for a deal. Regional Australia Institute, Deal or No Deal? Bringing Small Cities into the National Cities Agenda, April 2016 https://profile.id.com.au/cairns/population Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend data for the SA4 Regions of Queensland. Regional Labour Force Briefing – May 2019.

OUR RECOMMENDATION That in 2020-2021 the Federal and Queensland Governments join Cairns Regional Council in signing a Statement of Intent, establishing a City Deal for Cairns, formalising a tripartite agreement to establish a set of catalytic priorities for the region.

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

PACIFIC ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY

THE ISSUE Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated in January 2019 that “Cairns [is] a Pacific capital of Australia, a tropical capital of Australia. Cairns is very important to our engagement with the Pacific.” As such, Cairns is Australia’s natural home for administering the national Pacific Engagement Strategy, providing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s new Office of the Pacific with close direct air and sea access to Pacific nations, enabling stronger partnerships for economic growth, regional security and free trade. The establishment of Cairns as the Pacific hub for Australia is aligned with the Federal Government’s own agenda. Cairns is home to a multicultural society and with 10,000+ Papua New Guinea (PNG) nationals residing in the region, is already a base for Australia’s participation in the development of: cultural and education research and teaching; health care; marine training; logistic support including maintenance and enhancement; and security support for South Pacific nations. From now until 2030, the Pacific region is estimated to need US$3.1 billion in investment per year. While Australia has consistently been the largest investor in the region averaging $1.3 billion per annum, a total of 62 countries are active Pacific investors with the top five being Australia, China, New Zealand, the United States and Japan. Australia has traditionally focussed on building capacity for social initiatives such as health care, policing

and security, while other countries such as China have focussed on catalytic infrastructure projects such as marine facilities, airports and roads. Australia’s Step-Up to the Pacific program, which sees engagement in the Pacific as one of the highest priorities of Government, is tied to the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and commits Australia to a more ambitious level of Pacific engagement. The Pacific nations themselves have identified a number of challenges in regard to pursuing economic growth. These include unreliable telecommunications networks, shortages around skills and expertise, concerns regarding law and order (security), and control of fisheries, their most prolific natural resource. While the newly formed Office of the Pacific has been tasked with overseeing Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy, Cairns already has strong established networks and links with nations of the Pacific, together with expertise in working with dispersed populations and tropical climates. The city is therefore wellplaced to facilitate the administration of the next phase of security, education, health, trade and investment conversations in the region.

• Cairns is the ideal strategic hub for the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy. • The ambition to establish Cairns as the Pacific hub for Australia is aligned with the Federal Government’s own agenda, meeting the needs of the Step-Up to the Pacific program. • Cairns has the structures and relationships in place to support the establishment of an Office of the Pacific to administer the Pacific Engagement Program from northern Australia.

https://www.pm.gov.au/media/inter-view-john-mackenzie-4ca-cairns Prime Minister Morrison, 8 November 2018: https:// www.pm.gov.au/media/address-austra-lia-and-pacificnew-chapter Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fact Sheet: Stepping-Up Australia’s Pacific Engagement, November 2018 Papua New Guinea Business and Investment Guide, 2019

We see it as a strategic port, as a port of national significance… it’s link between here and the Pacific is a key part of why we believe that is so strategic. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 22 January 2019


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND Over the past 18 months, growing tensions between the United States and China have elevated the strategic importance of the Pacific, and Australia is now more than ever a frontline player in terms of engagement and development of the region. Increased emphasis on the region is largely due to tensions around trade agreements, which reflect strong economic growth in the Pacific. However in the case of China, trade agreements are linked to repayable loans and as developing economies with scarce national resources, they appear to be beyond the capacity of Pacific nations to service. This has increased the need to secure their fisheries, resource productivity, policing and security. Evolving geo-political tensions in the region have led to a number of significant collaborations in the Pacific. These include a bi-lateral agreement between the US and Australia to reinstate the Lombrum Naval base on Manus Island in PNG, and a tri-lateral partnership between Australia, Japan and the United States to mobilise infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific. In addition, Australia has established a $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility (AIFF) for the Pacific, signalling the significance of the future economic partnership. On the back of these collaborations, the Pacific is a region which has undergone and is undergoing profound change. This will be further accelerated through the establishment of the PACER Plus free trade agreement, through which 14 signatory countries (including Australia) are collectively focussed on facilitating trade to strengthen the global position of the Pacific. In addition, on 20 November 2019 the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, asked the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade - Trade Sub-committee to inquire into and report on Australia’s opportunities to activate greater trade and investment with Pacific island countries.

Cairns is already home to many of the Commonwealth’s Pacific engagement initiatives, covering security, education, economic development, infrastructure financing and foreign affairs and trade. As stated by the Prime Minister in January 2019: “We see it as a strategic port, as a port of national significance… it’s link between here and the Pacific is a key part of why we believe that is so strategic.” Basing an Office of the Pacific in Cairns will enable Australia to quickly build stronger relationships with our Pacific neighbours, providing a more coordinated strategic approach and providing the Commonwealth with better value for existing budgeted measures. For example: • Defence and Marine – The Cairns Marine Precinct is home to HMAS Cairns, one of only five naval bases in Australia, and is the ideal base for OPV and Border Force vessel sustainment and maintenance, the Pacific Maritime Security Programme and the Pacific Mobile Training Team. Under the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (2018) the Cairns port is a critical national infrastructure asset. • Education – Strong alignment exists between Cairns’ tertiary institutions and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, with structures already in place to administer the new Australia-University of the South Pacific partnership worth $84 million over six years (2019-24). University research projects already exist and there is scope for further engagement. Cairns also offers essential marine training through its Great Barrier Reef International Marine College, which provides the opportunity to contribute to the development of South Pacific nations fisheries control and security.

• Infrastructure and Development – With the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund headquartered in Cairns, the structure exists to either manage or co-locate the $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) from the region. Cairns is also supported by direct flights and shipping links to and from the Pacific nations. • Sport – Cairns is the ideal base for elite athlete training camps associated with the Australia-Pacific Sports Linkages Program, has strong links established through the Pacific Games, and provides the perfect base for hosting future Pacific Games. • Government and Trade – Cairns is home to the Exchange Innovation and Information Centre (EiiC), which works in partnership with PNG Government to promote business and educational links between Cairns, PNG and the Pacific. The EiiC is unique within Australia and houses the offices of Tradelinked Cairns PNG Pacific, and of PNG National and Provincial agencies. Cairns also hosts 12 Foreign Consulates and through existing business links, is engaged with and supports the Pacific Labour Scheme. • Health – Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, in partnership with James Cook University (JCU), is established as a world-leader in tropical health and diseases, knowledge that is vital to our Pacific neighbours. And through its Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, JCU has already established research relationships with the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University.

That, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Federal Government establish an Office of the Pacific in Cairns to drive the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Strategy from northern Australia, and formally designate Cairns as Australia’s northern hub for delivering the Step-Up to the Pacific program. That to facilitate hosting the Pacific Games in northern Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee becomes a member of the Pacific Games Council and works with the three levels of government to secure the Pacific Games in Cairns. The Federal Government provides $1.5 million for developing a comprehensive strategy to identify and maximise initiatives to position Cairns as the Pacific capital of Australia as part of delivering its Step-Up to the Pacific agenda.

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


REGIONAL PLANNING

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

POPULATION AND MIGRATION STRATEGY COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE In 2018 Australia’s population reached 25 million people, two decades earlier than predicted, which has put unprecedented pressure on metropolitan capitals. Significant population growth in capital cities has created a settlement imbalance, leading to sizable infrastructure investment in cities and an infrastructure deficit in the regions. While population growth has been centred on capital cities, Australian residents are showing they want to live in regional areas with more than 400,000 people choosing to relocate from the city to the regions in the five years to 2016. Migration away from capital cities has predominantly occurred in the 30-39 year and 60-69 year age groups, leading to unexpected increased demand for regional school enrolments and health care services, and demonstrating the important role of population policy planning for regional locations. To encourage the trend of regional migration to continue, and ensure that relocation is a real and viable alternative to capital cities, there is a need to rebalance

national infrastructure spending away from urban fringe locations such as the Gold Coast to regional city locations such as Cairns. Infrastructure investment will improve the accessibility and liveability of regional cities and in the case of Cairns, deliver on the Federal Government’s northern Australia agenda for economic growth. Population growth should not be a side effect of other policies as it leads to unplanned urban growth and insufficient infrastructure, and this has been the experience to date in northern Queensland. The Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy will therefore provide a strategic approach to population that demonstrates the needs of the region, leading to proactive plans that drive catalytic projects such as roads, health services and water infrastructure plus a supportive policy framework. The strategy will inform forward planning for government at all levels, delivering on the objectives of the Commonwealth’s newly created Centre for Population.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • A Population and Migration Strategy will provide the framework to attract people to Tropical North Queensland and encourage people to stay long-term. • Australian residents are showing they want to live in regional areas. Policy that supports population migration to the regions can aid in balancing Australia’s population growth trends, which are currently centred around metropolitan areas. • Development of a Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy requires shared State and Federal Government investment of approximately $1.5 million and supports the objectives of the Commonwealth’s newly formed Centre for Population.


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND In December 2018, population became a standing agenda item for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), placing it firmly on the national policy agenda. In delivering a new approach to population planning, the State Treasurers and the Australian Local Government Association have been tasked with developing a national framework through a bottom-up approach to population policy development. In support of this objective, a national population and planning framework was released by the Federal Government in March 2019 and in October 2019, a new Centre for Population was launched to be based inside of Treasury. The Centre will become the primary location for all population related matters and will work closely with the states and territories, academics and think tanks in order to share data, research, ideas and expertise on population. As the largest region in northern Australia

by population (279,948 people), while TNQ has an established track record of population growth averaging 1.1% per annum, this is 55% lower than the Queensland State average of 1.7%. To achieve the region’s economic potential and to help fill current employment gaps, in May 2019 a Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) was declared for the region. However, to drive targeted growth instead of relying on unplanned migration, there is a need to identify emerging and growing industries and the associated skill gaps they will bring, enabling the region to develop workforce projections and to plan for the targeted recruitment of skilled migrants. This will also inform social infrastructure needs and investment requirements for catalytic assets.

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

hat in 2020-2021 the Queensland and Federal Governments T support the development of the Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy through shared investment of approximately $1.5 million (based on 50:50 contributions). That to accelerate economic growth in TNQ, the Federal Government remove the current caps and restrictions placed on the Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement and commit to renewing the agreement when it expires in 2024.

Policy that supports population migration to the regions can be part of the solution to balancing Australia’s population growth away from metropolitan areas, relieving pressure on capital cities while supporting economic development in northern Australia. A Cairns Region Population and Migration Strategy is needed to provide the framework for the infrastructure, services and facilities required to attract, retain and support a skilled and growing resident population in TNQ. The strategy will inform policy development regarding infrastructure, liveability, social cohesion and workforce planning, delivering the change required for economic development, and aiding in the creation of a Masterbrand that overcomes perceptions of poor infrastructure, services and amenity in the region. Led by James Cook University’s Cairns Institute, the population and migration strategy will: • Identify causes and consequences of population change; • Establish medium term goals for population size and growth; • Examine distribution trends and opportunities to modify them; and • Identify possible levers to achieve the changes required. The result will be a framework for more sustainable, affordable and efficient growth, enabling the region to influence population trends rather than respond to them. The strategy will also provide input to the State population plan, complement Federal population initiatives around attracting new migrants to regional cities, and inform the Queensland Government’s delivery of the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $1.5M

2020- 2021

Recommended State Investment

$0.75m

Recommended Federal Investment

$0.75m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

CAIRNS AVIATION ROUTE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is one of the destinations most affected by COVID-19 in Australia, with visitor spend predicted to drop $2.2 billion in 2020 and aviation seat capacity to remain at less than 70 per cent of pre-COVID levels for at least the next 2 years. This will impact on more than 7,700 jobs in the region from the visitor economy. Over the past decade, the Queensland tourism industry has lost both domestic and international market share, with Victoria gaining the majority of the lost market. Pre-COVID whole-of-state marketing activities such as the Connecting with Asia program had started to slow the rate of these losses, however the State is likely to lose more market share post-COVID without an aviation-led approach to tourism recovery. While international borders are currently closed, when they do re-open the reintroduction of international aviation capacity to Australia is likely to be slow. Cairns Airport must therefore seek to maximise opportunities to recover domestic airline capacity and take advantage of travel ‘bubbles’ to markets such as New Zealand, Singapore or Japan as and when they become available. With limited international air capacity returning to Cairns in the coming 12-18 months, capturing as much domestic capacity as possible is crucial to be able to support and re-energise the tourism sector and the local economy. Cairns Airport welcomes the recent announcement by the Queensland Government of two tranches of funding, totalling $15 million to support Queensland airports in attracting intrastate and interstate capacity as restrictions ease.

To further assist the attraction of airline services to the State, the key international and domestic aviation gateways of Queensland (Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast) have joined forces to present an opportunity to the Queensland Government to review the current approach to aviation attraction funding structures and programs. A position paper presented in March 2020 recommends a state-wide investment in a new Aviation Capacity Expansion (ACE) program of $100 million over four years. In addition, Cairns Airport, Cairns Regional Council and Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) have entered into a four year partnership to drive aviation seat capacity through partnerships, events and increased investment in destination marketing. To be successful in growing TNQ’s contribution to the visitor economy of the State, and to kick-start the region’s recovery from COVID-19, Queensland Government support is now needed. A separate investment of $10 million over four years in a TNQ event marketing program would be matched by funds from Cairns Regional Council, Cairns Airport and TTNQ to drive event and conference participation in the short term (1-2 years), and to attract new events in the medium to longer term (3-5 years).

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • Cairns is one of Australia’s most aviation dependent communities, with more than three times as many passenger movements per resident (31.6) compared to a city such as Brisbane (9.7). • During COVID-19, Cairns lost 95% of its total air capacity for the three months ending June 2020. Globally, international airline capacity is not expected to return to preCOVID capacity until after 2023. • 52% of TNQ’s 3 million visitors per annum come through the airport. Aviation capacity is currently sitting at less than 40% of pre-COVID seat capacity. • COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the region with a forecast loss of $2.2 billion in 2020, impacting on more than 7,700 jobs in the visitor economy. • A Queensland Government investment of $100 million over four years is needed to boost statewide aviation capacity. In addition, TTNQ requires $10 million over four years to boost event tourism.


BACKGROUND Air connectivity is key to the economic development of the Cairns region. It opens up new visitor markets, provides opportunities for the export of agricultural produce and promotes growth in the education sector. A daily international wide-body flight to Cairns is potentially a $200 million a year export business, with $100 million of international visitor spend, $50-$150 million of agricultural produce sales, and the potential to deliver more than 650 new jobs for the region. There are additional flow-on benefits as other trade is enabled by new air routes. These benefits are widely dispersed across businesses in the region. Cairns Airport is the nation’s seventh busiest in terms of combined international and domestic passenger movements. It has historically handled around 130,000 aircraft movements and over 5.2 million passenger movements per year. The airport is widely recognised as one of the most significant economic drivers in the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) region and its facilities are critical pieces of economic infrastructure. TNQ stretches from Cardwell to the Torres Strait and west to the Northern Territory border and receives nearly three million domestic and international visitors annually. This equated to an estimated $3.5 billion in annual visitor spend in the year ended March 2020. Two-thirds of the region’s visitor nights are domestic travellers, and one-third are international. The visitor economy, made up of holiday, visiting friends and relatives, business events, major events and

education visitors, contributes over 17 per cent of the regions Gross Regional Product (GRP), supporting one in five jobs directly and indirectly. Over the past decade the funds available for tourism marketing in the State have not kept pace with the increased level of competition both in Australia and globally, and the impact of global travel restrictions from COVID-19 have seen the visitor economy come to a virtual standstill since March. As the industry emerges it is clear that the key to the recovery of the visitor economy, and the wider regional economy, is aviationled. In addition, there remain significant opportunities for airfreight movement from Cairns. International airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates continue to operate passenger services to Australia. However, because of passenger movement restrictions the real value to these airlines is the freight they are able to carry in the cargo hold of their passenger aircraft, which TNQ producers are well positioned to supply.

NEXT STEPS •

The Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF) and Connecting With Asia Fund (CWA) were due to expire at the end of FY20. To replace the AAIF and support both domestic and international route retention longer term, the development of an Aviation Capacity Expansion (ACE) program has been proposed by Queensland airports.

The State’s gateway airports are seeking a Queensland Government investment in the ACE program of $100 million over the next four years.

In addition, TTNQ is seeking increased base funding from the Queensland Government for TEQ to provide regions with destination marketing campaign funds. For TTNQ this would be a minimum of $12 million in marketing funds per annum. At this point in time, TTNQ has secured $8 million of base funding for the region and is therefore seeking a further $4 million per annum.

Cairns Airport and Cairns Regional Council both agreed to increase their base funding in 2020-21 with an investment of $500,000 (each), which along with TTNQ will bring the region’s marketing and events funds up to $9.5 million in 2020-21.

The region is also seeking $2.5 million per annum over the next four years from the State Government to boost aviation partnerships and events, with a view to that increase being matched by the local partners once confirmed.

• •

That previous aviation attraction (marketing) program funds be consolidated into a single Aviation Capacity Expansion (ACE) program of $100 million over four years commencing July 2020. That through Tourism and Events Queensland, the Queensland Government increase TTNQ’s event support and acquisition funding by $10 million over four years to boost the region’s events portfolio with a focus on driving aviation capacity.

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

LAND USE AND AGRICULTURE

THE ISSUE A CSIRO and James Cook University (JCU) report into land tenure issues in northern Australia identified key actions required to ensure land tenure arrangements facilitate rather than hinder investment in the region. The report identified that the majority of land in northern Australia is crown-owned (75.4%), two-thirds of which is pastoral leasehold. Another 18.5% is Indigenous land and privately-owned land accounts for 6.1%. However, Indigenous land interests cover an estimated 94% of northern Australia and there are limited arrangements to support Traditional Owners in leading development opportunities within these various tenures. In the State of Queensland, an estimated 65% of land is leasehold, with term leases for grazing and agriculture the principal arrangement. High value agriculture is permitted by the Native Title Act (1993) on term leases subject to notices, which does not require an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) or consent. In 1996 the Native Title Act confirmed existing freehold and perpetual leases extinguished native title, however it is the

State’s view this can only be achieved if native title is extinguished either by agreement (ILUA) or order of the Court. Many pastoral tenures therefore have quite restrictive requirements that need careful negotiation for development. Native title issues in particular are sensitive as the land holder cannot achieve more secure tenure unless native title is surrendered or extinguished. Many others are impacted by the Queensland Vegetation Management Act (1999), which was amended in 2018 to ban broad-scale clearing of remnant vegetation for agriculture. The reduced certainty regarding land use is impacting both agricultural and environmental management investment as many leaseholder and financial institutions require a more secure form of tenure to underpin the huge capital investment required for high value agriculture. Combined with land tenure uncertainty, to improve agricultural investment in Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) an opportunity exists to streamline development approvals.

COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: ALL TNQ FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY, LEICHHARDT

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY • To reduce the uncertainty facing investors in agricultural development, improved strategic land use planning and mechanisms for tenure resolution are required. To facilitate this process, it is proposed that Strategic Agricultural Development Areas be prioritised and established. • This approach would be complimented by the creation of an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland. The Office is required to coordinate more effective strategic regional land use planning and major development approvals, supported by increased State investment to process subsidiary tenure resolution efforts.

CSIRO and James Cook University, Land Tenure in northern Australia: Opportunities and challenges for investment, June 2013 https://profile.id.com.au/fnqroc/population Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Planning for Australia’s Future Population, March 2019


BACKGROUND Productive agricultural land is an irreplaceable asset for current and future generations and must be effectively identified, managed and preserved through improved land use planning and project assessment frameworks. While land ownership in Australia is governed by common and statutory laws, in the context of northern Queensland a lack of strategic planning and land tenure complexities have frustrated new investment. In Tropical North Queensland, efforts to reduce barriers to agricultural investment could be pursued in four distinct ways: 1. The prioritisation of areas where the State would strongly support agricultural development; 2. Streamlining development approvals and regulations at the Federal, State and local level through a single point-of-contact permanently based in the region; 3. Making administrative and legislative improvements to land tenure legislation to reduce barriers to investment, taking into consideration the requirements of the Queensland Vegetation Management Act (1999); and 4. Taking action to improve the effectiveness of land and resource planning to reduce conflict between potential investors and land holders.

NEXT STEPS Just as there are State Development Area’s (SDA’s) to promote economic development in Queensland, to reduce the uncertainty facing investors in agricultural development, it is proposed that a framework for prioritised Strategic Agricultural Development Areas be developed across TNQ. Similar in nature to a State Development Area, this would mean that in areas suitable for agricultural production, a single authority would coordinate decisions regarding: • Land use planning and approvals; • Vegetation management planning and approvals; • Native title negotiations; • Environmental impact studies and approvals; • Water allocations; and • Trunk infrastructure requirements. The process would be managed through the creation of an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland, which would be tasked with coordinating strategic regional land use plans and major development approvals, supported by associated tenure resolution efforts. CSIRO and James Cook University, Land Tenure in northern Australia: Opportunities and challenges for investment, June 2013

OUR RECOMMENDATION •

That the State Government reduce uncertainty regarding land use and land tenure issues by establishing a framework for Strategic Agricultural Development Areas in Queensland. That the State Government establish an Office of the Coordinator General in far northern Queensland based in Cairns to effectively coordinate strategic regional land use planning and major development approvals, supported by associated tenure resolution efforts.

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

ADVANCE CAIRNS PRIORITIES 2020/21

STRATEGIC ENERGY SECTOR FRAMEWORK COUNCIL: ALL TNQ STATE ELECTORATE: CAIRNS, BARRON RIVER, COOK, HILL FEDERAL ELECTORATE: KENNEDY

THE ISSUE Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) faces unsustainably high electricity costs to the detriment of regional industries, small, medium and large enterprises, and domestic consumers. An estimated 75% of electricity consumed from the Queensland energy grid is by business customers and more than 97% of Queensland businesses are small business, making up 44% of jobs in the State. Given TNQ’s proximity to two world heritage listed assets, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, the vision for the region is energy sector reliability, affordability and a seamless transition to reduced carbon emissions.

At present, the region suffers significant energy reliability, affordability and transition challenges, while also providing opportunities such as energy export. Despite policy instability over the last decade, there have been major new investments in the region in wind, solar, biomass and hydropower electricity generation. As more stable State and Federal energy policy frameworks are beginning to emerge, to achieve energy reliability and affordability while also transitioning to reduced carbon emissions, TNQ will require a region-wide strategic investment framework that has bilateral Government support.

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY •

Electricity prices are unsustainably high in TNQ which restricts business profitability and new investments that drive economic growth.

The TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (rural towns and properties closer to Cairns); and (3) Off-Grid (remote towns and properties).

Surveys indicate 15% of regional Queensland businesses have cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills.

A TNQ Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework is proposed to drive affordability, reliability and transition in the TNQ energy system. This Framework would require shared State and Federal Government investment of approximately $1.5 million.

A State Government CSO of $465 million is in place. However, a 5% headroom charge is still applied statewide which removes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

Despite policy instability over the last decade, there have been major new investments in the region in wind, solar, biomass and hydro-power electricity generation.


NEXT STEPS

BACKGROUND Current energy prices seriously impact business and domestic consumers, adding to cost-of-living pressures and resulting in business and industry restricting their regional economic growth opportunities. While subsidies exist for domestic consumers, industry operates in a largely unsubsidised environment, making energy a critical influence in decisions to invest in TNQ. Across northern Queensland, inefficiencies in the electricity network drive the case for increased power generation. High transmission losses and fuel transport needs highlight the overwhelming costs of supplying power across the region and universally, the efficiency and reliability of TNQ’s energy supply needs to be assessed and improved. In response to escalating energy costs, the Queensland Electricity Users Network (QEUN) conducted a regional business survey in 2018 and identified that 15% of regional Queensland businesses had already cut staff hours or reduced staff numbers in response to escalating electricity bills. In addition, 30% would consider cutting staff if electricity prices rise again while conversely, 24% would consider expanding their business if electricity prices fell. The survey also identified five business sectors in regional Queensland greatly concerned about their ability to pay their power bills in full and on time. All five represent critical industries to the TNQ economy which combined, represent 35% of jobs and contribute $3.8 billion toward GRP annually: 1. Accommodation and food service 2. Agriculture 3. Arts and recreation 4. Manufacturing 5. Retail trade As a predominantly tourism, services, resources and agricultural economy, TNQ

stands firmly behind the need to: (i) ensure a strong reliable power strategy that delivers substantive energy security; (ii) identify new generation options that deliver improved energy affordability; and (iii) without compromising reliability and affordability, deliver significantly on reducing carbon intensity in energy production. However, preliminary work by the CSIRO Energy Flagship suggests that the TNQ energy sector is defined by three distinct energy markets: (1) High Demand Fringe of Grid (Cairns); (2) Fringe of Fringe of Grid (Rural Towns/Properties across TNQ); and (3) Off-Grid (Remote Towns/Properties). The reliability, affordability and transition challenges and opportunities facing these three markets is diverse, requiring significantly different policy, budgetary and industry investment solutions. In addition, the impacts of disruptive technology, including the uptake of domestic new renewable sources, progress in battery storage technology, and advancements with electric car technology are certain to impact the way that energy is generated, stored, transmitted and consumed in the future. In response to escalating energy costs the State Government provides a Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment to Ergon Energy (Energy Queensland) to subsidise the cost of electricity for domestic and business users in regional Queensland. The purpose of the CSO is to ensure the Uniform Tariff Policy (UTP) is implemented evenly across the State and in 2018-2019, the total CSO to support regional Queenslanders was $465 million. The 5% headroom charge introduced in 2013 to allow competition in south-east Queensland however is applied state wide, regardless of the fact that there is only one provider in regional Queensland. Coupled with high wholesale costs, this diminishes the benefit of the CSO in TNQ.

That in 2020-2021 the Federal and Queensland Governments support development of the TNQ Energy Sector Investment Framework through shared investment of approximately $1.5 million (based on 50:50 contributions). That to maintain the Uniform Tariff Policy and annual payment of the Community Service Obligation, the Queensland Government remove the 5% headroom requirement and reduce wholesale costs by 10%.

A decade of policy uncertainty has led to limited activity around the resolution of energy security issues. In addition, the complexity of electricity regulation is a barrier for community and industry engagement in energy reform discussion and delivery. Significant and targeted effort is needed to frame the investment opportunities that deliver reliability, affordability and carbon emission transition outcomes for regional Queensland. Therefore, in a collaborative partnership coordinated through James Cook University’s Cairns Institute, it is proposed to develop an Energy Sector Strategic Investment Framework. This would aim to: • Better understand key reliability, affordability and transition drivers in our region’s energy markets; • Explore and define the most viable new generation opportunities; • Determine the most critical policy refinement and public-sector investment pathways; • Explore the potential for new energy and energy services export opportunities in the region; • Engage with industry, community, Local Government, and other key regional stakeholders to scope and identify current and future energy options and aspirations; and • Develop and drive a cohesive, bilaterally supported strategic pathway for regional attracting investment into the region to achieve reliability, affordability and transition.

ESTIMATED PROJECT COST $1.5M

2020-2021

Recommended State Investment

$0.75m

Recommended Federal Investment

$0.75m

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


ABOUT US

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dvance Cairns is the peak independent non-government advocacy and economic development organisation for Tropical North Queensland (TNQ). We work with a long-term vision to create a resilient and prosperous TNQ, provide apolitical leadership and create a unified voice for the region. Taking in 26 local government areas, our region extends from Cardwell to the Torres Strait, and from the Northern Territory border to the Coral Sea. Nearly two-thirds of the region’s population live within the Cairns Regional Council statistical area and while tourism is the region’s major

export industry, growth industries such as agribusiness, health, education and professional services are working to build a resilient tropical economy. Across the region, urban areas cater for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, entertainment and tourist land uses. Rural land is largely used for agriculture, particularly sugar cane farming, tropical fruits and vegetables, coffee, cattle grazing, timber production, mining and fishing.

Cairns needs a strong advocacy group. We elected to throw our support behind Advance Cairns because they are across the regional issues, they maintain important stakeholder relationships and they get the importance of a healthy diversified regional economy. - OLAV GROOT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NORSHIP

PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY


GET INVOLVED

Advance Cairns members are socially responsible businesses which have committed to securing a legacy of prosperity for the region. Through your membership, you will join these leaders in demonstrating a commitment to move beyond talk and into action. How you engage is ultimately up to you.

As a member of Advance Cairns, you can engage with our activities and build your connections with executive business leaders – and grow the profile of your organisation across the region.

CONNECT

Throughout the year, we host a number of events exclusively for members which feature high profile speakers and guests and which can provide you with access to senior politicians and executive leaders of top tier Australian companies.

Each of our advocacy priorities are reviewed annually in collaboration with member representatives and with key regional partners such as the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Regional Development Australia, Superyachts Great Barrier Reef and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

INFLUENCE

Have your say in these reviews by engaging with our Board members, Advisory Council members and Executive team throughout the year. You can also nominate to sit on our member committees and Board of Directors. A range of members also get to directly influence policy at a political level by participating in major advocacy initiatives and ministerial round-tables.

Through your membership, you will help us drive government support for catalytic projects and vital policy change, using your voice to shape the region to secure a prosperous economy for TNQ.

JOIN NOW

Visit advancecairns.com/members 4/16 Minnie Street, Cairns, QLD, 4780, Australia Phone: (61 7) 4080 2900 Email: admin@advancecairns.com Postal: PO Box 3065, Cairns, QLD, 4870, Australia

Profile for Advance Cairns

Advance Cairns Pathway to Prosperity - Advocating for Cairns TNQ - 8+8 Priority List for the Region  

Advance Cairns has released the region’s new advocacy priority list, developed during an extensive review process with key stakeholders incl...

Advance Cairns Pathway to Prosperity - Advocating for Cairns TNQ - 8+8 Priority List for the Region  

Advance Cairns has released the region’s new advocacy priority list, developed during an extensive review process with key stakeholders incl...