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A record $181 million capital works program headlines Cairns Regional Council’s 2020-21 Budget.

Mayor Bob Manning said the record $181 million capital works program, part of a $312 million Budget, would provide a needed stimulus boost to the local economy and ensure the council continued to deliver services to a level expected by the community.

Cr Manning acknowledged the city was facing unprecedented challenges due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and said it was vital the council maximised its capital works program to stimulate the local economy.

“Given that approximately 90 per cent of the council’s works expenditure is invested locally through employment and locally sourced materials and services, it is clear the council has an important role to play in keeping our local economy moving,” Cr Manning said.

“It is equally important that we continue to invest in water, wastewater, drainage and transport infrastructure networks to ensure the city’s critical networks operate efficiently.”

The commitment of $181 million in the capital works program brings the total amount of capital works delivered by the council over the past seven years to almost $1.2 billion.

“The record $181 million program for this year will be delivered across the length and breadth of our local government area, with an emphasis on upgrading core infrastructure to ensure the ongoing delivery of services, while also providing economic stimulus,” Cr Manning said.

“The program includes $60 million for water and waste infrastructure, $43.5 million for improvements to our transport and drainage network and $28 million for the Esplanade Dining Precinct project.”

The council has also allocated $42.5 million on maintaining 577 parks and nature areas, 500km of sealed footpaths, more than 100 connecting footbridges, 800 litter bins and 65 toilet blocks.

This year’s capital works program allows for:
  • $43.5 million on roads, bridges, drainage, kerb and channel, shoulder sealing, and bus stops
  • $28.5 million on improving the wastewater network,
  • $32.7 million on water and waste infrastructure, and
  • $37 million on community, sport, cultural and tourism projects
  • $28.7 million for the Esplanade Dining Precinct
IMAGE: Cairns Regional Council has committed $28.7 million to the Esplanade Dining Precinct project.