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Cairns Regional Council is fast-tracking more than $8.3 million worth of projects in the CBD as part of a third wave of COVID-19 measures to assist businesses and the community.

Erosion control along the Cairns Esplanade and renewal of the Lagoon pool plaza are among a number of significant projects to be brought forward.

The projects were selected based on the estimated time for planning, design, consultation, procurement of materials and contractors, and delivery within a six month timeframe.

Cr Manning said that while the pandemic was causing unprecedented disruption, restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus did provide an opportunity for council to bring forward some projects in the city with minimal disturbance to traders.

The council has also agreed to waive rental payments for lessees of council-owned and/or managed facilities negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The measures endorsed today follow initiatives announced on February 12 and March 20, including a plan to bring forward $2.5 million of maintenance works.

The financial impost of council initiatives in response to the coronavirus crisis, including a three-month extension of rate payments and the fast tracking of maintenance works, was outlined at this week’s meeting.

The report noted that there was twice the amount of outstanding rates for this time of year, and when combined with other financial impacts, the council was anticipating a $20 million cash shortfall for this financial year.

Projects to be fast tracked include:
  • The building of a rock wall minimise erosion on the Esplanade,
  • Renewal of the plaza area between the Lagoon and the Esplanade,
  • Renewal of footpaths on Abbott, Grafton and McLeod streets,
  • Replacement of commercial water metres and water main,
  • Road rehabilitation and asphalt overlays
There was consideration given to bringing forward the Esplanade Dining Precinct renewal, but as the concept design has not been approved and consultation was not at an advanced stage, it was decided the project could not be commenced in the short-term.