The Hon Dr John McVeigh, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government

  • 21 projects, creating over 1,000 jobs, will be delivered across Tropical North Queensland
  • $220 million initiative to stimulate job creation and investment in regional Australia

Tropical North Queensland businesses are the big winners thanks to a $20 million funding and jobs boost from the Coalition Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Federal Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister John McVeigh joined Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch at the Cairns International Tennis Centre to announce the 21 projects.

“Regional Australia is critical to our national prosperity and we are committed to unlocking its potential. This nearly $20 million investment will support Tropical North Queensland’s future and continue the Coalition Government’s commitment to strengthen regional communities,” Dr McVeigh said.

“Thanks to Warren Entsch’s fierce advocacy we’ve been able to deliver for local businesses, generating more than 400 jobs during construction and nearly 650 ongoing jobs.

“This initiative is diversifying regional economies, including those that have undergone transition by creating more jobs and delivering more liveable communities and essential infrastructure.”

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he was ‘over-the-moon’ the region had secured a Regional Jobs and Investment Package—one of only 10 nationwide.

He said each of the 21 successful projects were worthy recipients and would further enrich Far North Queensland communities.

“Projects like the $4.7 million fit-out of the Cairns Aquarium will create 180 full-time jobs which will help support local families which in turn will stimulate the local economy,” Mr Entsch said.

“Cairns Aquarium is already a world-class facility and major tourist attraction, but I expect it will soar to new heights thanks to this funding grant.

“The establishment of an air freight terminal at Cairns Airport is extremely exciting. It will allow us to export our region’s world-class fruit, dairy, seafood and meat to domestic and international markets.

“The real winners though are our primary producers because it will allow them to export their produce through Cairns as opposed to sending it to other ports.

“Residents will also benefit from investments like the purchase of specialised and rehabilitation equipment at Spinal Life Australia’s Healthy Living Centre in Cairns, the construction of a dedicated Residential Aged Care Centre in Mossman and delivering the Northern Beaches Leisure Trail—an iconic recreational shared use path from Palm Cove to Cairns CBD.”

Successful projects under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages:
Tropical North Coast
Recipient Project Grant Approved
The Salvation Army (QLD) Property Trust Construction of the first Residential Aged Care Centre in Mossman, Far North Queensland. The state-of-the-art facility will provide a loving home for 42 older Australians, giving priority of access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as those who are financially or socially disadvantaged and people from rural and remote areas. The 42 bed Centre will cater to persons living with dementia. $3,416,544
Cairns Regional Council Project will deliver Stage 2 of 30km Northern Beaches Leisure Trail—an iconic recreational shared use path from Palm Cove to Cairns CBD. Specifically the project will link the beachside suburbs of Holloways and Machans Beach. Located on the foreshore, it will provide spectacular coastal views and encourage a healthy lifestyle by getting more people active through cycling and walking. $2,865,000
QRX Group 1 Pty Ltd The establishment of a state-of-the-art North Queensland Pharmaceutical Distribution and Manufacturing Centre will provide the following services to the region s community pharmacy network; drug distribution, dose administration aid packing, sterile compounding, human resource management and book keeping services. The NQPDMC will be the first of its kind in Regional Queensland and the first of its kind in Northern Australia. $2,415,400
Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre Pty Ltd The project will see the completion of the final $4.7m “fit-out” stage of the $54m Cairns Aquarium which will install catering equipment for a unique “aquatic” themed function centre which will attract additional new large (250 pax) weekly corporate and private functions to Cairns, and installation of plant and equipment for “behind-the-scenes” Great Barrier Reef interactive coral viewing experiences. $2,350,000
Cairns Regional Council The primary objective is the refurbishment of the Cairns Courthouse, while spearheading the development of a new cultural precinct for Cairns. The property adjoins two other heritage buildings, the former Cairns public Office building, now the Cairns Regional Gallery, and the former Mulgrave Shire Council building. $2,100,000
Aviation Services Australia Pty Ltd ASA is establishing an air freight facility at the Cairns Airport to assist primarily in the export of produce—fruit, dairy, seafood and meat through the Cairns Airport. The facility will assist in increasing export volumes via the Cairns Airport which are currently either not exported due to capacity constraints with the existing provider (at capacity for last 10 years) or transported to other regions at an increased cost for export. $1,250,000
Cairns Regional Council The Martyn Street Netball Centre project will provide an undercover facility for the 4 central courts at the Cairns regional netball facility. The roofed area represents the final stage of the Martyn St Netball Centre and will create an all-weather environment that will protect participants from the harsh tropical conditions. $1,018,992
Dindarr Pty Ltd The Dindarr Yarrabah Ferry and Bus Project will connect the Yarrabah Indigenous Community to Cairns by fast, low-cost ferry and bus services. This connection will dramatically improve the access of Indigenous residents of Yarrabah to health and other mainland services, open up new opportunities in the employment market to those residents, and allow Yarrabah to leverage its unique cultural capital by bringing international tourists from one of the world’s premier tourism destinations across the water to enjoy Indigenous cultural tourism unrivalled anywhere in Australia. $1,000,000
Cairns Regional Council Construction of a roofed structure over the centre court and adjoining bank of 4 Hot Shots mini-courts to provide opportunities for year round play on these courts as this structure will provide protection from both rainfall and the harsh Far North QLD sun. Outcome of the project include improved capacity to deliver regional, state, national and international events, better programming and overall improved viability of the centre. $997,908
Cairns Regional Council The Alley Park Club Amenities Building will be the major focal point for sporting clubs in the Southern Corridor. The Amenities building will house multiple sporting disciplines and provide an identity for the resident clubs of Alley Park. The construction of the building will provide job opportunities for local contractors and provide mental and physical health benefits by attracting people back to their local sporting clubs. $600,000
Mihaven Property Fund Pty Ltd MiHaven is developing and proposing to operate one of the first privately owned purpose built student accommodation facilities in the inner city of Cairns including accommodation to suit students with special needs. There is a critical need for new; safe; well managed student accommodation accessible to the all the key Cairns based universities; Tafe and colleges based in the inner city and Cairns CBD to cater for the expanding growth of international students studying in Cairns. To match the goals set by Study Cairns making Cairns the number international student destination for Asia by 2020, we need to have an ample supply of high quality purpose built student accommodation. This will ensure that Cairns can compete. $300,000
Gurriny Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Services Aboriginal Corporation Gurriny is building a community youth hub that will be an identified space for young adults aged 15–25 to access as needed. Social challenges experienced by this group are significant and some basic personal needs will be met by the inclusion of a community kitchen, laundry facilities and bathrooms. This construction project will expand the community youth hub to provide counselling rooms, staff office space and increased youth social areas. A direct impact from this project will be an increase of wrap around support services and the creation of an identified youth place promoting wellbeing, resilience and responsibility. $299,000
Spinal Life Australia Ltd Spinal Life Australia’s Healthy Living Centre in Cairns will enable it to expand its business with a wider range of disability supports and other healthcare services closer to home for people with spinal cord damage and related physical disabilities. The purpose-built centre provides accessible accommodation, specialised allied health services where clients feel comfortable and confident that staff understand their distinctive needs, hydrotherapy pool, and gymnasium. $247,500
Golden Egg Communication Pty Ltd This first of its type project allows local Tourism providers participation in a range of innovative marketing activity that takes their products to the buyers around the world with a compelling concept, thus increasing economic activity for the region and increased outcomes in local employment. $197,642
Regen Plastics Pty Ltd ReGen Plastics will establish a plastics recycling plant in Cairns to convert used plastics into extruded finished products for sale via local retailers. Export of these products are also likely. This will be the first plastics recycling plant in North Queensland and will dramatically reduce agricultural, construction and domestic plastic waste going to landfill or being burnt. $183,300
Natural Resource Assessments Pty Ltd WiM delivers a software solution for water resource management. It facilitates interpretation of water quality data by integrating water resource management methods developed by environmental specialists over several decades. The sustainability of activities that rely on water resources is managed through a licence to operate. Where impacts are unacceptable, the consequences include accrued costs from delays, reparation imposts, punitive actions and reputational damage. $153,570
Mossman Botanic Garden The Wet Tropics are a global biodiversity hotspot. The Garden will showcase the region’s floral biodiversity in one, easy to access display garden. It will drive economic growth and create jobs by: Diversifying the Mossman, Douglas Shire and Cairns regional economies. Stimulating long term growth, delivering substantial economic development in Mossman and to a lesser extent Port Douglas and Cairns through tourism. Delivering sustainable employment, given world-class botanic garden lifecycles are measured in centuries. $100,000
Douglas Shire Council The study will evaluate the feasibility of a range land uses in the Port Douglas Waterfront South precinct to optimise land use. Through stakeholder consultation, environmental, economic, marine and geo-technical and traffic engineering investigations, the study will identify a preferred mix of compatible land uses, suitable for viable businesses within the Port Douglas Waterfront South precinct. $80,000
Ten Years Younger Home Care Pty Ltd The project will undertake a detailed feasibility study to assess the care and support needs of national and international tourists who are aged or have a disability and without care supports are unable to travel or experience the unique tourist sites of TNQ. $60,000
Kickarts Contemporary Arts Ltd The Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Printmaking Program will deliver a tailored skills and training program to assist regional Indigenous artists in creative and business development, through the manufacturing and wholesaling of limited edition prints. This technical and business training will benefit regional Tropical North Queensland through facilitating the development of sustainable Indigenous micro businesses. $50,000
Savannah Guides Limited A full review of the EcoGuide program as it comes into Savannah Guides operations. The project will enable the tour guide certification framework to grow, coordinated from its Tropical North Queensland hub. This tailored non-accredited training will support quality and innovation in frontline tourism delivery and improving skills in the labour force through professional development activities. New training and certification models will improve access for regional learners and support employment and retention among Tour Guides and higher quality experiences, driving visitor growth. $5,454