Jul 18, 2017

Cairns Convention Centre set for $176m makeover

Cairns Convention Centre set for $176m makeover

This is a glimpse of what the Cairns Convention Centre might look like after a planned $176 million overhaul.

Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt unveiled initial draft concept drawings this week based on design work by Cox Architects.

“We are massively expanding the capacity and potential of the Cairns Convention Centre as part of the revival of our CBD to ensure it’s a legacy that will benefit our region long into the future,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Convention Centre is already a big part of the local psyche as the home of the Taipans and I want it to make a lasting impression on international visitors so that they go home raving about the conferences and events we host as much as they rave about our incredible local attractions.”

Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt.

Work would begin after April 2018, when the Cairns Convention Centre will host basketball preliminary rounds for the Commonwealth Games. 

Mr Pitt said there were space constraints to consider in fitting a new 3000sq m exhibition hall and supporting plenary space into the centre’s CBD location, with a number of options to be considered.

Cairns Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele said the facility was already punching well above its weight on the global stage but it was time for the centre to modernise and expand to enter a new phase of life.

“Investing in this kind of growth will enable us to take on new conferences and events of even greater sizes and complexity, which will cement our position on the global stage,” he said.

“We were awarded the World’s Best Congress Centre in both 2004 and 2014, which brought with it worldwide recognition to Cairns.

“An expansion will bring an additional 25 large conventions and events per year to Cairns and around 20,000 additional visitors per year to experience the wonders of the tropics.

“We’re estimating that that the new exhibition space will add around $30 million additional economic benefit to the region each year.”

Proposed design for the expanded Cairns Convention Centre.