Best Use of Entertainment Precinct Land – ALL OF The Facts!!!
- the use of the site is to be optimised
- future land use and development is to reflect the value of the site
- the built spaces are to provide long-term solutions to current and future community need.
The public spaces and facilities within the Entertainment Precinct meet the needs of the community and growing population for more than 50 years. Long-term planning to achieve a sustainable outcome must consider environmental, social, economic and cultural outcomes.
The site is currently owned by Ports North Corporation Pty Ltd (“Ports”) who have clearly and publicly stated on many occasions that the site is not required nor intended for Ports’ future operational use.
The Entertainment Precinct comprises a site area of approximately 1.5ha which is part of a larger lot of Strategic Port Land (Part of Lot 10 on SP214821 and Lot 9 on SP113632) which encompasses Precinct 3 in the Cityport Land Use Plan and part of the Commercial & Business Planning Area in the Seaport Land Use Plan. Ports has advised that the final site configuration will be determined as part of lease negotiations at which point the specific site boundaries will be defined.
The site sits back from the waterfront. Over the past two decades, nearby land, also owned by Ports and also located back from the waterfront, has been developed for commercial uses unrelated to the Ports operations.
Ports North has confirmed on many occasions that the site is not required for Ports operations. In an open letter to the Weekend Post on 18 September 2010 the Chairman of Ports North, Dr Ken Chapman wrote: “The area of White’s Shed and vacant land from wharf 1-6 and Wharf Street are not needed to service the shipping and have long been set aside for development under the Cityport Masterplan and the Seaport Masterplan. The cultural precinct can be built on the White’s Shed area and vacant land opposite the Convention Centre without impact on current of future uses of the wharves or growth of sea freight and is compatible with Cityport and Seaport Masterplans.”
Council’s commitment to the Cultural Precinct site
Council’s adopted Corporate Plan 2009-14
“Establish a Regional Performing Arts Centre in a cultural precinct on the waterfront”
“Advocate for the establishment of a Regional Museum”
Council’s adopted Cultural Plan 2009-14
“Plan and construct a Regional Performing Arts Centre and support the State Government in establishing a Regional Museum”
At Council’s Ordinary Meeting of 11 December 2008 the following resolution was passed:
a) agree to progress planning in respect of a cultural precinct, including a Regional Performing Arts Centre and a Regional Museum, in partnership with Cairns Ports Limited (CPL) under terms and conditions as identified in the attached Heads of Agreement between Council and the CPL; and
b) delegate the power to make, vary or discharge the Heads of Agreement attached to this report for ss36, 485 and 486 of the Local Government Act 1993 to the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer for s483 of the Act, noting that clause 3.3 of the Heads of Agreement requiring the feasibility and business case for a Regional Performing Arts Centre will include financial and legal review of the matters set out in clause 8.
On 7 July 2010 the following Mayoral Minute was carried:
Councillors agree that over the next 18 months they will listen to any concerns of the general public and will comprehensively consult and work with the community to deliver the cultural facilities that the community wants and needs. Councillors also:
- recognise that the region needs an enhanced performing arts centre, a project that has been in the making for more than a decade
- following further advice and clarification from Ports North, believe that the waterfront site is ideal and does not impede future port development and maritime activities; and
- welcome the State and Federal Governments’ financial contribution and commitment.
Carried Unanimously by Council.