In the Cairns Regional Council meeting of Wed 27 Feb 2013, the option to retain and revitalise City Place was included as an option in the Community Consultation plan.
OPTION 3 would see not only City Place revitalised but also the Shields St extensions down to Abbott St and up to Grafton St. It would also include Lake St extensions 40m either side of City Place.
OPTION 3 would see an increase in public space 40% higher than OPTION 1 and OPTION 2.
OPTION 3 suggests buses could travel along Abbott St, Spence St and McLeod St with a pair of bus stops on Abbott St beside Woolworths and Orchid Plaza.
It would see a pair of bus stops on Spence St between Grafton St and Sheridan St in close proximity to Rusty’s markets.
It would see a pair of bus stops on McLeod St as part of a transit hub linking country buses on Bunda St, country trains and suburban trains from Gordonvale and Babinda.
In OPTIONS 1 and 2 there would only be one pair of bus stops in the CBD so people would have to walk up to 400m or more to get to a bus in the tropical heat and in downpours. Currently we have 10 bus stops in the CBD.
OPTION 3 would do away with buses in Lake St altogether providing more opportunities for a pedestrian friendly Lake St between Shields St and Spence St, with fig trees and other tropical vegetation as well as extra parking spaces.
OPTION 3, like OPTIONS 1 and 2 would see a variety of water features in City Place and the Shields St extensions. But instead of 6 secondary water features, we would locate one major water feature which serves as an icon for Cairns (reef and rainforest) spectacular enough for tourists to want to pose in front of for photographs, and two or three secondary water features.
OPTION 3 would see City Place become a tropical oasis where people can relax and meet and enjoy a coffee, read the newspaper, enjoy the cool tropical surroundings.
In OPTION 3 there would be:
- Tropical shade trees (eg fig and or raintrees or other) with wild native orchids, epiphytes, food plants for Ulysses and Birdwing butterflies to cultivate these butterflies in City Place;
- stylish public tables, chairs and sunshades;
- free WIFI;
- public art – particularly art which reflects the original Aboriginal inhabitants and culture providing colour;
- state-of-the-art information kiosk;
- 24hr 7 days police beat desk with two full-time Aboriginal police officers trained in Aboriginal liaison and tourist liaison;
- Rustic, attractive stalls selling cappuccinos and newspapers;
- Vendors selling barrows of tropical flowers for the office and fresh local (organic) pre-washed fruit for people on the run which would provide colour;
- Performance stage – with community input, especially input from performers, to make sure we are happy with the design.
¤ The Cairns community has never been consulted on the plan by Queensland Transport (DTMR) to open City Place to vehicles.
¤ Polls indicate 80% of the Cairns community as well as over 80% of inner city businesses want to see City Place revitalised as a pedestrian precinct and performance space.
¤ City Place is a valuable performance space and meeting place in Cairns.
¤ City Place is a unique space with a huge fig tree, and heritage-listed buildings, including the Cairns Museum and historical Hides Hotel, on each corner. It is an important meeting place. It is the only pedestrian precinct in the CBD. It is traditionally the location for celebrating Mabo Day launch of NAIDOC week, and Earth Hour, amongst many other community events. The Cairns City Forum, where election candidates interact with the public, was held twice in 2011 for both Local and State elections. It is our democratic space, our Town Square. There is a lot of history associated with City Place including history of the traditional owners – the Yidinji Gimuy Wallabarra clan, and the Irukandji tribe.
¤ Save City Place – Make It WOW! campaigners request a transparent and professional community consultation process on the future of City Place, and request more options from Queensland Transport (DTMR) as to bus routes through the CBD.
There has never been any community consultation on the future of City Place, (at least since 1995), including with respect to the plan to open it up to motor vehicles.
2009 – Queensland Transport (DTMR) “locks in” the proposal to open City Place to buses without proper community consultation.
2010 – Architectus in Brisbane is contracted to do a City Centre Masterplan, but their brief already includes City Place as a bus-way.
2011 January – an informal survey indicates less that 95% of the community are aware of the proposal to open City Place to motor vehicles.
March 2011 – following protest from the community, Mayor Val Schier holds a workshop at Cairns Regional Council on the City Centre Masterplan (but not on the future of City Place). Concern is expressed at that meeting about the plan to open City Place to traffic, and also pointing out “how can we consider urban planning of the city centre if we do not also consider transport options within the CBD?”
May 2011 – Queensland Transport (DTMR) contracts Compass Research to do a public survey. 69% of respondents say the plan to open City Place to traffic needs to be reconsidered and there needs to be more community consultation.
May 2011 – following ongoing protest from the community a second workshop is held which involves not only the City Centre Masterplan (Architectus) but also Queensland Transport (DTMR) and their Cairns Transit Network plan. Officials attempt to dominate with another “information presentation session”, and there is another attempt to break participants up into small groups. But the participants call for a vote, and the workshop remains as a single group. Participants also call for organisers to limit their “information presentation” so there is sufficient time to discuss issues.
Participants are critical of the “only one option” position of Queensland Transport (DTMR), and are overwhelmingly in support of retaining and revitalising City Place as a pedestrian precinct.
Traditional owner, Seith Fourmile, of the Yidinji Gimuy Wallabarra clan, tells participants that he and his people have never been consulted on the plan to open City Place to motor traffic, and he does not agree with the idea.
2011 – Save City Place – Make It WOW! campaigners speak with inner city businesses. Over 80 businesses sign a petition saying they do not agree with the plans to open City Place up to motor traffic and wish to see City Place revitalised as a pedestrian precinct. Over 95% have never been consulted.
2011-2013 – Despite repeated requests, Cairns Regional Council has refused to have a forum on their Yoursay website on the topic of the future of City Place.
Dec 2012 – Council set to endorse a plan to open City Place up to, not just buses, but to all traffic, dispensing with all pretence of a so-called “shared zone”. Under heavy criticism, the Recommendation is changed from “endorse” to ”propose” and a community consultation on the future of City Place is promised.
“If you’re going to go out on consultation on something, you can’t say before you do that that we’re not going to talk about any of the options.”
Mayor Bob Manning on John Mackenzie 4CA radio, 21 Dec 2012
“There are options within the parameters that we’ve been given. So it’s getting down to the look and feel of the crossing of City Place. Whether the road will be of x-metres or will it be larger.”
Cairns Regional Council CEO Peter Tabulo, recorded meeting 15 Jan 2013
Member for Cairns, Gavin King suggests we all must “compromise”. His suggestion for compromise? “We should introduce two lanes of traffic throughout Lake St [ie through City Place], opened to all vehicles.” Weekend Post 26 Jan 2013, p28.
“I have always felt that Council was being dictated to by DTMR and I am not convinced there is only one option for bus routes through the Cairns CBD. This has been an issue from the beginning. When our conversations started with DTMR this question was raised on a regular basis, however we were always informed that for connectivity and for timing issues, this was the only option.”
Councillor Linda Cooper, email to Save City Place campaign, 26 Feb 2013.
Following a question asking Deputy Mayor Terry James if he knew how many bus stops there were in the CBD he replied:
“I don’t know because I never catch the bus. I wouldn’t catch a bus if you paid me. I couldn’t care less.”
Cairns Council Chambers, Wed 27 Feb 2013.
Plan does not improve public transport as claimed
Queensland Transport (DTMR) say their Cairns Transit Network plan will improve public transport. But Save City Place campaigners question this. For example, the number of bus stops in the CBD will be reduced from 11 to just 2 (and these 2 will be opposite each other in the same location). Bus passengers will have to walk a lot further to reach their destinations making bus travel less attractive. There will be more congestion of bus passengers. There is far less coverage of the CBD in their plan.
City Place has been degraded by Cairns Regional Council
Cairns Regional Council (formerly Cairns City Council) has systematically degraded City Place by:
- Removal of the fountain
- Removal of shade trees, creating a ‘frying pan’, including installing metal seats too hot to sit on
- Removal of grassy sitting area
- Slashing the entertainment budget for City Place to just 15% of its original budget
- Relocation of the Christmas Tree which was donated to Council for City Place and without consultation of the donors
- Replacing the Sound Shell with a dysfunctional performance stage without a changing area, without proper acoustical projection, without protection from the elements
- Failure to keep the performance stage area clean – very filthy condition
Campaigners want shade trees reinstalled, a new fountain, better performance stage, public art, tourist information kiosk with police beat desk, amongst other features.
We have shown we can do wonderful design projects in public spaces in Cairns – for example at Muddies Playground, Esplanade Lagoon, Trinity Boardwalk near Wharf 2. We can have the same quality design for City Place.
City Place is a unique space
City Place is the site of Gimuy Lagoon, now located underneath Rockman’s and extending down to Orchid Plaza. A creek flows out of Gimuy Lagoon and flows down Shields St, under the Esplanade Lagoon and out to sea (visible coming out under the Esplanade Lagoon).
Gimuy Lagoon was the meeting place of the Gimuy Wallabarra Clan of the Yidinji people. Gimuy is the original name for Cairns. Gimuy fig trees grew around Gimuy Lagoon. The Gimuy Wallabarra clan made shields out of the buttress roots of these gimuy fig trees, without killing the trees.
City Place is close enough to the sea to enjoy sea-breezes. There are heritage-listed buildings on two corners and buildings on the other two corners are in the process of heritage listing. It has a giant fig tree on the eastern side and another large tree on the western side. As a crossroads, it has vistas in four directions, and as a crossroads it is a natural meeting place.
The idea of “moving City Place” to the corridor space on Shields St, between Lake St and Grafton St – the so-called “Heart of Shield St” plan – is inappropriate as this space has none of the qualities of a meeting place or performance space.
Less expensive option
With a limited budget (currently $5m), we can do a lot more with revitalising City Place, than
i) Building a new City Place – “Heart of Shields Street”
ii) Demolishing City Place
iii) Building a road through City Place
- We believe that City Place should be retained and revitalized as a pedestrian-only community space for economic, social and environmental benefits while supporting improved public transport.
- To ensure broad, inclusive, open and fair community consultation about the future of city place and cairns transit network.
- 1. That the option of keeping City Place, and revitalizing it, be part of the community consultations around the “Lake Street Proposal” and that City Place simply be part of the City Centre Masterplan.
- 2. That Queensland Transport (DTMR) present two other alternatives for bus routes through the CBD.
- 3. That a professional and transparent community consultation process take place.
Inner City Businesses
List of 118 businesses who have been asked if they had been consulted in this process, and who support retaining and revitalising City Place as a pedestrian precinct:
- 1. 12 Bar Blue 62 Shields St (A.D.) not consulted
- 2. Acqua Moda 115 Abbott St (Christina) not consulted
- 3. Ali Babba’s 20 Shields St (Hasan) not consulted
- 4. Ambeau Sports & Recreation 19-21 Lake St (Beau and Amanda) not consulted
- 5. Asian Foods 101-105 Grafton St (Jeffery) not consulted
- 6. Axis Chiropractic 36 Grafton St (Claire) not consulted
- 7. Backpackers World Travel 9-13 Shields St (Kenny – acting manager) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 8. Banana Bender 1/55 Lake St (Christina) not consulted
- 9. Beethoven 105 105 Grafton St (Alison) not consulted
- 10. Bellocale Restaurant 62C Shields St (Anna, manager) not consulted
- 11. Billabong 12 Shields St (Sheri) not consulted
- 12. Bollywood Kitchen 62 Shields St (Manik) not consulted
- 13. Bonsai Hair 84 Lake St (Graeme – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 14. Cactus Jacks 66 Shields St (Chris, manager) 2013 not consulted
- 15. Caffiend 5/78 Grafton St (Oliver) not consulted
- 16. Cairns College of English 67 Lake St (Ueli) not consulted
- 17. Cairns Dive Centre 121 Abbott St (Leslie) not consulted
- 18. Cairns Needle At Work 17A Main St Arcade 81-88 Lake St (Francis – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 19. Cairns Place Tarot City Place (Joe) not consulted
- 20. Cairns Reef and Tour Centre 76 Shield St (Donna) Feb 2013 completed a general survey on the city but no mention of City Place, or City Place being opened to traffic
- 21. Cairns Scooter & Bicycle Hire 47 Shields St (David) not consulted
- 22. Calypso Cafe 87 Lake St (Nelson) not consulted
- 23. Chilli Thai Shop 34, Orchid Plaza, Lake St (Mai – manager) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 24. Chopstix Shop 31, Orchid Plaza (Simon – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 25. Community Foods Coop 74 Shields St (Susan) not consulted
- 26. Corona Backpacker 72 Grafton St (Angelo) not consulted
- 27. Counselling Creatively 83-85 Lake St (Janet) not consulted
- 28. Cover Girls 77 Lake St (Bryan) not consulted
- 29. Cruze Coffee Shop 13, Oceana Walk, 62 Grafton St (Karina and Gil) not consulted
- 30. Crystal Ball Bookstore 96-98 Lake St (Fiona) not consulted
- 31. Didgeridoo Hut 13/85 Lake St (Edina and Les) consulted (leaflet under door in Feb 2011). She told the mtg she was against opening City Place to vehicles
- 32. Digital Diver Shop 7, Main Street Arcade, 85 Lake St (Chris – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 33. Dolci&Gelati Shop 3 9-13 Shields St (Graham – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 34. Double Shot Café (formerly Downtown Café) 71 Lake St (Chris) 2013 not consulted
- 35. Dr Tours Shop 2 / 87 Lake St (Mark) not consulted
- 36. Earth Toys 55 Lake St, Shop 6 (Bree and Brad) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 37. Eddie James Design 27/55 Lake St (Eddie and Mick – owners) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 38. EDO Lvl 1/96-98 Lake St, Cairns (Patrick) not consulted
- 39. Ever After Cafe 85 Lake St (Nick) 2011 not consulted Now closed.
- 40. Fasta Pasta 68-72 Shields St (Val – owner, manager) 2013 not consulted
- 41. Fernandez Music Centre 43 Sheridan St (David – owner, manager) 2013 not consulted
- 42. Fetish 4 Life 54 Shields St (Mikaila, owner) 2013 not consulted
- 43. Fetta’s Tavern 99 Grafton St (George) not consulted
- 44. Fisher Buttrose Architects L1/116 Grafton St (Mark, Director) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 45. Giftworld 15 Shields St (Janny) not consulted
- 46. Gingerbread House Cafe 90 Lake St (Jana and Andreas) 2011 Val asked Andreas what he thought and he said is was not a good idea. He is from Europe. Now closed.
- 47. Hides Coffee Cafe 5/87 Lake St (Annelise – owner) 2013 not consulted
- 48. Hides Hotel 87 Lake St (Malcolm – manager) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 49. Honey 76 Shields St (Donna – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 50. Hostel Reef Trips 100 Abbott St (Kevin) not consulted
- 51. Indigenous Realities Shop 4 59 Lake St (Maryanne – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 52. IndiviJewel 2/9-13 Shields St (Aya) not consulted
- 53. Inn Cairns 71-75 Lake St (Selwyn and Eric – owners) Jan 2013 not consulted (mention of a plan for city but no mention of opening City Place to traffic). not consulted
- 54. Japanese Shop Kaze Shop 9-11 84 Lake St (Kensei – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 55. Kanpai 62 Shields St (Hiroshi) not consulted
- 56. Kaotica Vintage Oceana Walk, 62 Grafton St (Sandra – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted but understands not everyone can be consulted
- 57. Kevin Shorey Jewellers 12 City Arcade, 78 Grafton St (Kevin – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 58. Koaland 15 Shields St (Janny) 2013 not consulted
- 59. Koppen Investments Pty Ltd Suite 1/ 82 Grafton St (Brett) not consulted
- 60. La Fettucina 41 Shields St (Andrea) not consulted
- 61. Libby’s Souvenir Clothing (Liberty) not consulted
- 62. Lillipad 72 Grafton St (Yuri – owner) not consulted
- 63. Luxury Vacations Shop 17, Orchid Plaza, Lake St (Terence, manager) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 64. Macaron 19/62 Grafton St (Laurent – owner) not consulted
- 65. Mc Coco Rusty’s Markets (Chris and Alex – owner) not consulted
- 66. Montezuma’s 45 Sheridan St (Nick) not consulted
- 67. Mother India 2/82 Sheridan St (David, owner, Jaz owner manager) 2013 not consulted
- 68. Mr Wolf Café Lake St and Shields St, City Place (Nick, owner manager) 2013 not consulted
- 69. Natural & Organic 79 Abbott St (Christina) 2013 not consulted
- 70. Nature Gems 7 Shields St (Lou) not consulted
- 71. Obsession Ink 5/87 Lake St (Matt) not consulted
- 72. Oceana Walk Leather 25-26 / 55 Lake St (Darren owner, Rob manager) 2013 not consulted
- 73. Oceanhorse Design 2A/82 Lake St (Robert) not consulted
- 74. Ochre Restaurant 43 Shields St (Craig) not consulted
- 75. Off Ya Tree Lake St (Trudy) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 76. Oiled Massage 82 Lake St (Graeme – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 77. Onigiri Café Omu Shop 33 Orchid Plaza (Taku – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 78. Paddywacks Restaurant41A Shields St (Rob) 2011 not consulted Now closed.
- 79. PappaRoti 87 Lake St (Yu-Chieh Hong) not consulted
- 80. Pat Zalenski consultant 96-98 Lake St (Pat) not consulted
- 81. Peterpans 90-92 Lake St (Aimee – manager) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 82. Pho ‘n Thai 39 Lake St (Dae) not consulted
- 83. PNG Art Orchid Plaza not consulted Now closed
- 84. Re:hab Café 3A Bolands, Lake St (Oscar) not consulted
- 85. Real Food Plus Shop 15 Lake St, Main St Arcade (Craig – owner) 2013 consulted
- 86. Relay Rockers Against Cancer City Place (Lyn) not consulted
- 87. Resin for Being City Place (Taryne) not consulted
- 88. Ruth McGregor, Naturopath 85 Lake St (Ruth) not consulted
- 89. Shiva Moon 90 Grafton St (Emma) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 90. Singapore Charlie 31 Shields St (Maureen) not consulted
- 91. Skydive Australia 82 Grafton St (Ruby) not consulted
- 92. Skydive Cairns 121 Abbott St (Robbie) not consulted
- 93. Snoogies Health Bar 82 Grafton St (Aron and Nuri – owners) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 94. So Unforgettable 52 Shields St (Tet) 2013 not consulted
- 95. Spire Clothing 84 Lake St (Glen) not consulted
- 96. Stany Miguel City Place (Miguel) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 97. Starlight Jewellery Shop 8, Orchid Plaza, Lake St (Astrid – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 98. Subway Shop 12/19 85 Lake St (Katrina – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 99. Suede Hair Skin Everybody 39 Shields St (DJ) not consulted
100.Sushi Express Orchid Plaza, Abbott St (Young – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 101. Sushi Hero 4C Main Street Arcade 85 Lake St (Hiro – owner) Feb 2013 not consulted
- 102. Tequila Bar & Grill Level 1, 9A Shields St (Paul) 2011 not consulted Now closed.
- 103. The Cultural Place 94-98 Lake St (Todd) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 104. The Hair Studio Express 82 Lake St (Cally) Nov 2011 consulted
- 105. The Jerky and Nut Shop 3/82 Sheridan St (Chris) (owner, manager) 2013 not consulted
- 106. Trek North Tours 3/87 Lake St (Leigh – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 107. Tribal Cairns 20-22 Shields St (Erryn – director) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 108. Tropic Nights Cnr Shields St and Esplanade (Garry) not consulted
- 109. Tropical Institute L1/85 Lake St (Greg and Kylie) not consulted
- 110. Tropical Tour Bookings Shop 2 Mantra, Esplanade, Shields St (Jonathon) not consulted
- 111. Twenty Four 3/72-74 Grafton St (Joe) not consulted
- 112. Ultimate Party RockmansBldg, Shields St (Graham) not consulted
- 113. Universal Joint 2A Shields St (Danny) not consulted
- 114. Vibe Bar 39 Lake St (David, Ben – owners ) Jan 2013 meeting held at Vibe Bar
- 115. Wellbeing Korea 50 Lake St (Richard and Kelly) not consulted
- 116. Will’s Massage Place Rusty’s Markets, Sheridan St (Will – owner) not consulted
- 117. Yokozuna Café Restaurant (Seigo – owner) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 118. ZonkyPlonky Shop 4 / 72 Grafton Street (Tim and Sarah – owners) Jan 2013 not consulted
- 1. Cairns Sharehouse 17 Scott St (Phil) 2011 not consulted
- 2. Concept Design 87 Petersen St, Freshwater (Garry, owner) 2013 not consulted
- 3. Down Under Dive 287 Draper St (Peppi) 2011 not consulted
- 4. Dreamtime 4 Terminus St (Steve) 2011 not consulted
- 5. xHelicharters Hangar 9 Bush Pilots Ave, General Aviation (Virginia) 2011 not consulted
- 6. Raging Thunder 52-54 Fearnley St (Peta) 2011 not consulted
- 7. Salt House Marina Point, Cairns (Olivia) 2011 not consulted
- 8. Shirtbox 140 Aumuller St (Christian, owner-manager) 2013 not consulted
- 1. Seith Fourmile on behalf of the Gimuy Wallabarra Clan of the Yidinji Tribe
- 2. George Skeene on behalf of the Yirrigandji Tribe
- 3. George Riley on behalf of the Buluwandji Clan of the Djabugay Tribe
- 1. A Night in Texas 33 Harvey Rd, Redlynch (Angus – guitarist) 2013 not consulted
- 2. Jeremiah Johnson 48 Marshall St, Machans Beach (Jeremiah – solo performer) 2013 not consulted
- 3. Johno’s Blues Band Cairns Esplanade (Johno, manager) 2013 not consulted
- 4. Mark Burton 6 Marcia St Smithfield (Mark – solo performer) 2013 not consulted
- 5. Tall Poppies 1/7 Minnie St, Cairns (Steve, manager Enzo) 2013 not consulted
- 6. Vikarious 27 Black Mtn Rod, Kuranda (Zdenek) 2013 not consulted
OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS
- 1. CAST Cairns Action for Sustainable Transport
- 2. C-BUG Cairns Bicycle Users Group
Recent Survey/Poll Results
1. Compass survey commissioned by Queensland Transport (DTMR) – May 2011 – asked respondents:
“Do you think these plans should be reconsidered and more community consultation undertaken about the future of City Place?”
69% answered YES, 28% NO and 4% DON’T KNOW
2. The Cairns Post – Thursday 13 December 2012:
“Do you agree with opening City Place up to vehicles?”
80% said NO, 20% said YES.
3. Cairns Holiday (over 20,000 followers – http://www.facebook.com/CairnsHoliday) on Tuesday 12 December 2012, readers were asked:
“Would you support the Cairns City Council removing the City place to make way for traffic on lake st?”
85% said NO, 13% said YES whereas 2% said DON’T KNOW
4. Zinc 102.7 Cairns radio station Facebook site Friday 14 December 2012, asked:
“Would you like to see the City Place opened up to traffic? Yep it’s about time or absolutely not.”
11% were for ‘opening it up’ (making it into a road), whereas 89% were against it.