Program invests in core infrastructure

More than $54 million will be invested in new core infrastructure as part of Cairns Regional Council’s $144.6 million capital works program.

Mayor Bob Manning said Council was continuing to invest in its water, wastewater, drainage and transport infrastructure networks to meet growing demand and ensure services met community expectations.

Key projects funded in this year’s capital works program include continuation of the Northern Beaches Leisure Trail, resumption of the smart water meters rollout, investment in the city’s water security, and redevelopment of Kenrick Park in Gordonvale.

The capital works program also commits $90 million to renewal and upgrades of existing infrastructure and assets.

“We’ll be spending around $60 million this year on water and wastewater improvements, plus $22.7 million on the road network, and $6.6 million on footpaths and cycleways to promote active travel.

“These projects form the basis of a safe and liveable city that can cope with increased demand into the future.”

Cr Manning also pointed to the $5.8 million allocated in this year’s Budget for the Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 project, which is critical to the city’s future prosperity.

“This is Council’s most important capital infrastructure project, which is critical to securing the city’s drinking water into the next decade,” Cr Manning said.

“In welcome news, the State Budget yesterday committed $107.5 million towards the project.

“The commitment, matches the Federal Government’s allocation, taking significant financial pressure off Cairns water users.”

Council’s $144.6 million in this year’s capital works program will bring the total amount of community infrastructure delivered by Council over the past nine budget cycles to nearly $1.4 billion, which improved the lives of our residents

“Our capital works program has provided much-needed sports, recreational, cultural, road, water and waste facilities across the Cairns local government area,” Cr Manning said.

“It has also delivered key projects, including the Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Munro Martin Parklands and Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct, which all add to the liveability of our city and drive economic growth by attracting visitors to our city.”

This year, the Capital Works program allows for:

  • $34.1 million on roads, bridges, streetlighting, drainage, kerb and channel, shoulder sealing, and bus stops,
  • $28.1 million on improving the wastewater network,
  • $32.1 million on the water network, and
  • $27.8 million on community, sport, cultural and tourism projects

Some of the highlights of the program include:


Footpaths and Cycleways – $6.6 million

Council has allocated $6.6 million for the creation of footpaths and pathways to promote active travel, including $4.9 million to progress the Northern Beaches Leisure Trail.

There is also $50,000 to plan for upgrades to the Red Arrow walking track, and $50,000 to consider existing needs at Ellis Beach and plan for future impacts of the Wangetti Trail.

Northern Beaches Leisure Trail – $4.9 million

Construction will commence this financial year on the next section of the Northern Beaches Leisure Trail, which will link Clifton Beach to Kewarra Beach.

Council has committed $4.9 million to the project, which is being supported by $1.97 million from the Queensland Government’s popular Cycle Network Local Government Grants program and $1.97 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Linking Clifton Beach and Kewarra Beach will involve the construction of a 100-metre bridge over Deep Creek, as well as 360 metres of shared path.

Once complete, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel from Yorkeys Knob to Palm Cove along the NBLT.

Council will also spend $20,000 to continue an options assessment on linking Machans Beach to Aeroglen.

Cultural facilities – $9.5 million

Council has set aside over $8 million this financial year to progress the Cairns Gallery Precinct.

The bulk of the works, which have been funded by the Federal Government, involve progressing demolition of the L-shaped building and carpark on 51 Esplanade, and refurbishment of the Old Mulgrave Shire building.

A further $450,000 has been allocated in Council’s 2023/24 budget to complete the refurbishment works.

Council has also allocated $200,000 for additional upgrades to The Court House.

The Cairns Performing Arts Centre will benefit from $257,000 in this year’s Budget for the replacement and renewal of equipment to ensure the facility continues to meet the needs of world-class performers.

There is also $900,000 allocated for upgrades to the Tanks Arts Centre, including $500,000 for new amenities, which will be built under the amphitheatre, and $400,000 for lighting, kitchen and seating upgrades.

Community facilities – $1.7 million

Council will invest $1.7 million in community facilities, including $750,000 towards a new community activity space at Trinity Beach, $600,000 to build a carpark as part of the development of the White Rock Community Precinct on Tiffany St, and $170,000 for renewals and upgrades to libraries.

Council will construct a new community activity space where the current community hall is located in Trinity Beach, next to Coastwatchers Park.

The new facility will align with Council’s Community Activity Spaces Strategy and will provide a contemporary space for community use with large meeting rooms that will be available for booking.

The new building will feature kitchenette facilities and plenty of storage for regular users.

Public toilet facilities – $650,000

Council has allocated $650,000 to its annual toilet facilities renewal program.

This will include new public toilets at The Lakes Park, Forest Gardens (near the duck pond) and Possum Street Park, Trinity Beach; an upgrade at Glenoma Park, Brinsmead, and Giangurra Esplanade Park, East Trinity; and refits of facilities at Johnson Park, Gordonvale, and Vallance Park, Trinity Beach.

Sporting Facilities – $2.9 million

Council has committed over $2.9 million to the upgrade and renewal of sporting facilities.

This includes an expansion of facilities at the Earlville Tennis Club, a new carpark to service users of Touch Park in Aeroglen, and upgrades to the skate park in Redlynch.

Earlville Tennis Club courts – $1.3 million

As part of the Pezzutti Park Masterplan and the upgrade of the Windarra St / Rigg St intersection, the Woree Tennis Club is relocating to the Earlville Tennis Club in Henley St.

The existing Earlville Tennis Club facility has four courts.

Council has committed to construction of four new courts with lighting and fencing, as well as a new carpark, to accommodate the increased use at the Henley St facility.

Touch Park, Aeroglen – $400,000

Council will establish a new 58-space carpark for the Cairns Pirates Touch Association.

The current carpark requires an upgrade to a sealed surface to prevent washouts during wet weather.

Redlynch community sports facilities – $500,000

The Redlynch Razorbacks Junior Rugby League Club will benefit from upgrades to the clubhouse and amenities at the Redlynch joint community facilities.

The $500,000 investment will ensure the club can continue to grow while improving opportunities for multi-use of the site.

Aquatic Facilities – $2.4 million

Council will invest over $1 million this financial year on upgrades to Sugarworld Adventure Park.

Remedial works will be undertaken on structural elements of the slides, tower and shade sails, along with a refit and accessibility upgrade to the amenities.

Safety will be improved with the replacement of steel balustrading on the access ramp, and the installation of new safety barriers on the entrance to the yellow, red and mat racer slides,

Council has also allocated $724,000 for upgrades and maintenance for the Esplanade Lagoon.

The timber decking at the Lagoon, most of which is over 20 years old, will be replaced at the cost of $481,000.

A further $243,000 has been allocated for the Lagoon’s biennial maintenance program, which includes repairs and upgrades to the pool’s surface, lighting and pump systems.

Council has also set aside $330,000 for works at Tobruk Memorial Pool, including an upgrade to the electronic timing system, chlorine tank, and enhancement of the Flow Rider.

Parks and playgrounds – $5 million

A number of suburban parks will be the subject of improvements this year with the Budget funding new and renewal of playground equipment, shade sails, seating, shelter and barbecues.

Works include the redevelopment of Kenrick Park in Gordonvale, an upgrade to Harald Falge Park in Manunda, and a new skate facility in Yorkeys Knob.

Kenrick Park

Council will start works to redevelop Kenrick Park into a vibrant recreational hub and family orientated parkland to service demands of growing development and population in the south of the city.

Council has committed $3.4 million this financial year, along with a further $1 million in 2023/24, to deliver Stage 1 of the project.

This will include major earthworks, civil works and site establishment, car parking infrastructure, a fenced dog off leash area, establishment of play and youth activities spaces and installation of amenities, barbeques, and seating.

There are also plans to establish an arboretum, an area devoted to specific tree species, at Kenrick Park, which will further enhance its environment and importance.

Council will embark on a community engagement exercise to decide on a culturally appropriate name for Kenrick Park and will also host a community tree planting day as part of its establishment.

Harald Falge Park

Harald Falge Park has been earmarked for a $300,000 upgrade, as part of a reconfiguration of the park to create an event space and improve community use.

The existing public toilets will be removed to deliver an open space and replaced with a new facility.

The upgrade will also include establishment of a fenced dog off-leash area, as well as a new playground.

Other projects

A new skate facility will be established at Old School Park, Yorkeys Knob.

Council has committed $170,000 for the project, which has been the subject of lobbying from Yorkeys Knob residents for the past five years, particularly 16-year-old Ross Willis, who has been supported by the Yorkeys Knob Residents Association.

Giangurra Esplanade Park, East Trinity, will undergo a $330,000 revamp, which will include $125,000 playground and fence replacement.

Other significant playground improvements include $50,000 for the installation of a post and rail fence to prevent vehicle access and new picnic benches and seats at Cominos Place Park, Manunda; and an $80,000 carpark resealing at Rainy Mountain Park, Smithfield.


Reseals / Overlays / Pavement Rehabilitation – $9.4 million

Council’s annual reseal and overlay program will keep the city’s roads in good condition, with $3 million allocated in the asphalt overlay program, $2 million in the reseal program, and $4.4 million for pavement rehabilitation.

Pavement Rehabilitation Program

A commitment of $4.4 million will help ensure Council roads are maintained to a safe and suitable standard.

Council manages about 1360km of roads which are primarily maintained and renewed through the annual Pavement Rehabilitation Program.

Regular monitoring of roads through an inspection program and a condition assessment system, prioritises those roads requiring renewal.

Roads identified for renewal through the Pavement Rehabilitation Program in the next 12 months include:

  • Aumuller St, Bungalow, from Poochies Parlour to Spence St
  • Greenslopes St, Edge Hill, from Pease St to Forest St
  • English St, Manunda, from Anderson St to Wilkinson St, and from Wilkinson St to Card St
  • Kamerunga Rd, Redlynch, from Daphne St roundabout to Regent Avenue Park
  • Varley St, Yorkeys Knob, from Nancy St to Judith St
  • Yorkeys Knob Rd, Yorkeys Knob, from Dunne Rd to Varley St
Reseal Program

Council will spend $2 million on maintaining the surface layer of its roads, which is critical to extending the life of the underlying pavement.

The annual Reseal Program plays a critical role in extending the life of Council roads by applying a protective reseal layer over the existing sealed surface.

This helps to prevent moisture from penetrating through deteriorated or oxidised bitumen seals into the underlying pavement, which results in costly repairs.

Asphalt Overlay Program

Council has endorsed a $3 million Asphalt Overlay Program, which will repair and renew 34 streets and roads across 15 suburbs.

The program involved the removal and replacement of deteriorated or oxidised asphalt, which prevents moisture from penetrating into the underlying pavement, and provides a safe, smooth and sustainable surface for traffic.

Drainage and flood mitigation – $4.5 million

Council has committed over $4.5 million to ensure the city’s drainage network is working at maximum efficiency and to improve flood mitigation.

It includes a $210,000 upgrade to the English St drain, $200,000 to address tidal inundation in Redden St, and a $600,000 culvert upgrade at Moores Gully along Trinity Beach Rd.

There is also $897,000 allocated in the annual culvert renewal program, $700,000 for stormwater relining, and $700,000 for underground stormwater drain renewals.

Council also has $720,000 through Works for Queensland funding for renewal of concrete lined drains.

Links Drive, Woree – $625,000

Council has committed $625,000 to complete rehabilitation and upgrades at Links Drive in Woree.

A collector road that services numerous industrial and freight businesses, pavement failure and defects were identified along Links Dr, along with significant kerb and pavement damage as a result of heavy vehicle use.

As part of the rehabilitation works, Council resolved to upgrade the road to be suitable for a heavy vehicle (B-double) route.

Cairns received funding support for this project from the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

Boat ramp, groynes and erosion mitigation – $3.1 million

Council will contribute $1.5 million this financial year to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for construction of a new boat ramp and associated car park at Yorkeys Knob.

Last year, Council made an initial investment of $2 million to the project.

There is also a $150,000 allocation for CCTV installation at the boat ramp.

Council has also allocated $1.46 million to complete construction of a 150-metre rock groyne at Half Moon Bay creek, part of the Yorkeys Knob Boating Facility, which will trap sand moving from north to south and reduce the need for ongoing dredging at the mouth of the creek.

Council received funding of $1 million from TMR to assist with construction of the groyne.

Kewarra and Trinity Beach connection road – $3.75 million

Council has allocated $3.75 million in the Budget to complete a connection road between Kewarra Beach and Trinity Beach.

The new link, identified in Council’s strategic planning, will reduce travel time between Trinity Beach and Kewarra Beach and remove the need to use the Captain Cook Highway to travel from one beach to the other, thereby reducing congestion on the highway.

It will also enhance access to busy community places like Trinity Beach Sporting Precinct and the Trinity Anglican School, and importantly improve safety and car parking around the Trinity Beach Sporting Precinct.

Constructed started earlier this year and is due to be completed by 30 June 2023.

It will include an upgrade of street lighting to the existing Miami Rd, and Poolwood Rd and Trinity Beach Rd intersections.

Council has received a contribution of $2,483,333 from the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery program for the $4.95 million project.

Kerb and channel and should sealing program – $2.5 million

Council has budgeted $2.5m to its annual kerb and channel and shoulder sealing program.

The investment reinforces the importance of this infrastructure in assisting with road drainage and preventing water entering under the road surface.

This improves safety, helps to preserve road conditions and reduce ongoing maintenance costs, and contributes to the aesthetics of the city.

Council maintains about 1705km of kerb and channel.

Forest View Cemetery – $500,000

Council has allocated $500,000 towards the expansion of Forest View Cemetery in Mount Sheridan.

Following the adoption of the Forest View Cemetery Masterplan on 24 November 2021, civil design and survey works are currently being completed with a view to start construction of Stage 1A works this financial year.

Works will include construction of a new loop road, stormwater and irrigation installation, and provision of additional burial sites towards the southern end of the cemetery.

Water infrastructure – $32 million
Cairns Water Security – Stage 1

Council has allocated $5.8 million for detailed design and early works associated with the Cairns Water Security – Stage 1 project.

The project will secure the city’s water into the next decade by sourcing new water from a strategic reserve in the Mulgrave River.

Council has advocated for Federal and State Governments to provide $107.5 million each to help fund the project.

Through the recent Federal election campaign, Council secured a bipartisan commitment of $107.5 million from both Labor and the LNP. Yesterday, the State Budget matched the Federal Government’s allocation.

Smart Water Meters

Council will resume the rollout of smart water meters (SWM) with $4.8 million commitment this financial year and a further $10.5 million allocation in the following two Budget cycles for the installation of more than 50,000 gauges by mid-2025.

A SWM is a digital device that measures, in real time, the amount of water in use, and transmits the data to Council for processing. They can help save water by early leak detection and identifying patterns in water usage.

Phase 1 of Council’s Smart Water Meters project was completed at the end of 2019, with the installation of 697 SWM in Palm Cove and development of approximately 50% of the associated communications network.

Phase 2 of the project was originally scheduled to start shortly after but was paused as part of Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of Council’s ongoing water management, Phase 2 of the project will recommence in July.

Council has also allocated $1.8 million for the installation and replacement of new ultrasonic water meters, and replacement of commercial water meters as required.

Emergency Water Supply Plan

An allocation of $1 million has been made for the testing of bores in multiple sites as part of the Emergency Water Supply Plan (EWSP) to safeguard Cairns’ water supply in the event of an extreme drought.

The EWSP involves the completion of designs and pre-construction works, but no infrastructure is installed unless required due to an extreme drought weather event.

Under the plan, a bore field to the south of the Mulgrave River and temporary infrastructure, including associated pipework, packaged water treatment plant and booster pump station will be used to treat approximately 40 megalitres of the Mulgrave Aquifer bore water each day, which can then supply the Cairns network.

Improvements and upgrades

Council has allocated $6.6 million on improvements and upgrades to pump stations, treatment plants and reservoirs, including $1.3 million to upgrade filters at the Freshwater Water Treatment Plant; refurbishment of reservoirs at Centenary High, Bentley Park ($70,000), Mayers St, Edge Hill ($1.4 million), Panguna St, Trinity Beach ($380,000), and Tobias Cl, Clifton Beach ($40,000); and completion of water pump station renewals at Edmonton West ($1.4 million) and Warren Road, Palm Cove ($916,000).

Mount Peter water reservoir

Council has budgeted $5.5 million to start construction of a new water storage reservoir at Mount Peter, Edmonton.

The project will deliver an 8 megalitre reservoir, trunk water pipelines and refurbishment of an existing water pumping station, to meet the demands of future development in the area.

An additional $12 million has been allocated in next year’s budget to complete the project.

This will be the first reservoir constructed by Council in more than a decade, and the largest since the 8 megalitre reservoir at Currunda Creek, Redlynch, was completed in 2009.

Water main refurbishment program

Council has budgeted $2.2 million to replace water mains at various locations as part of its ongoing maintenance program. The annual water main refurbishment program involves the replacement of aging and/or deteriorated water mains to maintain the structural integrity of the water network. Water mains to be replaced as part of the program are determined by the maintenance management system.

Wastewater infrastructure – $28.1 million

Projects included in the program are:

  • $12.9 million on upgrades and improvements to sewer pump stations and networks throughout the city, including $1.8 million allocated to the annual sewer-relining program and $645,000 on the manhole rehabilitation program
  • $9.2 million on improvements and upgrades to wastewater infrastructure, including $2.2 million on upgrades to the Edmonton Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP); and $1.5 million for a dewater system upgrade at the Northern WWTP
  • $6 million to replace specialist filtration membranes in the northern and southern wastewater treatment plants. The membrane replacement is the final stage of a six-phase project to upgrade the treatment plants. Council has systematically replaced the membranes over the past four years to maximise the lifespan of the filters, reduce the risk of equipment failure and subsequent environmental impacts, and minimise the cost to ratepayers. The specialist filters, recommended by the Cleaner Seas Alliance, provide a high level of effluent polishing including removal of nitrogen, phosphorus and potentially harmful bacteria all without the need for unsafe chemicals
Resource recovery – $2.8 million

Council will invest over $779,000 to improve accessibility and customer safety at the Portsmith Transfer Station, including a new roof, extension of the hazardous waste chemical area and additional lanes to improve customer convenience when disposing of waste.

Council has also set aside $1.7 million to purchase land between Edmonton and Gordonvale for a future transfer station. A potential site has not yet been identified.

FUNDING NOTE: The Queensland and Australian Governments have provided some level of funding for some items listed within the Cairns Regional Council budget.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.