A range of initiatives implemented with the aim of increasing trade and activation levels in the city centre have been highlighted in a report to Council.
In May 2019, Council endorsed initiatives and activities aimed at contributing to the ongoing success of the Cairns City Centre, including a commercial review by Urbis.
The Urbis report, received by Council today, noted key initiatives implemented or ongoing, including:
- The appointment of Council’s full time CBD Place Manager in August 2019.
- Amendment of Council’s parking regulations to provide free on street parking in the city centre on Saturdays after 2pm and all day on Sundays.
- Implementation, in collaboration with other stakeholders, of the Sunday on Shields activation program of events between August and October 2019 aimed at driving more visitation to the city centre.
- Continued support for a range of events and activities aimed at increasing visitation to the city centre including Ironman Cairns, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Festival Cairns 2019, Targa Great Barrier Reef and 7 Cairns Marathon Festival.
The report found that trading and activation levels in CBD have been adversely impacted by a number of factors including:
- Global macro trends placing downward pressure on high street retail.
- Growing trend for primary retail centres to be located in standalone shopping centres.
- Comparatively (when compared to other city centres) low levels of residential population density in the Cairns City Centre.
The Urbis report also makes a series of recommendations on actions in response to these impacts, with Council officers to develop a plan of actions to be considered by the new Council following the March elections.