Report reviews city centre commercial trade

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.

/Public Release. View in full here.