End Credits Film Club admin at endcredits.org.au
Tue Nov 15 08:27:27 CET 2011

End Credits calls on all members and supporters to assist Art Nexus and Advance Cairns to do what they can to support the Entertainment Precinct.

Brett Hitchens

End Credits Film Club
admin at endcredits.org.au


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Arts Nexus <joomla at artsnexus.com.au>
> Date: 15 November 2011 2:20:36 PM AEST
> To: End Credits Film Club <admin at endcredits.org.au>
> Reply-To: Arts Nexus <joomla at artsnexus.com.au>
> Dear Members,
> Please find below a statement issued today by Arts Nexus in relation to the Cairns Entertainment Precinct.  The Cairns Regional Council is having a critical vote tomorrow to determine whether the project will proceed.
> I would encourage you to immediately contact the Councillors below who have indicated they are not likely to support proceeding with the Precinct at tomorrow's meeting and let them know your views about this important arts, cultural and community infrastructure.
> I have also included below a statement from Russell Beer, Chairman of Advance Cairns, which outlines further facts in relation to the Precinct.
> Again I urge to contact the follow Cairns Regional Councillors immediately to show your support to the Cairns Entertainment Precinct:
> Paul Gregory
> Phone: 07 4044 3071
> Fax: 07 4044 3089
> Mobile: 0427 755 141
> Email: p.gregory at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Nancy Lanskey
> Phone: 07 4044 3072
> Fax: 07 4044 3089
> Mobile: 0417 076 432 
> Email: n.lanskey at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Alan Blake
> Phone: 07 4044 3075
> Fax: 07 4044 3089
> Mobile: 0414 708 529
> Email: a.blake at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Lynda Cooper
> Phone: 07 4044 3076
> Fax: 07 4044 3089
> Mobile: 0419 656 995
> Email: l.cooper at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Margaret Cochrane
> Phone:07 4044 3080
> Fax: 07 4044 3089
> Mobile:0419 706 372
> Email m.cochrane at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Sno Bonneau
> Phone: 07 4044 3079
> Fax: 07 4059 2416
> Email: s.bonneau at cairns.qld.gov.au
> Please feel free to contact me directly at anytime should you wish to discuss this matter further.
> Kind regards
> Tim Grau
> President
> Arts Nexus
> FNQ arts and cultural community has called on the Cairns Regional Councillors to vote immediately to support the Entertainment Precinct and is encouraging its members and supporters to contact Councillors demanding they support the much needed project for our community. 
> Arts Nexus, Far North Queensland’s leading arts and cultural organisation, was one of the original proponents of the need to replace the 40 year old Civic Theatre. 
> Arts Nexus President, Tim Grau, said Arts Nexus has a very long history of supporting the Precinct proposal.  The entire arts, cultural and creative sector is alarmed that such a vital project for our community is being placed at risk at the last minute.
> "More than 18 months ago Arts Nexus members voted unanimously to support the project at our Annual General Meeting," Mr Grau said.
> "Quite frankly, at that time most of would have hoped and expected that by now the Precinct would be almost completed.
> "Instead we have this most unusual situation where the entire project could be lost to Cairns and region because of the actions of some Councillors."
> He said the arts, cultural and creative sector believe the prospect of bringing the Entertainment Precinct to fruition is just one demonstration of the potential the region’s arts and cultural sector brings to this region. While the social and human benefits of arts and culture are well known they are some times difficult to measure, it is important to note that:
> the creative industries sector in the region involves more than 2600 entities;
> in excess of 6000 people generating income;
> estimated to be worth more than $300 million; and
> provides an equivalent full-time employment approaching 3000 people.
> "The Entertainment Precinct is vital and valuable community infrastructure that will not only to enhance the community’s enjoyment of a rich cultural life in the region, but will provide a significant and ongoing economic boost for the region,” Mr Grau said.
>  Begin forwarded message from the Chairman of Advance Cairns:
> As you may be aware from The Cairns Post the Cairns Entertainment Precinct Project is very close to "D-Day".
> The matter goes back to a meeting of Cairns Regional Council at 2.00pm this Wednesday, and if, as seems very possible, any 6 Councillors indicate that day that they either don't want to see the Project proceed or wish to see it deferred, that could be the end of the Project, probably for ever, but almost certainly for many years.
> As most of you will know I am the Chairman of Advance Cairns and in that role I was involved in discussions last week initiated by a number of leading local businesspeople who are of the view that we cannot let this Project die without making a last ditch effort to make it happen. To that end I and others are approaching businesspeople we know to try and garner support for a concerted campaign over the next 36 hours (and if necessary thereafter) to try and influence the Project getting up.
> A few facts:
> As now proposed, after significant feedback from the public, Council's consultants and the State Government, the Project is now a $154.6m project.
> The Federal Government has already committed $40m towards it, but only if that money is spent by 30 June 2012.
> The budget for Council to spend its share of the cost of $57.3m over 3 years involves Council committing to spend (from its annual capital works budget of over $155m) amounts over 3 years as follows:
>  2012/2013 - $26.59m
>  2013/2014 - $18.4m
>  2014/2015 - $12.36m.
> The State’s Cabinet Budget Review Committee is currently in the process of making a final decision on its commitment of $57.3m. That is expected my mid-November, i.e. any day.
> The State has already committed to making the site for the Cairns Entertainment Precinct Project available to Council on a long term peppercorn lease, i.e. effectively for free. As part of that they have already paid to Ports North in effect for rental foregone $31m to use for ongoing Port development works, which monies may be at risk if the Project does not proceed.
> Put simply the Cairns Entertainment Precinct project is an extremely highly leveraged investment by Council, in that a. $57M capital investment will deliver an asset for the city and region worth close to $200m including the land value, plus a significant capital injection into our Port. Any rational analysis indicates that the project is both needed and affordable. Our current Civic Theatre is well past its use by date and was built when Cairns was one third of its current size.
> Given the tough times that the Cairns economy has faced and continues to face it would seem almost inconceivable that we could turn our back on such significant funding from the State and Federal Governments. If we do, how can we credibly go back to Canberra or Brisbane to ask for Federal of State funding for our region next time we have a need, which we certainly will for further sporting, transport, health, power and technology infrastructure?
> In terms of whether the project "adds up", in my view public buildings and community assets can’t be measured on the basis of a “business case” alone, as community benefits do not lend themselves to that style of measurement. Public buildings are built by Councils for public benefit. How many of Council's libraries, play grounds, parks, The Esplanade or the Lagoon would survive on a similar business case analysis? What about the Botanic Gardens? Skate ramps? Sporting fields? They just don't pay their way. Rather they are community service style obligations.
> In simple terms the CEP is a significant opportunity to get a highly leveraged return on investment by utilizing a unique opportunity for accessing for our region significant funding from other levels of Government. It will provide a major community asset which meets a demonstrable community need, as well as being a “Lighthouse project” that will show the country and the world that Cairns is not only open for business, but also that we plan to thrive going forward rather than just survive.
> The business community of Cairns is telling me that they are looking for leadership, and that part of that leadership involves making the Cairns Entertainment Precinct Project happen and happen now. There is now an opportunity for you to show leadership on your part. The business community has funded an advertising campaign to commence this Wednesday which will recite some of the facts set out above and call on the State Government and Council to confirm their commitments to the Project and to make it happen ASAP.

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