Cairns Regional Council - Draft Community Plan
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Cairns Regional Council - Draft Community Plan

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Over the past eight months, Cairns Regional Council has been gathering feedback about your vision for the region’s future. We have now compiled a draft plan and we need the Cairns Regional Council ...

Over the past eight months, Cairns Regional Council has been gathering feedback about your vision for the region’s future. We have now compiled a draft plan and we need the Cairns Regional Council Communities ideas of how we shape the final plan.

Comment on the Draft Community Plan from 21 March to 27 May:
- Online at http://yoursay.cairns.qld.gov.au;
- Collect a feedback form from Council’s Customer Service Centres and
all branches of Cairns Libraries; or
- Telephone Council’s Customer Service Centre and request a feedback form be sent to you - phone 4044 3044 (Cairns), 4099 9444 (Mossman) or 1800 070 444 (STD callers).

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Cairns Regional Council - Draft Community Plan Document Transcript

  • 1. Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 2. A message from the Mayor, Val Schier2 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 3. It gives me great pleasure to present thedraft of Cairns Regional Council’s first evercommunity plan. We have spent the pastmonths out in the community asking youto “imagine tomorrow” to find out whatyour vision for the region is. This draft planpulls together the great ideas, suggestionsand feedback on what makes our regiongreat and what will make it even betterin the future. We now want your feedback on this draft to make surewe’ve encapsulated all of those great ideas into the plan.When the Community Plan is completed and adopted by Council, it willhelp to guide Council decision making to ensure we grow our region inline with community expectations. The plan will ensure that we identifythose things that make our region so special and work hard to protectand enhance them. The plan looks at all areas of our community andregion from the economy and the environment to public safety andrecreation. It outlines the strengths of our region and some of thechallenges that we expect to face over the twenty year life of the plan.I hope that you will all look closely at this draft plan and give us yourfeedback to ensure that we have captured all the things that makethis region such a great place to live. I look forward to receiving yourfeedback and to finalising our first ever Community Plan.Councillor Val SchierMayor, Cairns Regional Council Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 3
  • 4. MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR........................................................................................ 3 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 7 1.1 Background ............................................................................................................ 7 1.2 Statutory Requirements ......................................................................................... 7 1.3 Community and Stakeholder Engagement ............................................................ 8 1.4 Reading the Community Plan ................................................................................ 9 2 CONTEXT ............................................................................................................ 11 2.1 A Glance Back in Time ......................................................................................... 11 2.2 What People Love about Living in the Cairns Region.......................................... 13 2.3 Taking These Things Forward .............................................................................. 13 3 IMAGINE TOMORROW – THE CAIRNS REGIONAL COMMUNITY IN 2031 ... 15 4 THREE IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS ................................................................. 17 4.1.1 Character and Spirit ............................................................................................. 17 4.1.2 Resilient People ................................................................................................... 17 4.1.3 Functioning Communities .................................................................................... 17 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF CAIRNS AS A VIBRANT REGION ............................. 19 5.1 EDUCATION ........................................................................................................ 19 5.1.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 19 5.1.2 Description of the Education Systems in 2031 .................................................... 19 5.1.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 19 5.1.4 Focus for Education ............................................................................................. 20 5.2 HEALTH ............................................................................................................... 20 5.2.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 20 5.2.2 Description of the Health System in 2031............................................................ 21 5.2.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 21 5.2.4 Focus for Health ................................................................................................... 21 5.3 SOCIAL SAFETY NET ......................................................................................... 22 5.3.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 22 5.3.2 Description of the Social Safety Net in 2031 ....................................................... 22 5.3.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 22 5.3.4 Focus for Social Safety Net ................................................................................. 22 5.4 SAFETY AND SECURITY ................................................................................... 23 5.4.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 23 5.4.2 Description of the Safety and Security in 2031.................................................... 23 5.4.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 23 5.4.4 Focus for Safety and Security .............................................................................. 23 5.5 CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE................................................................................ 24 5.5.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 24 5.5.2 Description of the Culture and Lifestyle in 2031 .................................................. 24 5.5.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 24 5.5.4 Focus for Culture and Lifestyle ............................................................................ 244 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 5. table of contents5.6 A GENERATIONAL REGION............................................................................... 255.6.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 255.6.2 Description of Generational Support in 2031....................................................... 255.6.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 255.6.4 Focus for Generational Support ........................................................................... 255.7 THE ECONOMY .................................................................................................. 265.7.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 265.7.2 Description of the Economy in 2031 .................................................................... 265.7.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 265.7.4 Focus for Economic Development ....................................................................... 265.8 THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ........................................................................ 285.8.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 285.8.2 Description of the Natural Environment in 2031 .................................................. 285.8.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 285.8.4 Focus for the Natural Environment ...................................................................... 285.9 PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE ......................................................................... 285.9.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 285.9.2 Description of Physical Infrastructure in 2031 ..................................................... 295.9.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 295.9.4 Focus for Physical Infrastructure ......................................................................... 295.10 GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS .............................................................................. 295.10.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 295.10.2 Description of Geographic Locations in 2031...................................................... 305.10.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 305.10.4 Focus for Geographic Locations.......................................................................... 305.11 GOVERNANCE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT...................................................... 305.11.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 305.11.2 Description of Governance and Civic Engagement in 2031 ................................ 305.11.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 315.11.4 Focus for Governance and Civic Engagement .................................................... 315.12 NETWORkED ...................................................................................................... 315.12.1 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 315.12.2 Description of Networks in 2031 ......................................................................... 315.12.3 Characteristics ..................................................................................................... 315.12.4 Focus for Networking ........................................................................................... 316 ROLE OF CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL ......................................................... 337 INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE............................................................................ 35 Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 5
  • 6. 1 | Introduction6 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 7. 1 | INTRODUCTION1.1 BackgroundCairns Regional Council has prepared a Community Plan to gain a clear appreciation of the needs and prioritiesof its residents; to provide a framework for future development and growth of the region; and to comply with itsstatutory obligations. The Community Plan creates a vision for the Cairns community which is critical consideringpopulation growth and the need to plan for strong, sustainable growth.The Community Plan is Cairns Regional Council’s key planning document. It sits above all other planning processesof Council, including strategic land use planning and corporate planning. It will inform priority infrastructure plans andplanning scheme development, while helping to better manage the competing pressures of, for example, economicdevelopment and environmental protection. It will also ensure that the lifestyle needs and aspirations ofthe community are met.Community planning involves the creation of integrated short, medium and long range plans to achieve a visionfor the future. Community engagement is essential to help develop that vision. Community Plans acknowledgethe long-term implications of many of the decisions of local government today, and ensure the needs of the nextgeneration are recognised.The Community Plan is a whole of government approach to planning. It addresses all areas of community life whichaffect the lifestyle of Cairns’ residents, such as health, economic development, education, safety and security.It identifies key issues and concerns of the Cairns community, regardless of which level of Government is responsiblefor delivering programs and services. A significant outcome of the Community Plan is identifying changes required inthe role of the Cairns Regional Council to ensure the desired future is achieved.The Community Plan sits below the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031, which is the blueprint tomanage growth and guide development in the region over the next two decades. It identifies enough developableland to accommodate future growth while protecting the region’s environment, biodiversity and natural resources.1.2 Statutory requirementSThe Local Government Act 2009 requires the Cairns Regional Council to create a Community Plan. The CommunityPlan includes a plan for the region and is not restricted to Council services.This Community Plan is the key strategic planning document for Council. It sits above and directs business planning,asset management decisions and the 10 year financial plan.It provides Council with a clear direction to move forward; builds foundations for a sustainable future for communitiesin the Council area; builds community engagement and participation; provides strong community and Councilownership; provides a clear link with the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s Community Planning Model;and enables Council to take advantage of future Federal and State funding initiatives. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 7
  • 8. 1.3 community and Stakeholder engagementThe Local Government Act 2009 directs all local governments in Queensland to engage with their communityto create a Community Plan that captures the community’s vision and strategic direction for the long term futureof the region.This Community Plan should represent the views, visions and values of the community for the region’s future.The Local Government Act 2009 requires that the Community Plan must state how:• The local government engaged with the community; and• The extent to which the engagement was consistent with the local government’s engagement policy.Council’s Community Engagement Strategy, developed to complement Council’s Community Policy 1:05:01,identifies how Council will meet its obligations under the Local Government Act 2009. Council, through the Strategy,has committed to consult via the IAP2 Spectrum of public participation.The IAP2 core values include:• Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision making process;• Public participation includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision;• Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognising and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers;• Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision;• Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate;• Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way; and• Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.The Community Engagement Plan for the Community Plan, prepared by consultants SGL and Creating Communitiesand guided by Cairns Regional Council officers, was created by referencing the Community Engagement Strategy.A full report of the methods and results is contained in the Background Papers and Social Context Report.8 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 9. 1.4 reading the community PlanThis Community Plan provides a strategic direction for what the Cairns region should be like in 20 years. It does notexplain how to get there in detail as there are other processes to achieve that. It does, however, describe what mustbe evident for Cairns to be a regional city providing the lifestyle and opportunities needed by its residents.This Plan identifies 12 key elements that need to be the focus of significant attention. It also describes three crucialingredients through which all planning and actions should be viewed and taken. These ingredients will ensurethe features that make the Cairns region so unique and special will still be evident in 20 years. They also ensureapproaches that will build strong and resilient people and communities.The Community Plan encourages people to use the three ingredients and the 12 elements to guide their planningand implementation strategies.Importantly, this Plan pre-empts fundamental changes to the ways in which the Cairns Regional Council fulfils itsrole of being the most important influence on the future of the region.Some of these changes will be highly visible, while others will unfold over time.The Plan also heralds an approach which will see the Council, the community, and internal and external stakeholdersworking together to create a Cairns region that will provide the best possible future for its residents. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 9
  • 10. 2 | Context10 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 11. 2 | CONTEXT2.1 a glance Back in timeThe history of the Cairns region provides a clear picture of the cycle of boom/decline/boom that remains evidenttoday. Sometimes it has seemed that the region’s ‘reason for being’ has been eroded so much that residents’quality of life has declined significantly. However, there has always been a catalyst that has helped the region tobounce back.Since its foundation in 1876, Cairns and surrounding townships have waxed and waned, with events or decisionsdictating the new direction or spur for the region.The City of Cairns was first founded as a service centre for gold mining some distance away which attracted manymigrants including strong numbers of Chinese and Malays.The gold rush ultimately declined and Cairns seemed to be struggling for a ‘reason for being’ until it was decidedto locate the head of the Atherton Tableland rail service in Cairns due to its access to the port. This was initially fortin and timber but the advent of the sugar cane industry changed the purpose of the rail and the role of Cairns.Combined with the continuing growth in fishing and pearling, these new industries brought another surge ofmigration to the Cairns area, thus creating greater diversity.World War II had a profound impact on the Cairns region as it became a significant supply centre for the Pacific Fleet.Further migration ensued.After the War, the region gradually became a destination for Australian tourists and new residents seeking alternatelifestyles. The opening of the Cairns International Airport in 1984 stimulated the local tourism industry enormously,prompting investment, more migration and the arrival of significant numbers of sea change/tree change retirees fromall walks of life.Each of these forks in the road, and each decision or event, brought significant change to the Cairns region. Eachnew flush of migrants brought new expectations for what the region should be like then and in the future. Each newchange added to the character of the Cairns region, sometimes changing it almost imperceptibly and sometimesquite profoundly. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 11
  • 12. Zoja, Age 8 Catherine, Age 11 Jared, Age 12 Lexy, Age 11 Jarrod, Age 10 Chloe, Age 11 Jasmin, Age 812 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 13. 2.2 What PeoPle love aBout living in the cairnS regionResidents of Cairns have been attracted to the region for many different reasons over a long period of time. As aresult the things that they love about the region are very different and sometimes in conflict with each other. In manyways this has only added to the character of Cairns as it has grown into an important regional city.However, there is a constant theme that resonates from the region’s residents: lifestyle. Many people say our region’sgreatest asset is its laid-back and relaxed lifestyle. Some enjoy the fact that it remains liveable, with the amenities of acity yet the feeling of a big country town.Also rating highly among residents is the fact Cairns is multicultural and cosmopolitan, with many different ethnicgroups contributing to the lifestyle. Indigenous culture and history are seen as integral, while many people say thatculture, heritage and an inspiring arts sector bring life and vitality to the region.Of great importance is the outdoor lifestyle encouraged by the region’s climate, while the natural setting providesmany great destinations within close proximity.All of this is located within a unique natural garden that offers lush Wet Tropics, green hill sides, Tablelands, reefs,ocean and rainforests. Even the cane fields are viewed as a unique and desirable contributor to the landscape.Some even say that they live on vitamin ‘G’ - the green essence that permeates every vista in almost every direction.Hence, the sustainability passion of residents who believe the Cairns region must remain known for its greenapproach to all aspects of life.Finally, the focus on their local community and the desire to keep their space unique and special is paramount in theminds of many.2.3 taking theSe thingS ForWardThese attributes are the essence of the Cairns region, loved by so many. Residents want to ensure they remainthe same in 20 years rather than being lost in incremental daily decisions taken by different decision-makers.This Community Plan is one way to ensure the features most loved by Cairns region residents are part of the region’sstrategic direction and are present in every planning process, every implementation plan and every decision. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 13
  • 14. 3 | Imagine Tomorrow The Cairns Regional Community in 203114 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 15. 3 | IMAGINE TOMORROW – THE CAIRNS REGIONAL COMMUNITY IN 2031The Cairns region in 2031 will be renowned as a great place to live and visit – our place in the sun. We will be knownas Australia’s premier Wet Tropical city, region and northern tourist destination, with world-class infrastructure andcomprehensive health and education services. The region will be a place of social and environmental harmony wherediverse people engage in sustainable living.The cultural lifestyle will reflect the range of backgrounds people have brought with them to the villages,neighbourhoods, towns and cities of the Cairns region. When mixed with the rich local Indigenous Heritage,these backgrounds will create celebrations - seen as one of the hallmarks of people creating a great place.The conversations here will be dynamic, dramatic, inclusive and tolerant, a true reflection of the spirit that denotesthe people of this rich community.In spite of the rapid evolution of Cairns from small country town to urban centre, Cairns and the region will retaina sense of community. High value will be attached to expressions of community spirit, to relaxed and incidentalinteractions within localities, and to outdoor recreation. People will enjoy safe places and spaces, and less fortunatemembers of the community will be supported by a fair and equitable safety net.The towns and suburbs of Cairns will express their own character and spirit yet will be drawn together to provideall the services that a city and a region requires to function as a unit.In 2031 we will have a robust economy in which opportunities for enterprise are plentiful and innovation rewarded.Tourism will remain a significant driver and substantial employer, but strategic economic development initiativeswill have given rise to new industries. The environment for investment will be more diverse. Networks or clustersof entrepreneurial interest will stem from a nexus between business, education and research, and we will be anetworked region in every sense. The region will be home to people who utilise opportunities in cyberspace andto businesses that operate with little dependence on geographic location.The Cairns region will be the global centre of Wet Tropics living and industry. It will be a magnet that draws thinkers,entrepreneurs, businesses, environmentalists, humanists and others because their opinions can be expressed,innovative ideas explored, products developed, the environment respected, and people celebrated.People of the Cairns region in 2031 will appreciate and respect the natural environment of the region. They will be thecustodians. They will live ‘close to nature’ and demonstrate a commitment to minimising the environmental impact ofdevelopment, while also ensuring the region’s natural resources might be enjoyed by future generations. There will bepride in the built environment, which will continue to reflect a distinctive Far North Queensland character while alsoutilising contemporary architectural aesthetics and eco-design principles.Governance in 2031 will be characterised by clear and incisive leadership. Local government will exert stronginfluence on decisions made outside the region, through effective representation that ensures the context andaspirations of the region are understood. Decisions of the Cairns Regional Council will reflect community values;implementation will be through partnering, engaging and encouraging community rather than simply providingservices. Council will be a valued partner, working with other levels of government, community organisations,businesses and residents to ensure the Cairns region supports quality of life in our place in the sun. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 15
  • 16. 4 | Three Important Ingredients16 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 17. 4 | T H R E E I M P O R TA N T I N G R E D I E N T SThe Cairns region continues to grow while retaining its character, spirit and a lifestyle that is the envy of all.Three important ingredients can be used in all planning, service delivery and interaction, to help retain theessence of what makes Cairns and surrounds so unique.4.1.1 character and SpiritThe community is the custodian of the character and spirit of the Cairns region. In partnership with Council,the community will ensure that all processes consider the impact on the values and principles that represent it.Each town or suburb’s unique character will also be recognised and enhanced through planning and deliveryof projects and services.4.1.2 resilient PeopleRather than increasing dependence on government and other service providers, people will be engaged in projects.Through a process of encouragement and skill development, people can be responsible for their own lives.4.1.3 Functioning communitiesIn a similar manner, all processes will reflect the involvement and development of local stakeholders and communitymembers. This will build the strength of the social fabric at a neighbourhood level and throughout the region, throughcommunities of interest and virtual communities.The aim is to continually allow communities to help shape the future and participate in their own creation, rather thanpassively awaiting the delivery of services by others. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 17
  • 18. 5 | Characteristics of Cairns as a Vibrant Region18 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 19. 5 | CHARACTERISTICS OF CAIRNS AS A VIBRANT REGIONThe fundamental characteristics of a vibrant regional city vary little throughout the world. The challenge is to identifythose characteristics, listen to the vision and values of the Cairns regional community, and apply them to the contextof the area so it retains the character and spirit that have made it unique.The elements cannot be viewed in isolation – they depend on each other and need to work in balance to flourish.5.1 education5.1.1 Challenges1 Capitalise on the location in, experience and knowledge of, the Wet Tropics.2 Reducing or eliminating the constant skill drain.3 Matching education provision with workforce needs.4 Up-skilling people in the workforce to create entry level employment opportunities.5 Improving educational outcomes for the Indigenous population.5.1.2 Description of the Education Systems in 2031The Cairns region will have an all-of-life education system which gives people across the region equal access to acomprehensive system that meets the needs of each segment of the population.5.1.3 CharacteristicsThe education system will be characterised by:3 A firm foundation of pre-primary, primary and secondary education.3 A post-secondary vocational system based on the economic and employment drivers of FNQ.3 A tertiary system which reflects the unique characteristics and opportunities of the Wet Tropics as well as providing a range of foundational courses.3 A retraining system to ensure people can gain employment in new and emerging sectors.3 Recognition of the unique challenges for education in a city which is a service hub to the Cape and Pacific region. “To see her studying at a good university in Cairns with variety and choice.” Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 19
  • 20. 5.1.4 Focus for Education1. Linking Education to Competitive Advantages of the Cairns regionEducation pathways will allow for the transition from secondary school to vocational training and into the tertiarysector. Strong links between education providers and the economy will be strengthened, and based around tropicalexpertise, tourism and agriculture. Given its location, the Cairns region will be further developed as an educationalservice centre for the Cape and Pacific region.2. Match Educational Needs to Specific Segments of the PopulationThe education system will specialise in catering for people from diverse backgrounds who require alternative modelsand incentive to maximise their opportunities. The Indigenous population is disadvantaged in terms of educationalopportunities so specific programs will be developed to improve their educational outcomes and employmentopportunities.The Cairns region has a transient population so the education system will be flexible and robust enough to meet theretraining needs of different sectors of the community.5.2 health5.2.1 Challenges1 Maximising health outcomes by integrating and coordinating health programs.2 Establishing a health system that meets the specific needs of the Cairns region and addresses the unique requirements of non-resident health care users (eg. Indigenous people from the Cape or grey nomads).3 Providing adequate health care programs in the Cairns region to minimise residents’ need to obtain specialist care outside the region.20 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 21. 5.2.2 Description of the Health System in 2031The population of the Cairns region will exceed all the measures of health as people assume more responsibilityfor their own well-being. An integrated health system will be in place which combines community, governmentand private sector providers, to minimise health costs and maximise the well-being of the population.5.2.3 CharacteristicsThe health system of the Cairns region will be characterised by:3 A focus on healthy lifestyles that decrease the call on chronic and acute health care services.3 Appropriate levels of acute and chronic care.3 Services that enable people to age locally.3 Home services.3 Recognition of the role of the Cairns region as a service hub for the region.3 Ancillary care which provides services outside the hospital environment.3 A full range of not-for-profit services and commercial providers.3 A focus on Wet Tropics medicine and health care.5.2.4 Focus for Health1 Integrated Approach to Health CareAs a rapidly growing community and a significant regional centre, the Cairns region is characterised by a lot ofactivity – many things happen all at once. Strategies appear to be evolving to cater for specific health issuessuch as preventative health and chronic disease.More transparent integration of health services will enhance the feeling of comfort for residents, counteracting theperception of a silo approach to health in the area.2 Programs to Meet Specific Population NeedsSpecific groups have been identified as requiring specific health care programs, such as Indigenous people, olderadults and grey nomads. Indigenous people have a disproportionate use of the health system. An ageing populationdrives demand for chronic disease programs.3 Preventative Health ProgramsPreventative health programs tend to have a lower funding priority than reactive health programs. Communityeducation programs will be used to widely inform people about preventative health, complemented by physicalactivity and nutrition programs, to encourage people to take greater responsibility for their own health. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 21
  • 22. 5.3 Social SaFety net5.3.1 Challenges1 24% of the Cairns regional population in 2009 was categorised as ‘most disadvantaged’ compared to a rate of 20% for Queensland.2 The Cairns region has a higher unemployment rate than Queensland.3 Disadvantaged communities require particular attention to avoid being further marginalised.4 Need to improve coordination between Government agencies and NGOs.5.3.2 Description of the Social Safety Net in 2031The Cairns region will encourage the social and economic development of people and will have a system in place toassist those who are struggling with various aspects of life.5.3.3 CharacteristicsThe social safety net of the Cairns region will be characterised by:3 A sufficient range of service providers with adequate resources to provide a comprehensive range of relevant services to those who struggle to cope with various aspects of life.3 Service providers that are well integrated and coordinated to achieve optimum outcomes with the available resources.3 Self-responsible people and self-sufficient communities who make few demands on the services of government and not-for-profit organisations.5.3.4 Focus for Social Safety NetService agencies of the Cairns region will work together to access external funding sources and other resources, toensure local demands are met.There will be a real focus on developing the skills and attitudes of individuals and communities to be self-sufficient.The emphasis on developing the social fabric of emerging communities will be equal to the emphasis on developingphysical infrastructure.It will be recognised that some groups require extra resources to ensure equitable access to programs and services;and to minimise disadvantage to groups such as Indigenous people, people with a disability, the homeless, theunemployed, or people on low incomes. “A community which supports all members of our community to thrive, including homeless and disadvantaged people.”22 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 23. 5.4 SaFety & Security5.4.1 Challenges1 Engaging young people before they are involved with the police and justice system.2 Creating areas that are designed to minimise crime.3 Retaining a community spirit based around friendly people, mateship, welcoming and caring.4 A focus on community as well as facilities and services.5.4.2 Description of Safety and Security in 2031The Cairns region will be a safe place to live, work, relax and holiday.5.4.3 CharacteristicsSafety and security in the Cairns region will be built on:3 Providing suburbs and community hubs based on designing out crime.3 A strong social fabric of each community so neighbours care for each other and their property.3 The agencies responsible for crime prevention, policy and justice working together.5.4.4 Focus for Safety and SecurityCreation of strong, unique communities where people are connected to each other and to governance structures.People will feel strong ownership of their places, and work together to minimise safety and security risks.Police and justice systems will be interconnected to the community fabric so the Cairns region as a service centreand tourist destination will be renowned for its safety and security.Community and public education programs will focus on relationships, community connection, role models,responsibility, health and life skills to better equip people for community living. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 23
  • 24. 5.5 culture and liFeStyle5.5.1 Challenges1 Maintaining the ‘laid back – easy going’ lifestyle, within the context of a large and rapidly expanding population.2 Providing adequate and diverse culture and lifestyle opportunities for a growing population.3 Maintaining an inclusive culture and a lifestyle based on freedom of choice.5.5.2 Description of the Culture and Lifestyle in 2031The Cairns region will have the most envied lifestyle in Australia.5.5.3 CharacteristicsThe culture and lifestyle of the Cairns region will be characterised by:3 An outdoor, laid back lifestyle.3 The ability to interact with a diverse natural environment ranging from rainforest to ocean.3 The multi-cultural nature and expression of the population.3 A dynamic arts community.3 The tropical climate.3 Different lifestyles in different parts of the Cairns region.5.5.4 Focus for Culture and LifestyleThe Cairns region will continue to be a magnet to those who want to change their lifestyle.The elements that make this lifestyle unique and desirable will be nurtured and enhanced through deliberate attentionto the character and spirit of the region and to each individual location.The Cairns region will be renowned for the inclusive nature of its people.Links will be maximised between economic opportunities derived from the unique culture and lifestyle of the Cairnsregion, for example by developing viable cultural tourism products, promoting community festivals, and interpretingIndigenous culture.24 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 25. 5.6 a generational region5.6.1 Challenges1 The smallest age cohort is the 65+ year age group with 9% (compared with Queensland 12%). Over the period 2006 – 2031 the median age is projected to increase from 35 years to 41 years, reflecting a substantially older age profile.2 As the population ages, more services will be required for older adults. A significant increase in support services, particularly health, may be required. More people are likely to move from being older adults to frail aged, requiring increased home based services and additional supported accommodation.3 Programs for older adults are not coordinated across program sectors.4 The Cairns region needs to become generational friendly and whole-of-life friendly.5.6.2 Description of Generational Support in 2031The demographics of the Cairns region will reflect that of any regional city in Australia.5.6.3 CharacteristicsThe population of the Cairns region will be characterised by:3 People who know they can spend their whole life in the Cairns region.3 Provision of the full range of services required to retain people in an area.5.6.4 Focus for Generational SupportPeople should not be forced to leave the Cairns region because their specific need is not available or isnot accessible.Education, health services for the ageing, employment and specialist areas of development such as sport andculture need to be present in the Cairns region so people are not forced to leave.Programs and services are to be coordinated and where possible integrated. A readily accessible central registryor comprehensive register/inventory of programs and support services is to be created.Physical access to be improved, including public and community transport modes, to overcome issues associatedwith the elongated nature of the Cairns region.Increase older adults’ access to technology.Increase preventative health programs for older adults to reduce the need for chronic care and demand ongovernment resources. “Happiness and a safe place for all children to grow.” Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 25
  • 26. 5.7 the economy5.7.1 Challenges1 Nurturing short, medium and long term strategies to build a diverse and robust economy.2 Nurturing existing employment and economic bases.3 Fostering economic and employment opportunities from key drivers in other sectors such as culture, lifestyle and education.4 Fostering creativity, innovation, entrepreneurialism and contribution as key values evident in the Cairns region.5 Awareness of the impacts on the social fabric of the Cairns region when considering economic directions.5.7.2 Description of the Economy in 2031The Cairns region will have an economy that is sufficiently diverse to withstand singular global trends.5.7.3 CharacteristicsThe economy will be formed around the unique nature of the Cairns region:3 Leading Wet Tropics’ city in the developed world.3 Natural environment.3 Location in Far North Queensland and proximity to Asia and the Pacific.3 History and culture.3 Lifestyle.5.7.4 Focus for Economic Development1 The global centre for Wet Tropics medical research, product development, manufacture and distribution.Businesses and research groups in the Cairns region have developed specialist skills and knowledge to adapt to thetropical environment and the challenges it presents. This critical mass of knowledge and skills is known as TropicalExpertise. Its base of more than 230 businesses specialise in the production of goods and services that cater to atropical lifestyle, specifically health, environment, agribusiness, design and construction.The global tropical economy is projected to reach US$40 trillion in 2025. Cairns-based tropical expertise exportsamounted to more than $6.4 million in 2008/09, of which $4.3 million was International Development Business.2 Innovation in living, building and working in the Wet TropicsDespite being located in a Wet Tropic zone in Far North Queensland, many aspects of life and buildings aredetermined by factors relevant to South East Queensland, for example the design of buildings, housing andwork practices.Skills developed in the Cairns region relating to design, construction and living in the Wet Tropics can be transferredto other Wet Tropics locations in Australia and overseas.26 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 27. 3 Tourism based on the natural environment, culture and businesses of the regionGiven the Cairns region’s idyllic location at the gateway to two World Heritage wonders, the Great Barrier Reefand the Wet Tropics Rainforest, it has earned a reputation as an international and domestic tourist destination.Tourism has been the fastest growing industry in Far North Queensland over the past three decades, and providessignificant employment directly and in a wide range of support industries. The Cairns region is Australia’s fourthmost popular destination for international holiday visitors after Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.Future opportunities for growth in this sector include growing the business tourism market, ecotourism andcultural tourism.External events have had a devastating impact on the number of domestic and international visitors to theCairns region. Cairns Airport passenger numbers, however, are returning for both domestic and internationalvisitors. This is most likely the result of extra domestic and international flights as well as seasonal fluctuations.4 Food production and agriculture based on the climate and fertile beltsHistorically, agriculture has been a key driver of the economy in the Cairns region and Far North Queensland. Up untilthe 1970’s the agricultural sector underpinned the region’s expansion and economic development. In 2009 the totalvalue of agricultural production in the Cairns region was $254 million or 1.4 per cent of the total value of output in theCairns economy.Prospects for the sector are favourable -• as world demand for food and fibre expands strongly, as previously underdeveloped countries such as China and India begin to expand;• as concerns mount about water resources and sustainability of current levels of production in southern Australia;• as plant and animal breeds and advances in biotechnology and processing relevant to the Tropics become available; and• as opportunities expand for the development of new bio fuel crops, bio plastics etc to replace products based on fossil fuels and non-biodegradable materials.5 The major service centre for both the Cape and Pacific RimOutside of Sydney, the Cairns region is the most visited port for major cruise ships. It is the major marine traininglocation for Queensland TAFE; has two commercial fishing bases; an Australian Navy base; a thriving super yachtindustry; and the largest concentration of dive tourism industry in the country. Adding to the capacity of CairnsSeaport is Mourilyan Harbour, which is primarily used for sugar and live cattle export but could be used for additionalpurposes in the future.The standard and quantity of aviation services will be a significant economic attraction in the future. “Development and growth for continued sustainability and diversification of business.” Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 27
  • 28. 5.8 the natural environment5.8.1 Challenges1 A 51% increase in the population will have significant environmental impacts unless action is taken. Impacts will include demand for more water sources; more built structures which reduce the amount of open space and farming land; more waste (black and grey water and household waste) to be managed; increased use of energy possibly from non renewable sources; and more traffic and potential road congestion particularly given the shape of the Cairns region.2 Sound environmental stewardship, particularly World Heritage sites.3 Retention of the pristine environment, visual amenity and landscapes – World Heritage areas, beaches, hill face zones, reef, and wildlife.4 Building upon natural positives of the region in an environmentally sustainable way.5 Climate change.5.8.2 Description of the Natural Environment in 2031The Cairns region will be internationally renowned for its natural wonder and the manner in which the diversedemands on the environment have been managed.5.8.3 CharacteristicsThe use of the natural environment will be characterised by a management system that conserves the naturalenvironment while allowing access for recreational, educational and commercial purposes.5.8.4 Focus for the Natural EnvironmentManage the natural environment to ensure diverse users work together to guarantee the resource is availablefor future generations yet also contributes to the recreational, educational and commercial well-being of thecurrent generation.5.9 PhySical inFraStructure5.9.1 Challenges1 Maintaining adequate infrastructure to cater for the projected large increase in population, particularly road network and water supply.2 The geographical constraint of the narrow corridor between the coast and the hinterland.3 Ensuring adequate transport infrastructure is available in/out and around the region.28 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 29. 5.9.2 Description of Physical Infrastructure in 2031Cairns region residents will live an exceptional lifestyle and enjoy a thriving economy in part due to the provision ofthe full range of infrastructure required for a functioning city.5.9.3 CharacteristicsThe physical infrastructure of the Cairns region will be characterised by:3 Excellent transport options including roads, rail, air and sea.3 An efficient and effective public transport system.3 Sufficient power sources.3 Water provision and waste removal.3 Excellent communication.3 Vibrant community hubs.3 Sport, recreation and cultural facilities.3 Shopping centres, commercial hubs and civic facilities.5.9.4 Focus for Physical InfrastructureThe timely provision of adequate infrastructure to allow a growing population to live a pleasant lifestyle within avibrant economic environment.Ensure transport infrastructure and systems are improved and better integrated to cater for population and economicgrowth, while contributing to a better quality of life and access to services for existing and future residents.Maintain the region’s strong energy and water infrastructure base, and ensure infrastructure can meet futuredemands while exploring innovative and effective approaches to improved sustainability and reduced climatechange impacts.Ensure community infrastructure (recreation, sport, health, education, cultural, retail etc) is developed in sync withresidential development, to optimise accessibility and create a sense of community.5.10 geograPhic locationS5.10.1 Challenges1 The Cairns region forms the urban heart of Far North Queensland (FNQ), has the largest population in the region, and plays a vital role in servicing the needs of the broader FNQ community. Growth areas must be developed to protect environmental and agricultural values. “To be a part of a community that allows her to contribute selflessly.” Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 29
  • 30. 2 Future growth options for the Cairns region are limited because the mountain ranges, Barron and Mulgrave River flood plains, Trinity Inlet, and the coast constrain future development. The hill slopes of Cairns, the Northern Beaches and area east of the Bruce Highway between Edmonton and Gordonvale contain significant regional landscape values that should be should be protected.3 The Cairns region has a range of communities which are unique and have a strong sense of identity.5.10.2 Description of Geographic Locations in 2031The Cairns region will have many diverse and unique communities, each with their own character and spirit.5.10.3 CharacteristicsThe development of each geographic location will be based on:3 Recognising and enhancing the unique features of each place.3 Developing the social fabric as well as the physical amenity of each place.3 Developing a hierarchy of provision to ensure there are appropriate and accessible services and facilities across the region.5.10.4 Focus for Geographic LocationsPeople need to be passionate about their communities, understand the unique character and spirit of their location,and be actively involved in its development.Creation of a flexible town planning scheme which protects the uniqueness of each place; and that respects theautonomy of each local community as well as its differences and what it contributes as part of a whole.5.11 governance and civic engagement5.11.1 Challenges1 Managing the transition from a rural-based community to a major regional city.2 Managing the often conflicting and competing demands of major communities of interest (eg. Indigenous people, business, green lobby, agricultural sector and visitors).3 Providing leadership within a democracy which has a high level of expectation regarding community consultation.4 Engaging all sectors in the Cairns community including disadvantaged people.5.11.2 Description of Governance and Civic Engagement in 2031The Cairns regional community will be highly engaged in the visioning, decision-making and day-to-day working ofself-reliant and diverse places.30 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 31. 5.11.3 CharacteristicsThe involvement of the population will be based on:• Engaging community leaders and stakeholders in developing the context of the Cairns region.• Engaging the community in responding to the context.• Having appropriate structures to allow easy access to information and decision-making processes.• Processes that balance the self-interest of each sub-group against the requirements of the region.• Communities across the region that take more and more responsibility for their place.5.11.4 Focus for Governance and Civic EngagementLeaders of the community, commercial and government realms interact regularly to ensure the needs of the Cairnsregion are constantly fed into the external decision-making arena. Cairns region residents understand the decision-making processes and feel comfortable contributing to them. Those processes are relevant for a diverse population.Decision making must be based on long term benefits to the Cairns region.5.12 netWorked5.12.1 Challenges1 Maximising the effective use of resources within and between program areas.2 People working collaboratively, rather than ‘protecting their patch’.5.12.2 Description of Networks in 2031The Cairns region will be an integrated area with leaders networked within the region and connected to majorexternal decision-makers. The integration will permeate all strata and interest areas so the Cairns region is renownedfor the manner in which communication occurs within its borders and is connected to the rest of the world.5.12.3 CharacteristicsThe network within the Cairns region and between it and other centres will be characterised by:3 Excellent networks between key stakeholders and community leaders.3 An integrated approach to decision-making.3 An integrated approach to the delivery of government services.3 A strong network evident between the various organisations and communities that comprise the Cairns region.3 The Cairns region being the hub of national and international networks pertaining to its areas of excellence.3 The needs and desires of the Cairns region will be known in relevant external decision making circles.5.12.4 Focus for NetworkingThe relationships between all the elements that comprise a regional city are joined through networks. An exampleis the symbiotic relationships between economic development and areas of specialty in Wet Tropics medicine andhealth, how it links to specialised education, and how innovative outcomes of these ventures are commercialised. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 31
  • 32. 6 | Role of Cairns Regional Council32 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 33. 6 | ROLE OF CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCILTo achieve the strategic directions outlined in this Community Plan, Council’s role will be significantly different in2031 to the role that it is playing in 2011. In fact, the Council of tomorrow will be unrecognizable in comparisonto the present day.The role of Council will be multi-faceted with:Vision and LeadershipCouncil will be at the forefront of creating the future for the Cairns region. It will do so in close collaboration with keyinternal and external stakeholders. It will take the lead in thought and practice.Custodians of Character and SpiritThe Cairns region has always been a unique place with an enviable lifestyle. This character and spirit will be evidentin 2031 as Council will have held fast to the things that made it strong in the past, ensuring they remain evident inthe future.Building Resilient People and Functioning CommunitiesAs the population grows and expectations increase, Council will work with individuals and communities to increasetheir desire and ability to take responsibility for themselves and contribute to others. This will allow the Cairns regionto flourish.Facilitation and CoordinationIn 2031, working in silos will be seen as an anathema in the Cairns region. This will be partly due to Council’ssuccess in facilitating interaction between agencies and communities and coordinating responses to issuesand opportunities.PositioningA significant role of Council will have been in positioning the Cairns region as the service centre of Far NorthQueensland and the Pacific region; as the global centre for Wet Tropics industries and living; as the most desirablecity in which to live in Northern Australia; as a vital contributor to Queensland decision-making; and as a citynetworked into important and relevant discussions around the world.Engaging the CommunityCouncil will be intimately connected to its residents so they are engaged in processes that impact the future planningof the Cairns region and delivery of the lifestyle desired by residents.Service DeliveryCouncil will undertake delivery of some vital services. It will do so in a manner that develops leading edgeapproaches in cooperation with others and results in the services either being adopted by the community,being no longer required, or housed in a relevant agency.Regulatory PracticeCouncil will have set minimum standards for many aspects of the Cairns region. It will have done so in a mannerthat encourages innovation and participation by community and stakeholders, and progresses areas of excellencethroughout the region. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 33
  • 34. 7 | Invitation to Participate34 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031
  • 35. 7 | I N V I TAT I O N T O PA R T I C I PAT EA significant part of the development of this Community Plan was the engagement of the community andstakeholders through a comprehensive process. The Plan will be evaluated regularly through anotherengagement process.All residents of the Cairns Regional Council area are invited to participate in the implementation of this Plan sothat in the year 2031, Cairns is the place that still holds our hearts and minds... that it remains our place in the sun. Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011-2031 | 35
  • 36. Get involved Share your ideas in an online community forum. go to: http://yoursay.cairns.qld.gov.au Phone: 4044 3044 (Cairns) | 4099 9444 (Mossman) | 1800 070 444 (STD Callers) www.cairns.qld.gov.au36 | Imagine Tomorrow: Your Draft Community Plan 2011 - 2031 Printed on 300gsm (cover) & 150gsm (text) Impact 100% Recycled Paper