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28 August, 2020

If you care, have your say

Cairns residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on controversial issues such as whether to one-lane CBD streets or allow people to legally consume alcohol on the Esplanade as part of the new Our Cairns community survey launched today by Cairns Mayor Bob Manning.

At the launch of the Our Cairns surveys (from left) Smithfield State High School students Maddie Canteri and Anika Weremchuk, Mayor Bob Manning and Gemma Cocuzza with her children Preston, 3, and Lara, 5.

The multi-faceted survey will enable residents to tell Council their views on a plethora of subject matters, including topical issues such as whether Cairns needs more police on its streets or whether dogs should be allowed in the CBD.

Mayor Manning said the broad community survey – last conducted in 2016 with 6400 respondents – was a critical exercise for Council.

“The Our Cairns survey seeks to garner the views of our residents on a variety of topical issues as well as questions about liveability, the economy and Council’s performance in relation to the delivery of services and facilities,” he said.

“We will soon be developing our new corporate plan which guides Council in its decision making over the next four years and the Our Cairns survey provides us with a lot of information that feeds into this document.

“Since we did the last survey, our officers and management refer to the views and opinions gathered from the thousands of people who did the survey to guide us in how we consider new facilities and services because it gives us a clear indication of what’s important to our community and their main concerns as well.”

Other questions of interest in the overall Our Cairns survey involve public safety, traffic congestion, disaster resilience, higher density development, whether Cairns should host a Schoolies Week, and what the community perceives the health of the Great Barrier Reef to be.

For the first time ever, a special Our Cairns Youth Survey has been developed to enable young people to tell Council about the sort of city they want to live in and the facilities and services they need and want.

“Youth of this city are so important because they are the future leaders – it is critical to ensure that we are hearing from our young people on a range of issues like public transport and safety and how that affects their lives so we can provide the things they need to stay in Cairns, raise a family and pursue a career here” Cr Manning said.

Smithfield State High School student Maddie Canteriwho took part in Council’s inaugural Youth Climate Summit last year, was enthusiastic about young people being given the chance to be heard.

“There are a lot of issues that affect youth yet we rarely get the opportunity to tell levels of government how we feel about things such as public transport, the availability of events for people our age and how we feel about issues like public safety,” she said.

Mayor Manning said a major concern for the city was losing our young talent to larger urban cities in the south.

“We want our young people to be able to study at university here in their hometown, be able to access the courses they want and be able to pursue the career of their choice without leaving Cairns,” he said.

“So we need to know what prompts them to leave Cairns for higher education so we can hopefully retain the wonderful local talent we have to benefit our city into the future.”

Cairns mother-of-two Gemma Cocuzza said that with a young family, it was facilities such as libraries, playgrounds and parks, that were really important.

“With a young family, I think it is great that Council is consulting with residents and giving us to have the chance to have a say in what we want to see in our community,” Mrs Cocuzza said.

“I think everyone should take this opportunity and give Council as much feedback as they can so they can provide the things the community want.”

Both surveys can be done online (, with the overall survey also available in printed version at Council libraries and customer service centre. Hard copy surveys can be returned to those areas once completed.

The Our Cairns Survey will be available to complete until 16 October.

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