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10 September, 2021

Reflecting on 12 months of Cairns Local News.

IT’S amazing just how quickly the past 12 months has gone. We barely finish each weekly publication, before we are straight onto selling, planning, writing and laying out the next week’s edition, with very little time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

By Peter McCullagh

Now we are not complaining, we love the pace and tempo of newspapers. This week we have paused to reflect upon many of the stories we have told in our first 12 months.

We have selected 12 for you. These are not our top 12, these are stories where we have tapped into the community, and given a voice, recognised individuals, and made a difference.

We hope you enjoy remembering them as well.

To all our very loyal readers, thank you for your support in our first 12 months. To our dedicated advertisers, we would not be able to publish without your support and to the 150 plus distributors throughout Far North Queensland thanks for stocking and delivering our paper to our readers.

This is a local business, owned and run by locals and dedicated to the community. Please enjoy this edition and look forward to the coming year with excitement and great

The Cairns Local News Team


1.       Championing local business 

There’s nothing better than a great tale about a local business having a red-hot crack, producing an exceptional product, giving great service and most of all, building our local economy creating jobs and employment opportunities.

During our first year we have profiled many successful local businesses, Edge Hill Butchery, Orangerie Patisserie and Oliveri’s Deli just to name a few.

Cairns Local News is all about local businesses and local stories. It has been a privilege to sit down with local businesses and bring their story to our huge and very loyal readers.

When we support local business, we support the local economy. We help that business create local jobs and in turn those locals spend in the local economy. It is said that every dollar a business earns is re-spent up to seven times in the local economy. Think about it, if you spend $50 a week with a local business such as Edge Hill Butchery, that equates to $350 worth of economic activity in the Cairns regional economy.

That’s why we back our local businesses and ask our readers to do the same.


 2.     Croc attack at lake Placid  

Croc Attack – Lake Placid – The Survivors Tale

In late January this year, Mark Ridge was swimming in Lake Placid when he was attacked by a 2.5 metre crocodile. The croc clamped down on his head. Mr Ridge managed to wrestle free and swim for safety.

Cairns Local News secured an exclusive interview with the survivor along with an extensive video interview.

The attacked spark a furious debate regarding crocodiles in our waterways here in the north, a debate the rages still.

Readers wishing to refresh their memory with this terrifying attack can read the full story on our website,


3.       Unfinished business – Path to Treaty   

Unfinished Business drives the Path to Treaty

The Queensland Government is committed to the framing of a Treaty for our First Nations People.

This Path to Treaty has featured prominently in the pages of Cairns Local News. In July, David Gardiner from Cairns Local News wrote about the sense of unfinished business that drives all stakeholder in this process.

Real healing is only possible after the truth-telling and acceptance of our history and all actions.

This is an extremely emotive topic handled with sensitivity and respect.

For readers wishing to read the full story they can find it in our July 23 edition, and you can read the full edition online free at


4.     Tell ‘em they’re dreaning  

 In scenes reminiscent of the Australian movie The Castle, Peter and Shonnay Ives from Trinity Beach took a stand when their house was marked for demolition to make way for a link road between Kewarra Beach and Trinity Beach.

Community feelings were running hot, with residents signing petitions, posting placards,  and taking a very public stand.

“We’re not going anywhere… The road was not on the planning scheme when we bought the block of land… It’s our home, you can’t put a price on it.”


5.       Subrina walks again   

This was a moving story about a young Pormpuraaw woman’s struggle to walk again after a horror crash in Cape York.

Dr Lees and her team at Cairns Hospital were fundamental in the care and rehabilitation for Subrina. Not only has Subrina been able to walk again, but she was able to recommence work after her ordeal.

The work of our local medicos is simply incredible. This was a major injury handled locally by our very skilled teams here at the Cairns Hospital, an incredible tale of survival and struggle, one that we were honored to tell.


6.       Fashion capital at her feet   

Cairns based Indigenous fashion designer Cheryl Creed propelled First Nation’s fashion onto the world stage, when it was announced her creations would feature during Milan Fashion Week 2021.

Creed’s label MURRII QUU COUTURE was only one of 10 designers from across the globe invited to showcase their designs in the Emerging Talent category.

Cheryl’s creations are referred to as ‘Slow Fashion’ or sustainable fashion, where a designer takes existing garments and refashions them into high-end evening gowns.

Cheryl has a gala event planned for Saturday September 25 at the Shangri-La in Cairns, proudly supported by Cairns Local News, you can find out more about Fashique Runway 2021 at, 


7.       No more polystyrene boxes  

Imagine 500 million polystyrene boxes polluting our landfill and environment every year. WE have a viable alternative and totally recyclable option thanks to Tom and Kath Long from Kurrimine Beach.

After years of research and development the TomKat KoolPak was developed and launched and making great inroads into the market.

Initially developed as a way to transport their premium quality reef fish to the markets and restaurants in Sydney, Tom and Kath quickly realized this product as revolutionary and in great demand as the drive to remove single-use plastics gain momentum.


8.       The weird and wonderful world of Wayne  

Already an icon in Cairns, Wayne Marshall, the ‘doorman at Bunnings’ joined our team from our first edition.

Tackling the big issues here in the north, does pineapple belong on pizza? Or maybe saving water by showering with a friend. Wayne has a special outlook on life, a different and truly unique perspective. This was recognised at the Queensland Country Press Association awards this year. Only goes to show, writing is about the passion, the emotion and not about the schooling.

Well done Wayne, we’re looking forward to another year of entertaining columns.


9.       Fred’s feel good farm   

In keeping with our focus on positive stories, we could not go past our Fred’s Feel Good Farm story from last year.

Innisfail local farmer, Fred James planted 45,000 sunflowers spelling out a positive message for the world, “G’day from Oz”.

Our front page and publicity went national and also around the world as people in the height of COVID sought positive and uplifting stories on the net.

This sunflower ray of sunshine created by Fred James was a tremendous boost for the hundreds of thousands who visited it in person or virtually.

Fred James was also recognised with a Cassowary Coast Regional Council Australia Day Award in January 2021.


10.   The odd couple   

It’s always a media circus when the prime minister comes to town. Cameras and journalists, the odd demonstrator or ten and sometimes an unlikely local will steal the limelight and capture a moment worthy of a front page.

For local tattoo artist, Nate the opportunity to grab a selfie with Scott Morrison was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I’m gunna show that photo to my daughter tonight and she will like think I’m god. Oh my god, my dad met the Prime Minister you know.”

 The Prime Minister was in town to make some important announcement, but Nate stole the show and bagged the front page looking like a very odd couple.


11.   Dr Mabo   

This year, Native Title pioneer and activist, Eddie Mabo was awarded a posthumous Honorary Doctorate from James Cook University.

This honor was accepted by Eddie’s daughter Gail. Eddie Mabo’s legacy lives on today. Although he passed before the historic court ruling, his dedication to the Native Title cause stamped him forever as a giant Australian.

Our front-page recognition along with the web publication of the transcript of the speech from JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell as he announced Dr Mabo’s recognition was one our best stories during the past year.


12.   Not able to Bank – NAB Closure  

When a thriving community has their last bank announce they will shut the doors and walk away, the community is rightfully miffed.

This happened this year when the NAB announced they would withdraw services from Gordonvale, after 107 years in the town.

This planned exit was met with stunned disbelief along with rather vocal protests from locals, many who had banked with the branch for 40 plus years.

In a world where businesses are driving customers to a digital platform and removing face to face interaction the residents of Gordonvale decided to take a stand. Unfortunately, they did not win, but they sent a message to a large corporation that they did not want to interact only in a digital world.



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