Ever find yourself wondering when Cairns will start looking outside the box and become the leader instead of the follower? I do. I often wonder when we will start actively searching for ways to diversify our economy and if we will ever be able to step out of the shadow of Townsville and count ourselves as the best......at something.
We have so much to offer the world that we are not showcasing. Outrageously good at the Arts, some truly spectacular sports people and some of the best minds in the country. Finally, I can see the light at the end of the Tourism tunnel.
The Cultural Precinct is going to provide an astounding array of opportunities to our entire region. A museum, performance spaces both big and small, usable outdoor facilities and some great food make it ideal for singles, couples, families of all ages to flock to and marvel at our local creative endeavours. The population of the area isn't yet convinced, the cost is quite large (although our contribution is minimal) and plenty still think of the arts in terms of plays and ballet, forgetting entirely about the comedy shows, the Eisteddfods, the awards night, the bands and the children's performances. The reality is that the arts community is not a minority and this venue will house an extremely diverse range of events making it essential to the growth of our region.
Last week an announcement was made regarding the upcoming Adventure Sport event. Again, this fills a niche that has been left gaping for some time now. We have long been recognised for our extreme sports facilities but without any competition, very little marketing has come from them being seen as tourist attractions. This large event will bring world attention to this area, athletes from all over the world will congregate here for the entire showcase and the benefits will be huge. The best part is that we have some of the athletes who will take part right here on our doorstop and this will give them the opportunity to show the world what they are capable of while beaming with pride at the facilities that they helped create.
The final void is now at the early stages of being filled. The Tropical Innovation Awards are currently under-way with over 40 projects being considered for the top prize. These are sourced locally, are well worth a look and with the help of this initiative will gain the prominence required to get them operational in terms of production and marketing. Design and ideas sourced locally, potentially the manufacturing and marketing also garnered locally, this project is one that needs to be followed through to the end and repeated over and over again. I went online to the Tropical Innovation Awards site to vote in the People's Choice Awards and was frankly astounded at the choices and the quality of the entrants. I urge you all to vote yourselves as there is a certain number required to keep this project going. I will tell you that I voted for the solar panels on the telephone poles but it was a tough choice as I also quite liked the banana blankie and the shower device.
Finally, the niche's, the gaps and the voids are being filled. Finally the Council is taking notice of the effects that putting all of your eggs in one basket can have. Finally, the locals and their strengths are being catered to. Finally, it is being left up to us to market ourselves. It's about bloody time!!