Here we go again......(I think I've said that before!) Next week will be the crucial vote on the Precinct (again) to decide once and for all what it's fate will be (again). Is anyone else getting bored of this?
Lets make it interesting!
Close you eyes (no wait, that won't work). Ok, leave your eyes open. Suspend reality and come with me on the journey I will call 'The Alternative'.
Next week has been and gone. The vote by the way, by just one, was in the negative. No Precinct.
Fast forward past the months of angry letters and online comments lamenting the lost opportunity to March 31st, 2012.
Ooh look, it's a new Premier for Queensland. Looks like 'Can do' actually did! After all that time watching proceedings from outside the building he can actually take a seat inside. Look, over there, it's Gavin King. Who'd have known. He made it too.
Excellent news for Cairns. We can dredge the inlet and build Plan B for the CEP. What was Plan B anyway? Does anybody know?
Lets pretend there is one, for arguments sake. We'll pretend that the land beside the Convention Centre is for sale.
53 million was promised in December for an alternative, now it's April 1st, SHOW US THE MONEY!
So, we buy the land at a cost of 30 million (we'll make it cheap) and the design for a smaller, 1000 seat theatre is complete. It's now November but who's counting. The cost is good, only 120 million. Exactly the amount Gavin mentioned numerous times as ideal. The facility will be good. A straight replacement for the Civic Theatre, no potential for a museum or any public space but the priority is the cost and the position. Both of which are great!
Alright, time to get those figures in order for this to go ahead. Margaret Cochrane, Mayor of Cairns (did I forget to mention that?) has promised a rectangular stadium but didn't mention an arts facility in her campaign material. Hmmm...... Now what?
January, 2013. After much consideration and deliberation it has been decided that Council will do a feasibility study into the new proposal, titled 'The Alternative'.
February, 2014. Feasibility study completed. It states that the new proposal has a few issues. With 30 million already spent on land, there is only 23 million left from the State contribution. The Feds have somehow come up with a 20 million dollar allocation but it must be spent before June and time is running out. With the 43 million promised from both other tiers of Government (a record figure for Cairns), the cost for Council will only come in at 77 million. Bugger!! That can't be right. 120 million, take away 43.........damn!
Notice that the Feasibility study also states that the ongoing cost will be the same as the old plan. That doesn't add up. Oh wait, I forgot that 'The Alternative' has no revenue streams aside from the theatre itself. Ok, moving on.
May, 2014. Cairns Regional Council makes the brave decision to give up the 43 million as the cost of 'The Alternative' is still too high and get to work immediately on the rectangular football field. The cost is the same for Council and the running costs are on par but everyone knows that sport is more popular than arty farty rubbish. It's a winner!
June, 2014. Letters start pouring in to the Cairns Post from angry residents who 'never' go to sporting events and don't want their rates to go to something that only beefy, uncultured fools will utilise.