Cairns Convention Centre project on track

The $176 million project is on track for the completion of its expansion in late 2022, and will host at least 20 conferences before then.

The $176 million Cairns Convention Centre project is on track for the completion of its expansion in late 2022, and will host at least 20 conferences, valued at $28 million, before then.

One of the first conferences to be held at the Centre since it reopened in May following a full refurbishment, was the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia – Queensland Annual Conference (IPWEAQ). IPWEAQ is the peak body representing those who engineer solutions for Queensland communities, so who better to review the new space than 430 engineers.

While the project focused on the extension and exterior of the building, the conference organisers were delighted with the refreshed internal areas, which feature new roof sheeting, new air conditioning and lightning, and refurbished public spaces.

Rainforestation Nature Park hosted the annual social function “Tropical Night”, on day two. Under the canopy of the World Heritage listed, Wet Tropics Rainforest, delegates were welcomed by the Pamagirri Dancers Cultural Performance, dined on roving canapés and food stations, and interacted with dingoes, kangaroos, snakes and koalas with wildlife interactions a part of the event package. A twilight ride aboard a World War II-era six-wheel-drive, amphibious military truck, affectionally known as an Army Duck surprised delegates whilst they explored the venue.

IPWEAQ conference organiser Monica Robertson said the space was state-of-the-art, contemporary and genuinely beautiful.

“Cairns Convention Centre includes new audio-visual options as standard, which are usually an additional cost, something extremely appreciated as a not-for-profit. For example, the lecterns have a screen on the platform itself (rather than a foldback monitor on the ground), which adds an extra level of professionalism to a conference,” Robertson said.

“The venue offered above and beyond service to match their fantastic venue.”

Once the expansion is completed, Cairns Convention Centre will deliver an additional 10,500 square metres that will include a large undercover, tropically planted entry forecourt, an expanded main entry lobby, a 410-seat plenary lecture space, three 120-seat meeting rooms, exhibition space for up to 30 display booths, a 500-seat rooftop banquet space and sky terrace with spectacular views over Trinity Inlet.

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