Monday 23 June 2008

Cairns Yacht Club, politicians and spin

Rob Williams, a JP and former chair of the Cairns Heritage Group, of the Cairns Tropic Jazz Club has a vested interest in seeing the Cairns Yacht Club building preserved, known as the Aquatic.

The Jazz club played there every Thursday Night for 229 weeks until moving to Tigers in the face of demolition of the Aquatic. Musician Members of the Jazz Club have played the Aquatic as far back as 1938, that's around 70 years.

The Aquatic Club turned 100 years old on 30th March this year. Timbers in the building date back to 1895.
  • The full history of our fight to save this Historic Building, the only one still existing, that was built by the pioneers and people of Cairns City, is located on our waterfront, next to the Cairns Hilton hotel.

    The story is far to complicated to discuss in a few words, and the local member and Cairns Council has used spin to confuse you all into thinking there is a $7 million Cairns Yacht Club in front of Shangri-La. The pollies have spun themselves into La-La Land. The bottom line is that the State Labor Government want to sell the land.

    To them, money is more important than our history.

    There is no question that the building has state significance and the proof of that is that the Environmental Protection Agency, a state government department, had the land surveyed for Heritage Listing.
    See registered plan IS174589. It was even noted for Heritage in the EPA Coastal Planning Scheme. All this hard evidence is available if the people decide take the government to Court in a future class action to recover damages because they robbed us of our Heritage and loss of revenue from Tourism.

    The place was on track to be protected under the State Heritage Act and supported by the Queensland Heritage Council Chairman himself together with the Cairns Historical Society and the National Heritage Trust.

    This until Daikyo looked out the window of his then owned Hilton Hotel and realized his idea of building another Hilton next door was to be lost. He went to the Cairns Port Authority with big dough. This immediately put the Government and the Port Authority between a rock and a place with money. They decided to take the money. Ironically Daikyo fell on his Japanese Banks economic sword. He ended up selling all his holdings and the Government was left holding the empty bag.

    The State Government administer the land on our behalf, the same way as the Cairns International Airport. The Cairns Yacht Club own the building. In this day of enlightenment one would think the Government would hand over the land and comply with the wishes of the people.

    That is wishful thinking – you haven’t been listening. Does the Cairns Base Hospital or Mugabe mean anything to you when we speak about politicians?

Local Cairns historian, Ray Taylor says...

  • "The place provides an insight into the Australian pioneering spirit. It is an example of how people, having gained a toe-hold in what was then, a remote, difficult and hostile environment, addressed and sustain the social and sporting needs of a fledgling township.

    It is a historic yard stick of the effects of worldly, economic and climatic events of the last century when viewed through its sporting and social activities, starting from the earliest days of Cairns to the present day.

    It is a historical local link that enables one to trace the source of that unique Australian attitude to sport and fair play that is recognised throughout the world, and in this lies its significance.

    Located on Trinity Inlet with its own sand beach, it provides one of the few remaining views, available to all from its full width veranda, across the water to the lush green mangroves that fringe the softer green mountains of the Murray Prior Range.

    It possesses Cairns CBD's last natural sand beach site.

    The structure has an external cladding of corrugated iron, that, unlike modern concrete structures, lends itself to the classical romantic view of what many people perceive to be the tropics. Within its walls will be found recorded history in the form of trophies, cups, honour boards, photographs, minutes of meetings and other memorabilia.

    The ambiance within is classically tropical. It is proud of its local timber dance floor, that has supported the social needs of the community over the years.


Anonymous said...

My feet are wet. What shall I do?
I cried because of the hole in my shoe.
I cried and cried till I saw a boy who had no feet!
So I asked him if he had any shoes he didnt want.!

Now that don't rhyme but its true! (Ask Desley).

Sock it to them!!

Regards Rob

Anonymous said...

the yacht club is one if not the only reminder of what lifestyle cairns and its people enjoyed befor serious tourist development occurred. It is the type of place people who travel the world seek out to experience the history of a destination, which of the recent past have become too few. The Cairns Port Authority should put historical culture before capital development so that all who wish to can experience a glimpse of our past in its rightfull setting!!!

john e