Cairns Regional Council has approved the demolition of the remnants of the heritage-listed Rex Theatre.
At today’s Council meeting, Councillors acknowledged that the heritage value of the building’s façade had been significantly diminished by unapproved demolition – which is the subject of legal action launched by Cairns Regional Council this month.
Division 7 Councillor Max O’Halloran said it was a shame that such a significant piece of Cairns’ history had been lost.
“There are a lot of people disappointed at what has occurred on this site,” Max O’Halloran said. “The Rex Theatre held memories for many people and is a part of our city’s history. It is a condition of the demolition that any new development on that site recognises the history of the previous building, be it through a plaque, building name or otherwise.”
The Rex Theatre was identified in the CairnsPlan as a Local Heritage Site, unlike the 103-year-old waterfront Cairns Yacht Club that was demolished by the Labor State Government three years ago.
Mayor Bob Manning said the decision to allow full demolition was necessary.
“We really had no choice, considering the extent of the demolition that has already taken place,” Bob Manning said. “The structural integrity of what is left of the façade is cause for concern and complete demolition is considered to be the most appropriate option.”
A complaint lodged by Cairns Regional Council in relation to the unapproved demolition is expected to be mentioned in the Cairns Magistrate Court on August 16th.