Council will enter into a formal agreement with Ports North to undertake the study for the location of a performing arts centre on the site of the Ports North office building.
Successive Cairns Councils' have commissioned various reports and studies for more than 10 years for a new performing arts theatre complex, costing over $3 million.
The Ports North site is located across Wharf Street, just meters from the waterfront site favoured by former Mayor Val Schier.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the site, adjacent to the Cairns Convention Centre, had been identified as a possible site for a community performing arts centre.
“Council is mindful of the community views on this issue and has progressed its consideration of the matter in a measured and deliberate manner to ensure the right decision is made for the long term,” Bob Manning said.
“The Ports North site warrants further consideration in terms of cost and functionality in the context of a development, which is to be scaled back. A development on this site would not include the requirement for a regional museum, a civic meeting place and the bridge link across Wharf Street but provides the opportunity for exhibition space immediately adjacent to the Cairns Convention Centre."
“For this to happen we are entering into a Heads of Agreement – an arrangement that allows Council and Ports North to work together in this investigative process.”
Manning says Council had not committed to any further action on the site.
“This is not a decision to proceed with a performing arts centre but the outcomes of the feasibility study will be a key consideration for Council to determine its future direction concerning the provision of a facility for the performing arts in Cairns,” Bob Manning says. "Council continues to work with both the Federal and State Governments in attempt to preserve funding arrangements that were previously in place."
The feasibility study is expected to be completed early 2013.