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THE first con­cept im­ages of the $176m over­haul of the Cairns Con­ven­tion Cen­tre have been re­vealed by Queens­land Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt.

Once com­pleted in 2019, the cen­tre is ex­pected to at­tract an ex­tra 25 large con­ven­tions per year through the ad­di­tion of a new 3,000m2 ex­hi­bi­tion hall and sup­port­ing ple­nary space.

One of the key fea­tures of the multi-mil­lion dol­lar makeover is a sweep­ing floor-to-ceil­ing glass atrium that will wel­come del­e­gates into the venue.

The atrium will cre­ate an arc ex­tend­ing out to Wharf St, where the pre­ferred site of the new ex­hi­bi­tion hall is lo­cated.

Pitt said the ex­pan­sion project was part of the re­vival of the Cairns city cen­tre.

“I want it to make a last­ing im­pres­sion on in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors so that they go home rav­ing about the con­fer­ences and events we host,” he said.

Cairns Con­ven­tion Cen­tre gm Ross Steele es­ti­mates the new ex­hi­bi­tion space will add $30m in ad­di­tional eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the re­gion each year.

Con­struc­tion will be­gin af­ter the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games.

MEAN­WHILE Cairns will host Queens­land’s big­gest an­nual gath­er­ing of the in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing (IET) in­dus­try in May 2018.

It will be held just be­fore the Cairns Con­ven­tion Cen­tre ren­o­va­tions be­gin.

The in­au­gu­ral IET was held this year on the Gold Coast and at­tracted more than 320 in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

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