Ed­i­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK - Greg Mclean Manag­ing ed­i­tor

THE ar­rival of more than 2500 of the world’s most prom­i­nent co­ral reef sci­en­tists to Cairns this week is an in­di­ca­tion of just how im­por­tant David Mar­riner’s pro­posed con­fer­ence cen­tre would be for our lo­cal econ­omy.

While there has been no word yet from ei­ther the Mar­riner camp or Camp­bell New­man’s State Gov­ern­ment about the prospects of the Premier chip­ping in to help build the lav­ish con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre on the grounds of the Sher­a­ton, the sheer scale of this week’s reef sym­po­sium is re­ally quite stag­ger­ing.

No mat­ter how hard you tried, your chances of get­ting a ho­tel room in Cairns this week would have been vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent.

You might have had to tap on the win­dow of a Wicked campervan down at the Es­planade and asked for the front seat if you had to be there.

Ho­tels and re­sorts were beg­ging, bor­row­ing or steal­ing rooms off each other to smooth over their over-book­ings and for once, if you walked the streets of Cairns, you felt a buzz in the air from traders.

It is high time both the State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments sit down and have a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion about their com­mit­ment to tourism in this re­gion.

The in­dus­try con­trib­utes not just to the econ­omy, but Aus­tralia’s rep­u­ta­tion, and it’s time for a hand up.

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