LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has highlighted in Parliament the opportunities that will come out of Cairns hosting the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in September.
Mr Entsch was speaking on a Private Member’s Motion put up by Teresa Gambaro MP, the Member for Brisbane and the city hosting the G20 leaders meeting in November.
“There is no doubt that hosting these meetings is a massive coup for Queensland,” Mr Entsch said.
“The Cairns meeting on 20 and 21 September will bring about 2,000 people to our city, including the finance ministers and treasurers of the world’s strongest economies, international and domestic media, and staff and representatives of organisations such as the United Nations.”
Mr Entsch congratulated the Cairns business community, Cairns Regional Council and the State Government, who have jumped on board to ensure that the region is showcased to the best of its ability.
“Visiting Cairns last year, Treasury heads described Cairns as an ‘exotic and exciting destination for our guests’, and there is no doubt that the economic benefits to – and exposure of – our region will be significant,” Mr Entsch said.
“We have so many assets-a temperate climate, an incredible natural environment, a cosmopolitan city, a broad array of tourism activities-all combined with warm and hospitable service.”
Mr Entsch highlighted a 2010 University of Toronto report which measured the economic benefits of previous G20 and G8 conferences. While it found that the host city received benefits in the short term from tourism, accommodation, plane fares and ‘advertising’, in the longer term the benefit was from business investment.
“Interestingly, the authors of the study found that the economic benefits were bigger for the cities with a lower international profile. This bodes well for Cairns.”
Representatives of the 24 countries involved, including the US, China, Japan, Germany and the UK, will start arriving two weeks beforehand, while the bulk of visitors, including up to 100 media, will arrive two days before. Mr Entsch also welcomed the Prime Minister’s initiative to encourage partners and spouses to travel up to Cairns.
Already, 2,000 rooms have been booked at the five top hotels in Cairns, extending to Palm Cove, for the heads of delegation, delegates, and Queensland Police Service, Comcar and Commonwealth staff, in contracts worth more than $2 million.
“According to the G20 website, most local jobs working at the event will be with our local service providers such as venues, catering providers and accommodation.
“Businesses in the immediate vicinity of the Cairns Convention Centre area will be able to take advantage of having thousands of international visitors in the area. Many others will be involved through G20 service providers, including venues, transport, accommodation and security.
“Closer to the date, local services such as labour hire, interior design, local performers, AV services and transport and IT services may be needed.
“I would urge any locals or businesses who are interested in assisting to keep an eye on the Cairns Post, the G20 website, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, the AusTender website and other online channels.”
Mr Entsch said that internationally, Australia’s mission to use its leadership of the G20 to drive global growth was being well received.
“Here in Cairns, we are certainly on the cusp of a very exciting time and I am looking forward to the G20 being a real kick-start for our Far North economy and for Queensland’s economy more broadly.”