What is the Growth Strategy Framework?

Council has prepared a Growth Strategy Framework as part of the Towards 2050 Shaping Cairns project. This long-range, community-driven project will establish a clear vision and guiding principles for the future growth and development of the Cairns local government area.

The Growth Strategy Framework explains:

  • what's happened so far, how Cairns has grown and how we are delivering the Towards 2050 project
  • what we have heard and found out from Phase 1 and Phase 2 community engagement
  • the 12 technical studies being undertaken
  • how we have developed the guiding principles for the next phase
  • how you can get involved in guiding Cairns' development in 2050.

You can download the full Growth Strategy Framework document to learn more about how we are planning for growth to harness the opportunities of the future.

Guiding principles for the next phase

The Growth Strategy will rely on best practice planning processes supported by extensive analysis and evidence from technical studies and community input.

This Growth Strategy Framework presents a set of guiding principles that have been developed from community feedback. An initial set of 12 draft planning principles were presented, workshopped and prioritised at the Community and Youth Summits in May 2023. This generated a list of 38 principles that were prioritised by Community Summit participants. The project team then analysed and grouped these 38 prioritised planning principles into umbrella themes to arrive at the following 7 guiding principles for the next phase of the Growth Strategy project.

Importantly, the Growth Strategy is also being informed by 12 technical studies, that also are testing these guiding principles, identifying current issues and key implications for Cairns. As the technical studies are finalised, the key findings and implications will be explored and considered holistically. The guiding principles will continue to help shape the Cairns of 2050, being informed by the community on what is important as we accommodate this growth.

Guiding principles for the next step at a glance

Understanding our projected population growth and the changing needs of our community means that we will need to provide housing differently in the future.

Population growth brings with it opportunities to strengthen our economy and support diverse, innovative and emerging trends in employment and industries.

Cultural heritage underpins and enhances our identity, and provides valuable insights and connection to the past.

Cairns is known for its outstanding natural beauty and relaxed tropical lifestyle, with our urban areas set amongst and surrounded by our vast natural environment.

When planning for the future population of Cairns, a key consideration is planning efficient, safe and sustainable infrastructure.

By planning for safety and resilience to hazards, and considering the impacts of climate change, we can make our region a safer and more resilient place to live.

Cairns is defined by its green and blue – the mountain ranges to the west and the ocean to the east.