Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Cairns Regional Council continues to follow the advice of Federal and State authorities regarding measures aimed at restricting the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Our two key priorities when it comes to day-to-day operations are the safety of our staff and the community, and the continuity of Council services.  As updates are available, they will be listed here. Bookmark this page and check back regularly.

Help stop the spread, protect yourself and keep well

Everyone has a responsibility to stop the spread of coronavirus and 'flatten the curve'. Council urges residents to adhere to Queensland Health coronavirus health advice, which is the leading source of accurate health advice and alerts in Queensland.

The Queensland Health website also has a wealth of information on protecting yourself and others (including the latest social distancing measures and restrictions), keeping well, mental health support, and much more.

Council services, venues and facilities

The majority of Council services, venues and facilities are open.

  • Indoor facilities operate under the one person per four metre square rule
  • Gatherings are limited to 50 people at community halls
  • Gatherings are limited to 100 people at outdoor facilities (eg parks and playground)
  • Residents should adhere to physical distancing by maintaining 1.5m from other people where practical

Performance venues

  • CPAC and Tanks are operating under restricted capacity. See Ticketlink.

Refer to our Closures and service changes page for full details including restrictions.

Current cases, contact tracing and testing


Coronavirus case numbers are provided by the Queensland Government.

There are no active cases of coronavirus in the Cairns Regional Council area.

There have been 27 confirmed positive cases to date.

  • 16 acquired overseas
  • 7 locally acquired, known contact
  • 3 locally acquired, no known contact
  • 1 from interstate
  • 0 under investigation

More information

Information on the current coronavirus status is provided by State and Federal health authorities.


Anyone with a have fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) is encouraged to be tested for COVID-19.

Testing is available at the Cairns Base Hospital Fever Clinic and a drive-through clinic at the Cairns North Community Health Centre. Testing at these sites is by appointment only - phone 4226 4781 to book.

Your doctor is also able to order a test and refer you to a privately operated testing clinic . If you are unwell and you meet the above criteria, you should contact a doctor immediately.

COVIDSafe app

The Australian Government is encouraging residents to download the COVIDSafe app to their mobile phone.

The app helps health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). COVIDSafe is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (Android devices).

Downloading the app is voluntary. The Government says 40 per cent of Australians will need to download the app for it to be effective.

For more information on the app, how it works and privacy visit the Australian Government website.

Closures and service changes - Council facilities

The Queensland Government has brought forward "Stage 3 of its Roadmap to easing Queensland restrictions." These relaxed rules come into effect at noon on Friday 3 July.

Please check back regularly for updates.

The status listed below will remain in effect until further notice.  Users should adhere to physical distancing measures, good hygiene practices, be vigilant of 100-person limits and follow the direction of any signage.

Facility status:

Venue or serviceStatusDetails
Animal pound OPEN Customers are encouraged to pay via contactless credit/debit card where possible.
Active Living (free fitness classes) OPEN
  • Classes capped at 100 people
  • Participants must provide personal details for contact tracing purposes
Barlow Park OPEN* * Casual athletics only
Basketball courts (public) OPEN  
BMX tracks OPEN  


Beaches OPEN

Beaches and Council facilities on the foreshore are open for recreational purposes (swimming, exercising, picnics, barbecues etc). Social distancing rules apply; maximum 100 people per gathering.

  • Gardens remain open; people must adhere to social distancing measures.
  • Centenary Lakes Nature Play space - open
  • Conservatory - open
  • Cafes open for takeaway only
  • Bird Watching and Gardens and Heritage Precinct Heritage tours recommenced.
  • Gardens tours - open
  • Other tours and events suspended
  • Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre - open
  • Watkins Munro Martin Conservatory - open

Gatherings limited to 100 people within a group.

Buy Back Shop OPEN  

All public facilities on the Cairns Esplanade are OPEN.

Social distancing rules apply: maximum 100 people in a group.

  • Capacity limits according to one person per four metres square rule
  • Computer stations and study areas - open
  • Users must provide personal details for contact tracing purposes
Cairns Performing Arts Centre RE-OPENING 11 JULY WITH RESTRICTIONS

Live performances from 11 July. Audience numbers limited to comply with Queensland Government Stage 3 Covid guidelines. Tickets from Ticketlink.

Council camping grounds OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS

    Users must provide contract tracing details.

  • Bramston Beach campground -  OPEN
  • Babinda Rotary Park campground* - OPEN
  • Babinda Boulders campground* - OPEN
  • Greenpatch (Gordonvale) campground* - OPEN

*Capacity capped to ensure social distancing can be maintained.


Funerals attendance restrictions apply as set by the Queensland Government.

Maximum of 100 people excluding celebrant/clergy and staff.


Council is accepting hall hire bookings for groups up to 50 people.

Customer Service Centres OPEN

Customer services centre are now open.

Online services:

  • Payment of bills
  • Renewing registrations
  • Payment of fines
  • Reporting a problem
  • Making applications

Some annual events have been cancelled. But more and more Council and community events have started up.

See the upcoming events listing for details

Green Gyms (exercise equipment in parks)  OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS

Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.

Green Space Our Place volunteers program

Lake Morris OPEN  
Lagoon OPEN

Gatherings limited to a maximum 100 people within a group in the Lagoon and on the parklands.

Markets VARIED
  • Esplanade Markets - CANCELLED
  • Tanks Markets - OPEN with social distancing rules in place
Muddy’s Playground OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.
Munro Martin Parklands OPEN

Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.

Playgrounds OPEN

Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.

Public drinking water facilities OPEN  
Public toilets OPEN  
Recreation areas: (beaches, parklands and natural areas not within National Parks) OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS
  • Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.
  • Barbecue facilities - open
  • Toilet facilities - open
Recreation areas within National Parks OPEN  
Siren Testing POSTPONED

Live testing of the outdoor early warning stations in Redlynch, installed as part of Council’s Copperlode Falls Dam Emergency Action Plan, scheduled for Thursday April 16, has been postponed.

Skate parks OPEN

Gatherings limited to a maximum of 100 people within a group.

Swimming pools VARIED
  • Babinda pool - CLOSED for winter
  • Gordonvale pool - OPEN with restrictions
  • Woree pool - OPEN with restrictions
  • Tobruk Memorial Pool - OPEN with restrictions
  • Marlin Coast (Smithfield) pool - OPEN with restrictions
  • Sugarworld Adventure Park - CLOSED

Performances have recommenced under a COVID safe plan.

Check the CPAC and Tanks websites for details. Tickets from Ticketlink.

Tennis courts (public) OPEN  
Ticketlink OPEN 
Walking tracks (including Arrow tracks) OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS

All walking tracks and trails, including the Arrow tracks in Whitfield, are open with restrictions. Social distancing applies.

Movement and gatherings

Easing of restrictions

The Queensland Government's step-down approach to eased restrictions contains staged plans.

From noon on 3 July the following is allowed:

Family, friends and community

  • Private, non-commercial (e.g. home) gatherings of up to 100 with friends and family
  • Weddings and funerals, maximum 100 people
  • Museums, art galleries, libraries and historic sites, 1 person per 4m2
  • Sport, recreation and fitness organisations (COVID Safe Industry Plan)
    • Resumption of activity including competition and physical contact is permitted on the field of play
    • Indoor sports facilities can open with 1 person per 4m2 (off the field of play)
    • Outdoor sports facilities can open with physical distancing (off the field of play)

Business and economy

  • Maximum number of customers for a business at any one time is 1 person per 4m2
  • For venues below 200m2, businesses can have one person per 2m2 up to 50 persons at a time
  • The following businesses and areas may re-open with a COVID Safe Plan:
    • casinos, gaming and gambling venues (including electronic gaming machines)
    • non-therapeutic massage
    • saunas and bathhouses
    • nightclubs
    • food courts


  • Concert venues, theatres and auditoriums, up to 50% capacity or 1 person per 4m2 (whichever is the greater), with a COVID Safe Plan
  • More events allowed:
    • fewer than 500 people – no approval needed when following a COVID Safe Event Checklist
    • 500 to 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by local public health units
    • over 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer

COVID Safe Industry Plans continue to apply with revisions to reflect changes in Stage 3. COVID Safe Checklists continue to apply.

More information

Movement and Gatherings

Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings

For more information on these regulations, or to report a breach, contact Queensland Health by phone on 13 4 COVID (13 4 26843), use their online form or email

Queensland borders

The Queensland border has reopened to anyone from New South Wales*, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The border is closed to non-Queensland residents who have been in a hot spot* in the past 14 days. 

Current hot spots:

  • All of Victoria
  • Greater Sydney

From 1am on Saturday 8 August all of NSW and the ACT will become hot spots.

Queensland residents returning to the State (and exempt people) who have been in a hot spot in the past 14 days will need to quarantine in a State-assigned hotel, at their own expense, unless they can prove that they have been in quarantine for the 14 days prior to entry.

Quarantine costs:

  • $2,800 for 1 adult
  • $3,710 for 2 adults
  • $4,620 for 2 adults and 2 children.

Anyone entering Queensland, including Queensland residents, will need a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. This includes agreeing to get tested for COVID-19 if you develop any symptoms within 14 days of arrival.

More information

Travel to remote communities

All travel restrictions, including entry and quarantine requirements, have been removed from all of Queensland’s remote communities.

The whole of Queensland now operates under the Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions.

Staying home, movement and gatherings

Eased restrictions from 11 May:

People can leave their principal place of residence to attend:

  • community kindergarten, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 or Year 12 of schooling;
  • Years 2 to 10 of schooling if schooling cannot reasonably be provided from home e.g. children of essential workers.

Eased restrictions effective from 10 May:

  • you are allowed to leave your house to visit someone else at their house.  Households can have two visitors from the same or different households, or up to five visitors from the same household, regardless of how many people live there.
  • Travel advice regarding Mother's Day is contained in the Queensland Government's A message to Queenslanders this Mother's Day

Eased restrictions effective from 2 May:

Residents may travel for recreation purposes within a 50km radius of their principal place of residence. People may conduct these activities with members of their immediate household (people who normally live together) or as an individual with one other person.

Activities that will be permitted include:

  • Go for a picnic (as a household or as an individual with friend)
  • Visit a national park
  • Drive a car, ride a motorbike, jet ski, go boating or other vehicle for pleasure
  • Teach someone in your household how to drive
  • Shop for non-essentials as long as you maintain a 1.5 metre distance

Essential goods and services

You are able to leave the house to obtain essential goods and services, which is limited to those goods and services needed for the necessities of life and operation of our society.

  • To obtain essential goods and services
  • Receive medical treatment, health care or social services including employment services, domestic and family violence services, and child protection services
  • Exercise (with one other person, or members of your family)
  • Do work or volunteering that is essential and cannot be done from home (this is any type of work that is not restricted under the latest ‘non-essential business activity and undertaking closure’ direction)
  • Visit another person’s house (visitor limits apply)
  • Visit a terminally ill relative or attend a funeral (funeral attendance limits apply)
  • Assist, care for or support immediate family members
  • Attend Court or tribunal or comply with a Court or tribunal order
  • Attend a childcare facility, school, university, or other educational institution to receive instruction that is not possible to receive at home
  • Assist with an investigation by police or other law enforcement authority
  • All shared custody arrangements of children under 18 years of age, whether informal or court-ordered, can continue as normal. You are allowed to leave the house to take children from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home
  • To avoid illness, injury or the risk of harm
  • To comply with directions of a government agency
  • To donate blood

If you need to go out, maintain a 1.5m distance from other people wherever practical.

People in the following at-risk groups are encouraged to stay home as much as practical for their own protection. It is also strongly discouraged to visit people in these groups.

  • People aged 70 or over
  • People aged 60 or over with a chronic illness
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 with a chronic illness

More information


The following fines apply to breaches of home quarantine and social distancing breaches.

If a person does not comply with quarantine directions, penalties of up to $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations may apply.

Police can also issue on the spot fines of $1334.50 for individuals and $6,672.50 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions.

Home Medicines Service

The Home Medicines Service is a temporary program for people in home isolation and for vulnerable patient groups who wish to limit their potential exposure to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community. It provides home delivery of medicines from any pharmacy approved to dispense and supply Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) medicines.

You can order other items to be delivered to you from the pharmacy, if it is part of the same order.  This includes over-the-counter painkillers, tissues and hand sanitizers - but these must be combined in a single delivery with one or more PBS/RPBS medicines.

The Home Medicines Service provides for one, no-cost delivery per month.  If you need more than one delivery per month, your pharmacy may charge a fee.

  • Speak directly to your pharmacist about ordering your medicines, delivery times, urgent medicine needs and any other questions you have about the Home Medicines Service.
  • Visit the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website for more on the Home Medicines Service including eligibility and consent.

Self isolation

Self-isolation means you must stay at home or in your hotel room for 14 days. You must self-isolate if you:

  • have coronavirus
  • have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020 (at a Government assigned hotel)
  • arrived in Queensland after midday on 3 July if you have been in a declared hotspot in the previous 14 days (at a Government assigned hotel)

If you need assistance, such as delivery of food and essential items, while in self isolation you can call the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349 operated by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Financial and community assistance

Economic support

Council support

To support Cairns residents and businesses, Council has endorsed the Financial Hardship Policy to provide rates and charges assistance (by way of extended payments plans and interest waivers) to those ratepayers suffering financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

To request assistance, complete the Rates hardship relief online form and our Revenue Team will contact you.

Australian Government support

On 21 July, the Australian Government announced changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments. You can read more in this factsheet.

For information, and to apply, for Australian Government financial support visit Services Australia.

Working from home tax deductions

The Australian Taxation Office has announced changes to rules around claiming expenses associated with working from home during Covid-19.

Queensland Government support


The Queensland Government has announced a range of support for renters and landlords including a freeze on evictions and a one-off rental grant for those who have been financially impacted by coronavirus and have no other financial assistance.

The Residential Rental Hub has information for renters, property owners, agents and property managers.

Utilities rebate

The Queensland Government's economic relief package will support Queenslanders’ health, jobs and businesses. For households, the package includes $200 rebate for all Queensland households to offset the cost of water and electricity bills. The rebate will be automatically applied through household electricity bills in the coming months.

For details on financial assistance for Queensland businesses, refer to the Business Queensland portal.

Community sport

The Queensland Government's Return to Play program offers assistance to community sport, recreation and fitness organisations with a range of funding and grants.

Applications for the COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart grant open on March 25. Clubs can apply for $2000 to go toward hygiene supplies, equipment and operational costs for COVID Safe clubs to return to sport.

Mental health support

It's natural to feel anxious or worried at this time.

Beyond Blue has been funded to provide mental health support during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find a wealth of information on their website, or contact the helpline on 1800 512 348.

The Queensland Government also has support for people experiencing domestic and family violence.

Support over the phone is available from these organisations:

Lifeline 13 11 14
Relationships Australia Support and Information1300 364 277
Domestic Violence Hotline (DV Connect)1800 811 811
Kid's Help Line1800 551 800
Parentline1300 301 300
Mensline DV Connect Queensland1800 600 636
Beyond 1300 224 636
13Health (Confidential Health Advice)13 43 25
Gambling Helpline1800 858 858

Community support for elderly, disabled and self-isolating

Food deliveries

The following local service organisations are providing assistance to elderly residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Note: each service agency sets their own eligibility criteria. Services offered are subject to resource availability.

Salvation Army

  • food deliveries to elderly residents and self-isolating only
  • contact the Salvos by phone 1800 173 379 or 4051 2454, or via email:

St Vincent de Paul

  • food deliveries to elderly residents
  • contact Vinnies directly by phone 4032 3201

Meals on Wheels

  • food deliveries on a fee-for-service basis
  • operating at Cairns (4051 1300 ) and Marlin Coast (4055 6016) centres
  • Marlin Coast only operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday


  • food deliveries to elderly residents and self-isolating only
  • Contact Anglicare by phone 0436 608 697

Community Recovery Hotline (Queensland Government)

If you have no other means of getting food or essential items, call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

The hotline has been activated by the Queensland Government to assist people who have been advised to quarantine at home by a medical professional, Queensland Health or through government direction and have no other mechanisms for support.

Government staff will work with partner organisations to arrange non-contact delivery of essential food and medication to people in quarantine with no other means of support.

Business information and support

Help is available from all three levels of government for businesses, employers and employees affected by coronavirus. This information is updated regularly.

Current COVID-19 business scams

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers and businesses across Australia. Scams include impersonating government authorities and legitimate traders, using fake emails or text messages to try and obtain personal data, and investment scams.

  • Visit the Scamwatch website for more information on coronavirus scams and tips on how to protect your business online.

COVID Safe planning

As restrictions ease, all businesses will need to undertake planning to ensure they keep their business, staff and customers safe. All businesses' workplace health and safety plans should include internal strategies to manage COVID-19, and 'high risk' businesses like cafes, restaurants and beauty therapists must meet mandatory requirements and/ or develop a COVID safe plan.

  • Learn more about the requirements for your business at the Queensland Government's COVID Safe Businesses web pages.

Australian Government support

The Australian Government's Coronavirus page is updated regularly with announcements and assistance package information. The Government's business contact centre is staffed from 7am until 11pm: 13 28 46

The Australian Treasury is leading the economic response to the coronavirus

Assistance available from the Federal Government for businesses includes:

  • Jobkeeper payment to support employees and businesses through the outbreak: A payment of $1,500 per employee per fortnight is available to eligible businesses over the next six months with the Job Keeper package.
  • Boosting cash flow for employers: Payments of up to $100,000 available to small to medium-sized businesses, charities and not-for-profits.
  • Recovery support for businesses: Check this Australian Government page regularly to monitor new initiatives, support and information that might assist your business to recover.
  • Backpackers and work visa holders: Information about changes to visa requirements and rules related to Covid-19 can be found at the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses is available in the form of a temporary increase in the minimum threshold for creditors issuing a statutory demand on a company.
  • Wage subsidies to support apprentices and trainees: from early April, people who employ an apprentice or trainee may be eligible to register for a wage subsidy for 50 per cent of the trainee's wages.
  • Commercial leases: The Government has initiated a code of conduct to help landlords and tenants make 'good faith' arrangements for commercial leases, allowing for rent deferrals and reductions. Proportional rent reductions will be based on the tenant’s decline in turnover, therefore sharing burden between landlords and tenants.
  • Casual workers and people experiencing financial hardship who are affected by Covid-19 may be eligible for a Centrelink payment or a one-off crisis payment.
  • Sole traders and households affected by the coronavirus crisis may be able to access income support for individuals in the coming six months. Several forms of income support payments are available.
  • Early access to superannuation might be possible in very limited circumstance.

Queensland Government support and information

The Queensland Government is updating information about assistance packages through its Business Queensland pages. You will find information here about the following:

Council support

Council is has announced a series of measures to assist businesses and generate employment in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • Pumping $2.5 million into the Cairns community by bringing forward maintenance works
  • Fast-tracking of projects in the city:
    • The building of a rock wall minimise erosion on the Esplanade
    • Renewal of the plaza area between the Lagoon and the Esplanade
    • Renewal of footpaths on Abbott, Grafton and McLeod streets
    • Replacement of commercial water metres and water main
    • Road rehabilitation and asphalt overlays
  • Waiving of rental payments for lessees of Council owned and/or managed facilities negatively impacted by the coronavirus
  • Waiving all outdoor dining fees to the end of 2020

Links for job seekers

  • The Federal Government has created a Jobs Hub to help people find advertised vacancies.
  • Queensland Government's Jobs Finder website has been set up to connect qualified recruitment agencies and Queensland people whose employment has been affected by Covid-19.
  • Harvesting work may be available in Far North Queensland. Check here for availability.

Free online training

The Australian Government also presents free webinars to help business owners and managers minimize their risks and manage their business through the COVID-19 disruption.

Other resources for businesses

  • Dive centres in Cairns seeking advice on returning to operations should email: or the relevant regional manager.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has compiled resources to support its members including access to free software and tools to move business online.
  • Cairns Regional Council has a Takeaway and deliveries fact sheet ( PDF, 0.66 MB ) with handy tips to help Fixed Food Business licence holders minimise the risks should they choose to offer takeaway and/or delivery.
  • Restaurant and Catering Australia also has information sheets and resources, including fact sheets about takeaway and pre-packaged meals.
  • Safe Work Australia has information and resources about health and safety in the workplace and Covid-19, including working from home, supporting mental health, and information for small businesses about what to do if an employee contracts coronavirus.

How you can help

Many of us want to support our local community in this difficult time.

We will be updating this page regularly with information from local groups and agencies on how you can best support them and some ideas for bringing a smile to someone's face.


Beware of scams

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers across Australia. Scams include impersonating government authorities and legitimate charities, and using fake emails or text messages to try and obtain personal data.

  • If you are planning to donate, do your research. If you are donating to crowdfunding requests, check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations.
  • If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered and that you are on its official website by searching the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
  • Visit the Scamwatch website for more information on coronavirus scams and tips on how to protect yourself online.
  • Visit the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online website for information on and examples of Covid-19 malicious cyber scams and phishing email attacks.

Donate blood

Red Cross Lifeblood is urging people to donate vital blood and plasma. Travel and venue restrictions do not prevent people from giving blood. Blood donor centres remain open and are strictly regulated healthcare spaces.

It is important to note there is no evidence that coronavirus is transmissible by blood transfusion, and Lifeblood's strict screening process ensures people who are unwell do not donate blood.


GIVIT is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the Queensland Government to coordinate donations of money and goods.

GIVIT is calling for cash donations which will be used to support the work of local Cairns charities. GIVIT has a buy local policy, so your donation will be spent in Cairns, further supporting our community.

  • To donate, visit the GIVIT Covid19 Appeal website for payment options.
  • To make sure your contribution is spent in Cairns, please specify this when making your donation. If you want to give generally to the appeal


The Lifeline warehouse is open and accepting donations of goods.

  • 188 Aumuller Street ( next to the Bungalow Hotel), Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm. .

The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul are not taking any further donated goods. Please do not leave donations at their offices or bin locations.

Home School Savvy (Centacare)

Home School Savvy is calling for donations of any unwanted furniture or equipment such as desks, chairs, laptops, desk top computers, tablets - anything that can be refurbished, reconditioned, cleaned and re-distributed to those who need.

For schools, businesses or people who wish to donate but are not sure how to do so during the current circumstances Home School Savvy will arrange collection, cleaning and delivery to those in need.

You can also contact Home School Savvy if you are needing assistance.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is seeking to raise $2.4 million to support 7 hospital across the region.

Funds will be used for baby ventilators, humidifiers, infusion pumps, syringe drivers, ultrasounds, defibrillators, vital signs monitors, high flow oxygen machines and 100 mattresses.

You can donate online or by calling  4226 6327.

Buy local

With businesses struggling in the wake of coronavirus it's more important than ever to spend locally. The Cairns Chamber of Commerce, supported by Cairns Regional Council, is encouraging residents and businesses to 'Keep in in Cairns' by make a conscious effort to buy local, whether in person or online.

If all of us make just one change to support local suppliers and service providers, we can keep local people in jobs and business.

  • Follow Keep It In Cairns on Facebook for information and offers from local businesses.

Connect with your community

It's easy to feel disconnected from your friends, neighbours and community during self-isolation and social distancing. But people, all over the world, are finding ways to stay in touch. We'll be updating this section with ways you can keep connected in Cairns.

Offering help to elderly or isolated neighbours

Queensland Health has a printable card you can place in the letterbox of those around you eg an elderly neighbour or someone who is self-quarantining.  If they need help - groceries, medical or urgent supplies, posting or collecting mail, or even a phone call - they can reach out to you on the number you provide. You can then leave items on their doorstep to avoid direct contact.

Care Army

The Queensland Government is calling on volunteers for the Care Army.  The Care Army is about bringing Queenslanders together to lend a hand to seniors and people most at-risk who may not have friends, family or neighbours who are able to support them durign the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Find out more and register at the Care Army web page or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.  Background checks will be undertaken as per Volunteering Qld guidelines

Economic response and recovery

A pathway to recovery from COVID-19

In close collaboration with the Cairns COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Sub-Committee, Council has developed the Cairns Pathway to Recovery from COVID-19.  The document summarises the economic impacts of COVID-19 and sets out a four phase plan for economic recovery.

You can download the document here ( PDF, 2.09 MB ) or by clicking on the cover image above.

Submission to the Australian Government to extend JobKeeper in the Cairns region

On 5 June 2020, Cairns Regional Council, together with six Far North Queensland industry/stakeholder groups, made a formal submission to the Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. Christian Porter, requesting that the JobKeeper Payment Scheme be extended to March 2021 for the Cairns region. The submission was supported by Cairns Regional Council; Advance Cairns; Cairns Chamber of Commerce; Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils; Regional Development Australia, Tropical North; Tourism Tropical North Queensland; and Cairns Airport.

A copy of the submission is available here. ( PDF, 1.96 MB )

Economic impact of COVID-19 on Cairns

Council has commissioned independent economic advisory firm, .id Consulting Pty Ltd, to analyse the anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on the Cairns economy.

Download and read a copy of the report ( PDF, 1.21 MB ).

Key findings include:

  • Pre COVID-19, the Cairns economy was strong with Gross Regional Product (GRP) growth above Queensland and Australian averages, and unemployment well below both the state and national levels.
  • Cairns will be one of the most severely affected regions in Australia because its economy is heavily reliant on visitors, tourism and other export sectors.
  • GRP for the June 2020 quarter is expected to drop by $386M (16%) with unemployment forecast to exceed 12%, significantly higher than both the state and national levels.
  • The re-establishment of domestic aviation connectivity and capacity into Cairns is critically important, coupled with investment in destination marketing to fill that capacity. This is what will be required to return the city’s service population to ‘pre-COVID’ levels and get the local economy moving again.

Cairns business survival initiatives identified

Business leaders in Cairns have developed a suite of 10 key initiatives for consideration by Government (Federal, State and Local) in response to the unfolding economic effects from the spread of COVID-19.

The initiatives have been developed by the Economic Response and Recovery Sub-Committee (ERRSC), a group chaired by Cairns Regional Council's Chief Executive Officer, and comprising representatives of business and peak bodies, including Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Cairns Airport, Ports North and others.

The purpose of the ERRSC is to ensure the unique situation, needs and issues of industry and businesses in Cairns are captured and communicated to all levels of Government throughout the crisis.

The ERRSC has also established processes to engage with business and industry more broadly.

The immediate focus of the ERRSC has been to identify the key initiatives required to support business survival – making sure that businesses who have been adversely impacted by travel bans, social distancing and other measures are able to survive the crisis and be in a position to recommence/re-escalate operations once it has passed.

The ERRSC reports regularly to the Cairns Local Leadership Committee (LLC), which is made up of elected representatives: Federal Member for Leichhardt, the Hon Warren Entsch; State Member for Cairns, Michael Healy; and Cairns Mayor Cr Bob Manning.

10 key business survival initiatives

The ERRSC report outlining the recommended 10 key Business Survival Initiatives ( PDF, 0.64 MB ) was presented to this local leadership group on Friday 27 March 2020 and has been distributed through relevant channels of the three levels of Government for consideration. Pleasingly, action has already been taken on a number of the initiatives identified.Council is maintaining and regularly updating a Status Report   ( PDF, 0.56 MB )which tracks action that has been taken on each of the 10 key Business Survival Initiatives.

Preliminary report on stimulus initiatives

The ERRSC has also prepared a Preliminary Report on Stimulus Initiatives ( PDF, 0.18 MB ) into the recommended projects, policy and programs needed to support economic recovery and job creation in the Cairns region over the short to medium term and in response to the impacts of COVID-19.  This report has been provided to the LLC and will also be distributed through other relevant channels to ensure it is given due consideration by all levels of Government.

The ERRSC welcomes suggestions, ideas and input which can be submitted direct to Council’s Economic Development Team at:

Official information sources

Last updated: 27 July 2020