Palm Cove Promenade – The Logic

  • Cairns Regional Council predicts that the Cairns population will increase from 165,000 to 265,000 by 2050.
  • Cairns residents visit Palm Cove Beach more often than any other beach in Cairns. Based on the Council prediction we can expect an increase of 60% from Cairns residents and their visiting friends and relatives.
  • Palm Cove is also a tourism destination for domestic and international visitors, so depending on how successful TNQ marketing is into the future that may also add to the numbers by 2050.
  • There are already incidents of ‘road rage’ on the esplanade as cars, trucks, buses and coaches try to share the narrow road.
  • The most recent Council Master Plan for Palm Cove is for two-way traffic to continue.  This is unsustainable.
  • Part of the new Master Plan includes creating pedestrian crossings and removing some car parking to make it safer for pedestrians.
  • There is no plan for improving the experience for motorists or commercial vehicles.
  • One way traffic is not an option because the esplanade would need to be re-gazetted and it isn’t wide enough to meet the current specifications for one-way traffic let alone two way.
  • In 1992 the architect/designer who designed and built the current paved and contoured esplanade published a Palm Cove Strategy Plan which required fully pedestrianising the esplanade to create Palm Cove Promenade.
  • That 1992 plan recommended that traffic be diverted through Oliva St. There were also suggested car parking options in that plan.
  • All of the Palm Cove waterfront is zoned ‘Tourism Accommodation’. In addition to meeting the needs of Cairns residents, Council has a responsibility to take tourism businesses into account when designing a waterfront experience for Palm Cove. There is nothing in the current Palm Cove Landscape and Streetscape Master Plan to help businesses promote Palm Cove in this respect.
  • In addition to the obvious improvement that a Palm Cove Promenade experience would bring for people on foot or on personal transportation devices, the Promenade would provide Palm Cove tourism businesses with a unique, appealing and sustainable profile in the domestic and international tourism marketplaces.
  • It is unlikely that it will get easier to make this change in the future. This is why the current Palm Cove Streetscape and Landscape Master Plan needs to be revised to accept the reality that the future of Williams Esplanade is Palm Cove Promenade.
  • This revision needs to include private land so that vehicle access from the west via Lot 100 to Caryota Close and French St can be implemented.  The revision also needs to include all of Palm Cove so that, among other things, a worthy Captain Cook Highway entry statement can be actioned.

A promenade is the ONLY option.