The role of Aquis Aware is to raise public awareness, scrutinize validity of the claims made by Aquis proponents, to provide a platform for people to voice their opinions and concerns and to expose the real cost of converting Cairns into a mega gambling destination.
The Queensland State Government and Cairns City Council, key business and industry bodies and the local media are all strongly in support of the $8.15 Billion Aquis Casino Resort Development proposed for Yorkeys Knob on the basis of the perceived economic benefits that it will bring to our region. When the Aquis Casino Development was first proposed, there were a lot of questions and concerns within the Cairns community. Aquis Aware formed in September 2013 when a group of concerned and active citizens came together to find answers to the questions, help voice the concerns of worried residents and address the void in the public discussion. To that end Aquis Aware organized a public forum with a panel of experts who outlined a range of potential adverse impacts of the development which was attended by more than 300 people.
Aquis Aware it is not against development in Cairns, but believes that Aquis is the wrong kind of development. It is in the wrong place – on a flood plain; it is the wrong size – it is Singapore/Macau imposed on the low rise communities of the Cairns northern beaches; and it is the wrong type of development – it will turn the region into a mega-gambling destination bringing social harm associated with gambling. It will irreparably damage our clean, green image and ecotourism industry, which is built on two unique World heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest that attract people from around the world. The Aquis development does not conform to the town planning scheme of the Cairns Regional Council, which never envisaged such development at Yorkeys Knob and Aquis Aware has proposed an alternative more appropriate development in the city of Cairns itself.