Community & Business

29 February, 2024

Public transport top of wish list

PUBLIC transport tops the list of things people would like to see provided on the Tablelands, according to the Express Yourself community survey.

Public transport top of wish list - feature photo

The survey yielded 1032 respondents who were asked what, if anything, they would like to see developed in our region.

Public transport topped the list of desires, and perhaps not surprisingly, given the ageing population in our region and the inability of young people to get around without someone driving them.

That also rings true with the second desire on the list, a modern cinema complex.

Given the region is served by only the Majestic Theatre in Malanda and a drive-in at Mareeba, most people who wish to see the latest film on the big screen with all the mod cons travel to Cairns, or at least, Smithfield.

But with many older people unable or unwilling to do the drive, especially at night, and young people unable to access a cinema easily, it is not surprising it made second on the list.

A large department store complex rated third on the list, followed by a performing arts or concert venue.

The department store choice and the desire for a cinema complex also feeds into why people travel to Cairns.

The survey showed that shopping rated as the second most common reason people travel to the larger urban centre, with medical appointments taking top spot. Entertainment was also a popular reason why people go to the coast at 27%.

Millions of dollars are lost to the Cairns economy every year by people living in the Mareeba Shire and on the Tablelands spending on entertainment, and purchasing electrical and technology products and household furniture as well as clothes and other items not readily available.

When it comes to satisfaction with grocery shopping options up here, 19% of survey respondents remained neutral in their assessment of local supermarkets, 53% gave them the thumbs up, while nearly 29% were either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied.

For other shopping such as hardware, clothing, homewares and tech products, a similar result was recorded, with 47% satisfied or very satisfied, 28% neutral and 25.6% not happy with what’s on offer.

What would you like to see developed in this region?

45% - Public transport

31% - A cinema complex

26% - Large department store complex

21% - A concert/performing arts centre

19% - Higher education

16% - More attractions for tourists

16% - A water slide fun park

16% - Other

14% - Nothing

14% - Ride-sharing services

12% - A dedicated large children’s playground

5.2% - A 5-star hotel/resort

What are the top 3 reasons you travel to Cairns?

81% - Medical appointments

74% - Shopping

47% - See friends or family

27% - Entertainment

18% - Recreation

16% - Dining

14% - Go to the beach

13% - Work

10% - Other (airport, kids sport)

How would you rate food/grocery shopping?

37% - Satisfied

19% - Neutral

19% - Dissatisfied

16% - Very Satisfied

9.2% - Extremely Dissatisfied

How would you rate other shopping (eg: hardware, clothing, homewares, tech products)

41% - Satisfied

28% - Neutral

20% - Dissatisfied

6.5% - Very Satisfied

5.6% - Extremely Dissatisfied


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