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Cairns - Ups and Downs

09 May 2011

Dropped into Cairns a few weeks back for the Reptile Rumble – yep that’s a name made up by a man to describe the clash between the Cairns Taipans and the Townsville Crocs of the national basketball league.  It was the last regular game of the season and the outcome would determine who finished where on the ladder.  If Cairns won they would contend the semi final against the Crocs.  If they lost they would head off to New Zealand to take on the minor premiers.  So there was a lot at stake.
Spent part of the day with Val Schier the full time Mayor of Cairns.  She’s full time because she stewards a regional council that is the amalgamation of nine councils and boy does she have a lot on her plate.  What Val is managing makes the Reptile Rumble look tame.  14.8% unemployment, Japanese tourists drying up due to the earthquake tragedy and the rest of the town soggy due to unseasonal wet weather including Cyclone Yasi.  Things had just looked like they were getting back to normal following SARS, GFC and other TLAs then this.
So while I’m completely impartial as the Chair of Basketball Australia I am very pleased for Cairns that the Taipans have come through the semis and will contest the final of the NBL.  Backs against the wall following a loss in New Zealand in game one but a full house of 5,500 fans for sudden death game two in Cairns on Easter Sunday.  By the time you read this the result will be known.  May the best team win.
Cairns is a community team, the council provides them a financial guarantee, local business sponsors them and local individuals put in the money to get the team kicked off.  They deserve their team and they deserve this year’s success.
So if you are thinking of a place to holiday and you haven’t done the reef and the rainforest I know Cairns will love to see you – I stayed at the Sebel and it is fabulous with a super spa – have the salt scrub for an all over clean.  And if you go during basketball season – October to April – check out the Taipans it’s a great night out.