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Cairns on track to become a ‘silicon beach’

29 May 2017

Local entrepreneurialism boom spurred by connectivity 

Cairns has been named one of the nation’s top entrepreneurial hotspots according to leading KPMG demographer Bernard Salt. 

Commissioned by nbn, the Cairns Lifestylepreneur report reveals there has been a four per cent uplift in local small businesses (5-19 employees) in the last two years in part due to the region’s increased connectivity through access to fast broadband.

The research reveals small businesses are embracing digital technologies to expand in new markets and highlights key pockets such as Yorkeys Knob (up 58 per cent), Brinsmead (up 50 per cent) and Bentley Park (up 31 per cent) leading the charge.

While hospitality remains the backbone of the local economy, small businesses in media and IT industries have

shown exponential growth in the last two years (up 100 per cent) as more creative entrepreneurs flock to Cairns.

KMPG Demographer, Bernard Salt said:

“Small businesses in Cairns have always had an inherent resilience as they have never been offered the natural support of a capital city job market – businesses must make a go of it or go out of business.

“The growth in Cairns is underpinned by an entrepreneurial energy as baby boomers look to reinvent themselves and young start-ups pursue their business venture in a town known for its laidback lifestyle.

“The tyranny of distance is fading with greater connectivity allowing Australians to work from wherever they choose to meaning business owners are now empowered to expand their operations and connect with suppliers and customers from anywhere in the country.”

nbn’s Head of Business, Ben Salmon said:

“Job growth, innovation and opportunity are no longer restricted to businesses within the major cities as the nbn™ network provides small and medium businesses similar access to their big city counterparts.

“As the rollout of the nbn™ network ramps up within Cairns and surrounding regions, we are seeing Australian businesses maximise their productivity and improve their work-life balance by embracing new technology powered by access to fast broadband.”

Co-founder of KoalaSafe, Adam Mills said:

“When I was given the opportunity to move KoalaSafe to Queensland I was excited at the prospect of living and working in a lifestyle-oriented region like Cairns while staying connected to our Silicon Valley headquarters in the United States.

“Communication with our remote team and cloud-based software requires a fast and reliable internet connection so I had to be sure the region’s infrastructure could support our global business needs.

“Knowing that I could connect to nbn™ network in Cairns meant I could get the benefits of a lifestyle location without sacrificing the needs of the business.”

There are almost 100,000 homes and businesses that can currently connect to the nbn™ network within the Cairns Regional Council and Douglas Shire Council regions with the final 7,000 premises currently under construction.

Visit the nbn website to learn more about what you need to know before connecting your business to the nbn™ network as well as how to get the best experience out of your internet connection.  

Questions to ask before connecting your business to the nbn network:

  • What business products are offered?
  • Which service providers are available to me?
  • How much data do I need?
  • Will my existing services be affected?
  • Will my devices be compatible?

Media enquiries

Talia Spink
Mobile: 0488 902 436

nbn™ Media Hotline
Phone: +61 2 9927 4200 

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