Business Support

Business Support

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Council's Development Incentive Scheme

A development incentive scheme has been introduced for the Cassowary Coast region, offering a 50 per cent reduction in infrastructure charges for certain developments. The scheme applies to developments approved from 13 December 2016 and completed by 14 December 2018. It largely promotes commercial, industrial and tourism development in different parts of the region but also promotes some infill residential development. The scheme has been introduced to help stimulate investment in the Cassowary Coast region. It is part of a broader investment incentives strategy being developed by Council. Click here to access Council's information sheet on Development Incentives.

Request Form for Reduction in Infrastructure Charges


Launchpad a win for small business in Cassowary Coast 

If you are looking to turn your small business idea into reality, the new Business Launchpad is here to help in the Cassowary Coast region.

The Queensland Government’s Business Launchpad takes the guesswork out of setting up and running your business by consolidating the licences, permits and other important regulatory information you’ll need to open your doors and start trading.

This new digital tool is available to people looking to set up and run a new food and beverage or residential construction small business in the Cassowary Coast area.

With the Business Launchpad you can save time and effort by easily identifying and applying for licences from all levels of government. You can:

  • create personalised guides with curated content specific to your business type, location and services
  • sign in to save progress and access your account from any device
  • pre-fill, complete, sign and submit some licensing forms online.

Get started at

  • Here are some helpful tips to setting up your business!

    1. Prepare a business plan - Refer to the Australian Government's Business Entry Point website for more information.
    2. Talk to your local Business Enterprise Centre, Advance Cairns.
    3. Register your business name - Start by downloading an application form from the Queensland Office of Fair Trading website.
    4. Visit SmartLicence for information on registering your business name in Queensland.
    5. Register your website domain name with your internet service provider.
    6. Apply for your Australian Business Number (ABN) online.  At the same time you can register for GST, PAYG withholding and TFN.
    7. Find out about the Council permits and licenses needed for your business. Visit our Permits and Licences page.
    8. Protect your brand with register logos, trademarks etc. by referring to Intellectual Property.
    9. Consider your insurance needs by referring to Business Insurance.
  • is an online government resource for the Australian business community. offers you simple and convenient access to all of the government information, assistance, forms and services you need. It's a whole-of-government service providing essential information on planning, starting and growing your business.

    Phone toll free on 13 28 46 between 8am and 8pm weekdays. Email enquiries are also welcome at

    Australian Taxation Office

    The Australian Taxation Office has a comprehensive guide for small businesses which can be accessed at:

    Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) - Digital Solutions

    Small business owners can get business assistance from accredited industry professionals.  Information can be accessed at:

    Small Business Sensis

    Sensis directories provide information and support for small business:

    TNQ Tourism Small Business Development Program

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland provides business support through workshops, one-on-one mentoring and industry networking opportunities. The program is for businesses or business intenders with less than 20 staff who derive a significant portion of revenue from tourists or operate in a tourism-related industry. Funded by Australian Small Business Advisory Services – Northern Australia Tourism Initiative, an Australian Government initiative. Access information at:

  • Council, various state and federal government agencies and other regional development organisations have established a range of support products to help with establishing, growing and expanding businesses.

    Advance Cairns

    Advance Cairns is the peak coordination agency for economic development in Tropical North Queensland.  Advance Cairns' vision is to develop a vibrant and sustainable regional economy that promotes and facilitates diverse employment, growth, social and lifestyle opportunities.

    Advance Cairns facilitates connections between private enterprise, industry, community and government agencies.

    Advance Cairns undertakes a multi-faceted approach to economic development in Tropical North Queensland and can connect you to investment, employment and lifestyle information on the region.

    Postal:        PO Box 3065, Cairns Queensland 4870, Australia
    Address:     51 The Esplanade, Cairns Queensland 4870, Australia
    Phone:       +61 (0)7 4080 2900
    Fax:            +61 (0)7 4031 3994

    Regional Development Australia FNQ & Torres Strait Inc.

    Regional Development Australia (RDA) is an initiative of the Australian, state, territory and local governments to support the growth and development of regional communities.


  • Government Grants:

    For a comprehensive list of government grants, visit the following websites:

    Finance Options:

    Microfinance and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) is the provision of financial services to low-income clients including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services.

    Below is a list of some of the organisations operating within Australia:

    In addition, through the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, the Commonwealth Government has funded a number of microfinance initiatives, including No Interest Loans©, low interest loans, and matched savings.

    You can find more details on NILSand StepUP (low interst loans) from Good Shepherd Victoria.

    Commonwealth-funded Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity

    The program aims to build financial resilience and wellbeing among those most at risk of financial and social exclusion and disadvantage, and helps people across a range of income and financial literacy levels to manage their money, overcome financial adversity, participate in their communities and plan for the medium to long-term.

    Free Commonwealth Financial Counselling

    Financial counselling helps people in personal financial difficulty to address their financial problems and make informed consumer choices through direct casework, advocacy/negotiation (e.g. with creditors, Centrelink, utility companies, etc.) and community education.

    Directory of services:

    • For Queensland
    • National Financial Counselling Helpline on:1800 007 007

    Council's Development Incentive Scheme

    A development incentive scheme has been introduced for the Cassowary Coast region, offering a 50 per cent reduction in infrastructure charges for certain developments. The scheme applies to developments approved from 13 December 2016 and completed by 14 December 2018. It largely promotes commercial, industrial and tourism development in different parts of the region but also promotes some infill residential development. The scheme has been introduced to help stimulate investment in the Cassowary Coast region. It is part of a broader investment incentives strategy being developed by Council. Click here to access Council's information sheet on Development Incentives.

    Request Form for Reduction in Infrastructure Charges

  • Please use the list below:

    Innisfail Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism

    PO Box 727
    Queensland 4860

    Phone: +61 438 073 535



    Tropical Coast Tourism (TCT)

    The local tourism organisation for the Cassowary Coast and Tropical Coast region.

    TCT promotes the region as a travel destination in Australia and around the world.


    Mission Beach Business & Tourism

    The Manager
    Porter Promenade
    Mission Beach
    Queensland 4852

    Phone: +61 7 4068 7099



    Tully and District Chamber of Commerce

    President - Lisa Godfrey 



    Cardwell Chamber of Commerce

    PO Box 14, Cardwell QLD 4849




    Cassowary Coast Business Womens Network

    The President



    Australian Banana Growers Council 

    PO Box 309
    Brisbane Market QLD 4106

    Ph: +61 7 3278 4786



    The Manager
    Innisfail District Cane Growers Organisation Limited
    PO Box 67
    Queensland 4858

    Phone: +61 7 40632477




    Industry Coordinator Georgie Knight
    6 Still St  (Cnr Still & Richardson Sts)
    Tully, Queensland, 4858

    Phone: +61 7 4068 2255



    Agforce Queensland

    Manager Northern Region
    PO Box 13186
    North Bank Plaza
    Queensland 4003

    Phone: +61 7 3236 3100



    Queensland Aquaculture Industries Federation

    Dr Trevor Anderson

    Phone: +61 7 4725 5310

    Queensland Seafood Industry Association

    Steve Howe

    Glen Murray
    Phone: +61 (0)428 795 087
    PO Box 392
    Queensland 4011


    Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ)

    The regional tourism organisation for Tropical North Queensland, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

    TTNQ promotes Tropical North Queensland as a travel destination around the world.


  • The Cassowary Coast Regional Council Economic Development Reference Group is in the process of re-forming as the new Cassowary Coast Economic Development Inc.

    The reference group was established in late 2010 to improve communication between Council and the local business community.

    Details of the new organisation will be provided here in coming months.

  • The Cassowary Coast region is one of Australia's most significant agricultural production and lifestyle destinations, encompassing over 4,700 square kilometres of beach, waterways, national parks, state forests and bushland as well as coastal village centres and towns.

    The Cassowary Coast has an estimated population of 31,000.

    Situated in Tropical Far North Queensland, the region sits between the cities and associated regions of Cairns and Townsville. The Cassowary Coast region has a strong entrepreneurial spirit with approximately 94% of the registered businesses classified as small.

    The region is open for business and encourages the establishment of new businesses, particularly those that have environmental, economic and social sustainability as core principles. Council is especially interested in attracting industries and businesses that are looking at investing in clean technologies and other new emerging industries that support climate change adaptability, as well as those that require abundant supplies of water and other natural assets.

    The region provides immediate opportunities in the following areas:

    • Eco-resorts, motels, hotels and other resort developments
    • Marine, air and land-based tourist operations
    • Indigenous tourist operations including food, arts and crafts development
    • Alternate energy production (bio-energy, hydro, etc)
    • Value addition to existing crops – sugar, bananas and other tropical crops
    • Plantations for tropical fruits and vegetables
    • Commercial and pleasure-based marine infrastructure, facilities and support services
    • Commercial and pleasure-based aviation infrastructure, facilities and support services
    • Research, development and innovation facilities focusing on tropical expertise and natural environment
    • Education and training facilities
    • Lifestyle aged-care facilities
    • Retail outlets

    Quick facts on investment in the Cassowary Coast region:

    • Untapped growth potential
    • Competitive business operational costs
    • Close proximity to major roads, air, port and rail networks
    • Approximately one hour drive south of Cairns and two hours north of Townsville
    • Part of the broader region providing services to PNG and other neighboring island states
    • Well-established energy and telecommunications facilities
    • Existing infrastructure and available land
    • Willing local workforce
    • Close proximity to a major university and access to local education facilities
    • Long-established primary industry and tourism sectors
    • Vast natural environmental resources
    • Unrivalled lifestyle benefits
    • Access to affordable housing

    More information:

    For more information about investing in the Cassowary Coast, contact Council's Economic Development section:

    Freecall: 1300 763 903

    T: +61 7 4043 8837

    For more information about investing in Queensland, visit the Invest Queensland website.

    For more information about investing in Australia, visit the Australian Trade Commission website.

    Activate Cassowary Coast - Development Incentive Scheme

    The economic activation of the region is an essential element of the core business of Cassowary Coast Regional Council. In particular, Cassowary Coast Regional Council is committed to promoting and encouraging new forms of employment generating business and tourism activity to the region.

    In order to promote and encourage such forms of development, Council has developed four development incentive policies to attract and provide support to projects and businesses that will deliver the greatest economic benefits to the Cassowary Coast and its residents in the long term.

    The incentives range from tangible financial and non-financial support through subsided infrastructure charges, general rate exemptions and development application fees discounts for the construction of certain types of new development and grants for shopfront improvements to existing commercial buildings throughout the whole of the Cassowary Coast region.

    The policies have been developed to ensure that local businesses and licenced tradespeople who specialise in construction, facade and shopfront refurbishment will gain work and the economic benefits generated by the development incentive schemes will stay in the Cassowary Coast region.

    View more more information on the Activate Cassowary Coast - Development Incentive Scheme.

Sustainable Business

  • Council provides the following services to businesses and residents in the Cassowary Coast:

    Waste Transfer Stations

    Council maintains seven waste transfer stations across the Cassowary Coast region:

    1. Bell's Creek – off the Bruce Highway between Silkwood & El Arish
    2. Cardwell – Lawson Drive, Cardwell
    3. Hull Heads – Tully-Hull Heads Road, Hull Heads
    4. Innisfail – Stoters Hill, Quarry Drive, off the Palmerson Highway
    5. Murray Upper – Middle Murray Road, Murray Upper
    6. Tully – Tully Gorge Road, Tully
    7. Wongaling Beach/South Mission Beach – Wheatley Road, Wongaling Beach

    For times of operation, fees etc, and to obtain a list of what is accepted, please contact:

    Council's Customer Service Line: 1300 763 903 or 07 4030 2222

  • EcoBiz

    Council actively promotes the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management's ecoBiz program.

    Most of us want to be more environmentally sustainable but it can be hard to know where to start, especially when you are busy trying to run a business.  EcoBiz is a program designed to help businesses save money and help the environment.

    Adopting sustainable business practices doesn't just mean a healthier planet - it also means a healthier bottom line.

    Details of the program can be found at:

    Far North Climate Smart Business Cluster

    This program is about helping Queensland businesses work together. It helps Queensland businesses team up with a Cluster Leader to identify opportunities and increase knowledge on how to improve energy, water and waste efficiency.

    Details of the program can be found at:

    Climate Smart Business Associations

    Is your association interested in meeting the challenges of climate change?  If so this program is for you.

    Details of the program can be found at: Climatesmart

    Climate Smart Retail

    Is your retail organisation interested in climate change?  See how it can profit from participating in the ClimateSmart Retail Program.

    Details of the program can be found at:

    Eco-efficiency for Queensland Manufacturers

    This is a website providing tools for Queensland manufacturers to be more eco-efficient.

    Details can be found at:

  • For a list of Federal Government support initiatives, refer to the following websites: