THE Federal Government has confirmed funding of $24 million toward the upgrade of the Cairns Marine Precinct.
Agreements have been signed with Norship Marine, BSE Cairns Slipways and Tropical Reef Shipyard with funding to flow from the Federal Government to undertake a variety of works to increase the capability and capacity of the existing shipyards.
The Cairns Marine Precinct provides facilities and support services to the Australian Defence Force while providing a critical contribution to the local economy and local jobs, according to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
Mr Pyne said the projects would include over 170m of wharf construction, upgrades to electrical and fire systems, workshop construction, security systems, hardstand resurfacing and construction of an additional 135m of slipway rail.
“More than $400 million of maintenance work on the replacement fleet of up to 21 Pacific Patrol Boats will be conducted here,” Mr Pyne said.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the delivery of this commitment would ensure Cairns was well placed to secure additional maintenance and sustainment work for commercial customers and the Royal Australian Navy.
“Over 1,300 people are employed in the shipbuilding, repair and service sectors in the region,” Mr Entsch said.
“This work will sustain immediate construction jobs, and also long term shipbuilding and maintenance work right here in Cairns.”
This $24 million investment is in addition to the Federal Government’s $420 million investment to develop additional wharf space and other support facilities at HMAS Cairns.
While the government is investing in the upgrades, the works themselves will be managed by the shipyards involved.