Local jobs across the Cairns commercial shipping and maritime industries will be further supported by recently completed upgrades to the Cairns marine precinct.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who officially opened stage one of the precinct today, said the Federal Government’s $24 million investment had boosted economic growth in the region and supported the expansion of the marine tourist market.
He said the three marine precinct operators, BSE Cairns Slipway, Tropical Reef Shipyard and Norship Marine, had also matched the funding, bringing the total investment to nearly $50 million.
“The project will improve industry competitiveness, drive innovation and ready Cairns marine businesses to bid for future contracts, supporting local jobs,” Mr Entsch said.
“The upgrade will continue to stimulate economic activity and provide more employment opportunities in the maritime and construction industries while helping the marine tourist market to grow.”
Mr Entsch said the upgrades were critical to the fabrication, maintenance and repair of commercial and naval vessels.
“This is a strategically important upgrade to the wharves, dock areas and other infrastructure as it allows for faster turnaround for vessels, meaning more time at sea,” Mr Entsch said.
“It ensures Cairns and Far North Queensland remains a marine maintenance hub for years to come.
“Our region has a proud history of supporting the Royal Australian Navy and Border Force’s ongoing requirements and this upgrade will see that continue.”
BSE Cairns Slipway owner Justin Parer said support from Mr Entsch and the Federal Government for the marine precinct had directly kick-started a new dawn for the industry in Far North Queensland.
“We are well and truly on the map now and are looking to make further investment in capability, as we see a very bright future,” he said.
“This piece of infrastructure will end up providing jobs, support Australia’s border security and support the tourism industry and northern Australia.”