The Morrison Government needs to immediately confirm its plans for the Cairns Marine Precinct, following the identification of Cairns as one of three Regional Maintenance Centres for the Australian Navy.
Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said the federal government had not yet outlined their future defence sustainment and maintenance commitments for Cairns, despite a promise for funding made more than two years ago.
The Premier today told Parliament today that her government was backing the initiative and strongly supports the establishment of Cairns as a regional maintenance centre for the Royal Australian Navy.
She said her government would continue to lobby the Australian Government to secure this job creating opportunity for Cairns which would add another new exciting dimension to the continued diversification of Cairns’ economy.
“We need to know what the final Morrison plan is for the Cairns Marine Precinct and when the $300 million the Federal Government committed in November 2017 will start flowing,” the Premier said.
“We have written to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Federal Member for Leichhardt Mr Warren Entsch MP, asking them to detail their plans to the Cairns marine industry.
“This information is necessary to ensure the Cairns Marine Precinct and its maintenance and repair facilities continue to grow.”
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the industry has the potential to be a multi-million-dollar contributor to the Cairns economy.
“The shipbuilding and repair services industry, including services provided to the Royal Australian Navy, is worth $3 billion nationally and we want to make sure Cairns businesses can plan ahead and prepare to get their share of that,” he said.
“I look forward to receiving confirmation from the Morrison Government of its commitment to the Cairns marine industry so more marine defence maintenance and repair work can be brought forward.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Palaszczuk Government’s Cairns Marine Precinct Growth Strategy, which has been provided to the Australian Government, aims to maximise economic growth and job creation for the marine industry in Cairns.
“The Cairns Marine Precinct has a long history with defence vessels, and ship repair and maintenance on commercial and government vessels that operate in Australian waters,” Mr Healy said.
“There is considerable room for growth in Cairns, with opportunities in the Superyacht industry, naval vessels and fishing fleets.
“Cairns is standing ready to grow our maritime industries.”