More aviation jobs are touching down in Cairns, with maintenance provider Jet Aviation Australia benefitting from a facility expansion backed by the Palaszczuk Government and boosted through the state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
The new high-value local MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) jobs are being created in Jet Aviation Australia’s 4000-square-metre hangar, which received support through the government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said there’ll be around 40 extra jobs at the hangar by September because of the expansion, with the potential for more on the way.
“After Qantas agreed to relocate MRO jobs from Singapore to Brisbane, our government is now in discussions with the airline to conduct aircraft maintenance in Cairns,” Mr Dick said.
“This opportunity is only possible because of the extra workspace made available through the expanded hangar, which increased capacity here by 50 per cent.
“An additional 24 heavy maintenance services can now be carried out in Cairns, which has created many new jobs and apprenticeships for the region.
“This has been a boost to the Far North economy and will see us add to the more than 4200 aviation MRO jobs in Queensland.”
Jet Aviation Australia, formerly as Hawker Pacific, has had a presence in Cairns for more than 34 years specialising in aircraft MRO.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said Jet Aviation is already a Cairns success story as a major employer in the city.
“The company have more than 170 north Queenslanders working for them and show a strong commitment to skills and training, having employed 93 apprentices from the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre,” Mr Healy said.
“Our government’s support for the company’s $4.5 million aircraft hangar expansion has enhanced our local aviation maintenance capacity, and in doing so has created more local jobs.”
Jet Aviation Australia Vice President North East Asia and Asia Pacific Ian D’Arcy said the closing of international borders has seen demand for local maintenance services increase significantly.
“Because of this our Cairns operation needs additional maintenance engineers to meet that demand,” Mr D’Arcy said.
In Cairns for the 2021-22 Queensland Budget Roadshow, Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government is focused on growing more jobs in Far North Queensland through a range of major projects and initiatives.
“Our Far North Queensland Budget Regional Action Plan, released with last week’s budget as part of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, outlines the crucial investments our government is making in infrastructure, frontline services, health, education, employment and the environment,” he said.
“We’ve allocated billions for the region this year to grow jobs and industry, and to help businesses as they continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19.
“The budget roadshow that’s underway now allows our government to talk directly with Queenslanders about what’s in the budget for them, their community, and how they’ll benefit from the investments we’re making.
“We’ve got our unemployment rate down to 5.4 per cent, its lowest level in almost a decade, and the Far North Queensland Regional Action Plan is another integral piece of our strategy to keep Queensland moving forward.”
Key investments of the Far North Queensland Regional Action Plan include:
- $1.2 billion for productivity-enhancing infrastructure and capital works supporting around 3900 jobs, including:
- $74 million towards the Cairns Convention Centre to capitalise on the national and international convention markets
- $31.3 million to construct bypass route continuity on the Captain Cook Highway between McGregor Road roundabout and Caravonica roundabout
- $14 million to construct additional lanes for the Cairns Ring Road (Cairns CBD to Smithfield)
- $24.5 million for the Cairns Marine Precinct capital works
- $1.3 billion for Torres and Cape, and Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services, including:
- $46.1 million for construction projects to improve facilities at the Cairns Hospital site, including a new mental health unit and expansion of the emergency department
- $16.6 million for the redevelopment of the Thursday Island Hospital and Primary Health Care Centre
- $22.3 million for construction projects to improve facilities at the Atherton Hospital site, including redevelopment of the hospital
- $51.2 million to maintain, improve and upgrade schools in Far North Queensland, including:
- $5 million to construct a new building for additional learning spaces at Malanda State High School
- $5.2 million to upgrade the administration building at the Edge Hill State School
- $2.4 million to construct additional amenities and learning spaces at the Lockhart State School
- $203.3 million to expand and improve social housing in Far North Queensland as part of the Regional Economic and Recovery Plan
- $59.7 million for capital works to support communities affected by natural disasters
- $7.4 million for the Cairns Police facility upgrade
Mr Dick said an estimated 340 Far North Queensland employers would also benefit from the higher payroll tax threshold in 2021-22, while the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund would unlock employment opportunities across a range of industries.
To learn more about the 2021-22 Queensland Budget, please visit budget.qld.gov.au.