LOCAL maritime businesses in Port of Cairns may benefit from a common user facility at the Cairns Marine Precinct, enhancing the capability of the region’s maritime industry.
The potential facility was revealed today in the Cairns Marine Precinct Infrastructure Investment Business Case, which delivers on an election commitment and identified investment in the precinct.
“The CMP is already northern Australia’s leading hub for the repair and maintenance of defence, commercial and recreational vessels,” deputy premier and minister for state development Steven Miles said.
“Providing opportunities for industry and local maritime businesses to be more involved in maintenance work, a common user facility and associated infrastructure would be a further boost for local shipyards and would offer additional paint and blast facilities, hardstands and a ship lift.”
The $2 million business case was funded through a $30 million commitment from the Queensland government, and found significant economic benefits would flow from new facilities.
Mr Miles said the business case would support and encourage further investment in infrastructure in the precinct and promote the growth of Far North Queensland.
“The other $28 million of Queensland government funding is already being invested in Ports North acquisition of strategic port land and in new infrastructure to support existing and future common wharf usage.”
He said the investment in Queensland’s economic recovery would help create jobs in the region.
“The CMP and its supply chain employs approximately 4600 people and the Queensland government’s current investment in more wharf infrastructure is expected to create 150 jobs during construction.”
Maritime businesses have heralded the business case for its consideration of local shipyards and other industry stakeholders.
As the Queensland government considers recommendations from the business case, they will assess the potential to pursue joint state and Commonwealth co-investment for the common user facility.
Rear Admiral Simon Cullen, the Queensland government’s strategic defence advisor for maritime, said the Cairns Marine Precinct was of national significance.
He said it is one of the few Australian ports offering potential expansion opportunities for the maritime industry and the Department of Defence.
“Construction of a common user facility would allow local service providers to pursue additional maintenance work from the private sector as well as from the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force,” he said.
“The Department of Defence has been a significant stakeholder in the development of the business case and discussions on defence planning and requirements will continue.”
The Queensland government’s commitment to the precinct aligns with the Queensland Defence Industries 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which focuses on growing capability in the state and supporting Queensland defence firms.