Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 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 told parliament 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 $300m the Federal government committed in November 2017 will start flowing,” the Premier said.

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“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 $3bn nationally and we want to make sure Cairns businesses can plan ahead and prepare to get their share of that.”

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