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8 April, 2021

Land is secured for the expanded Cairns Marine precinct

PORTS North has acquired 2.8 hectares of land in Portsmith to support the planned expansion of the Cairns Marine Precinct (CMP). The land acquisition is a key step in the Queensland Government’s $30 million election commitment to build two new wharves for the Port of Cairns.

Two new wharves will be located in Smith’s Creek and at Commercial Fisherman’s  Base No 2.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the new wharves will expand the capacity to carry out in-water maintenance on vessels used by the Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force.

“Building these wharves will create 150 construction jobs in the short-term, but the longer-term employment opportunities that come with expanding the Cairns Marine Precinct are really exciting,” Mr Healy said.

“We’re funding a business case to develop this precinct as a key centre for maintaining and repairing large defence vessels.

“That  business  case  will investigate  the  manufacture  of commercial  vessels  required  for servicing the region that would bring more jobs to the city.

“There is an existing skilled work force, contractor  base and infrastructure  within the Cairns Marine Precinct to not only expand opportunities  for more vessel maintenance, but to also to explore the possibility of building vessels here one day too.”

The  initiative  also  aligns  with  the  Government’s  Defence  Industries  10-year Roadmap  and Action Plan which focuses on growing employment  capability in the state and supporting Queensland defence firms to access new opportunities and create new jobs.

Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said engineering, design and advisory company, Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd, have started work on the CMP’s early works and construction tender documents.

“This is an important project for our vital marine precinct which will build on the new wider and deeper shipping channel which was successfully  completed last year,” Mr Beer said.

Mr Beer said a separate master planning process for the Port of Cairns, which is intended to facilitate forward planning out to 2050, is due to be completed within six months.

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