Dec 03, 2020

Defence tender sets scene for Cairns jobs boost

Defence tender sets scene for Cairns jobs boost

Defence has opened the tender for an industry partner to help deliver a new Cairns Regional Maintenance Centre to help service the Navy’s fleet of vessels.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Cairns centre would be in place by the end of 2021 to initially sustain Navy’s new Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats.

The Far North Queensland centre is the first of four being established across Australia.

Cairns was already benefiting from the Morrison Government’s unprecedented investment in defence capability, Mr Entsch said.

“This is just another example of Cairns benefiting from the Morrison Government’s $183 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan which is creating jobs in Far North Queensland while delivering vital capability for the Navy,” he said.

“This new Regional Maintenance Centre will increase opportunities for local small and medium businesses in Far North Queensland while building resilient local and regional supply chains.

“With the tender now open, I encourage all Cairns businesses to put up their hand to become part of the Regional Maintenance Provider network.

“Your involvement will shape what we can do to support Navy, while delivering benefits to your local community.”

Mr Entsch said Regional Maintenance Providers would ensure sustainment capability in strategic Navy homeports, and over time will be able to deliver agile and efficient maintenance services on a range of vessels.

“As the only naval base on the eastern seaboard north of Sydney, this government recognises the significant potential for Cairns to play a growing role in the defence of Australia,” he said.

“Greater involvement in the Defence industry will create local jobs and benefit local businesses and the Cairns community.”

The tender is now open and will close on 12 March 2021. Further information is available on the AusTender website.

It comes after major shipbuilder Austal recently acquired BSE Maritime Solutions, including its Cairns operation, for $27.5 million.