I rise today to boast, if you like, about outstanding achievements in my beautiful city of Cairns. Cairns is set to become Australia's major hub for maintenance and sustainment work on the Australian Navy and industry ships after the government delivered on its $24 million election promise. Just over a week ago, I announced that Norship Marine, BSE Cairns Slipways and Tropical Reef Shipyard will receive around $8 million each under the Community Development Grants Program. The funding will be used to upgrade the Cairns Marine Precinct, improving its capability and capacity to secure government contracts and maritime maintenance and refits well into the future. Upgrade work will include the construction of more than 170 metres of new wharf areas; electrical, fire and security system upgrades; hardstand resurfacing; 135 metres of extensions to existing slipway rail; and new workshops. This will sustain immediate construction jobs in our city and create new jobs for generations to come.
Norship is already looking to employ and train more workers and apprentices to facilitate its long-term growth. BSE is expecting its defence, commercial and tourism fleet operations will grow due to the increased level of service it will be able to provide to its customers Tropical Reef is confident that, once operational, the upgrades will increase its capability by 30 per cent and create 20 new positions, which will increase to 50 on realisation of the benefits created by this significant investment. At present Tropical Reef is the only shipyard in Cairns capable of docking ships up to 100 metres and weighing up to 3,000 tonnes.
This funding will begin immediately for the marine precinct and it's just the beginning, I tell you. I'm now focusing on developing a business plan to build a common user facility within that precinct, with a 3,000-tonne synchrolift capable of lifting out up to six vessels at any time and placing them on hardstand. This is targeted primarily at the new offshore patrol boats that are currently being constructed in Western Australia. This will see Cairns develop as the largest sustainment and maintenance hub in northern Australia, and it puts us in a strong position to be able to compete for even more maintenance work throughout the entire South-East Asian region. Engineering consultants were in Cairns on the day of our announcement to begin scoping out for the best location and costings for building this new shared facility, and we're also looking at having the synchrolift itself manufactured in Cairns.
The Cairns marine precinct is critical both for the future growth of our economy and, of course, for jobs. While it puts us in a very strong position for future defence contracts, it also will build capacity within the precinct to tender for additional work across a broad spectrum of marine industries, from superyachts to white boats to fishing to tourism—and we have here Mr John Heuvel, who is a great marine tourism operator in our region. Welcome to Canberra, Mr Heuvel. I'm glad you are here to see the benefit of what we're creating here. There are also coastal trading vessels and even vessels from the US Pacific Fleet—smaller vessels—currently being maintained in Cairns.
An economic report conducted by the defence department has found that the economic multiplier of the Cairns Defence Precinct is 2.25—that is, for every dollar spent, another $1.25 of overall economic value is indirectly generated. For every two full-time equivalent defence positions in our region, approximately one extra full-time equivalent is created somewhere else in the economy. So, it's very good news for us, and this is on top of $420 million that the government has committed for HMAS Cairns over the next 20 years, and we're looking to accelerate that. We have a commitment for three of the new offshore patrol boats to be based in Cairns. We're certainly working hard to increase that number, hopefully up to six, which is going to make a huge difference for our area. We already have $400 million worth of maintenance over the next 30 years on the up to 21 Pacific patrol boats. That will be done in our precinct. So I think that this is really good news for our area. It diversifies our economy and creates great opportunities into the future to be able to compete not only nationally but internationally as well. We can certainly give the shipyards in Singapore and others a run for their money.
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