Cairns will be home to Defence’s first Regional Maintenance Centre which will deliver a new, innovative approach to the sustainment of Navy’s fleet of vessels.
The centre is one of four that are being established across Australia, boosting defence industry while ensuring the delivery of complex naval capability.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Cairns was already benefiting from the Morrison Government’s unprecedented investment in defence capability.
“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,” Mr Entsch 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 will 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.
“This will provide more stable work packages and remove barriers to entry for local small and medium businesses,” he said.
“This announcement is great news for businesses in Far North Queensland, especially as the economy continues to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.”
Mr Entsch said the new Cairns centre will be in place by the end of 2021 to initially sustain Navy’s new Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats.
“This will be supported by the Morrison Government’s Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grants program, which provides businesses servicing the defence sector with upskilling and training opportunities,” he said.
“It also aligns with the government’s recently announced $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy which is building resilient supply chains.
“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.
“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.