The LNP incumbent for the seat of Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, has used day six of the federal election campaign to officially open stage one of the Cairns Marine Precinct upgrade.
The $50 million project, which included $24-million in federal investment, involved the replacement of two finger wharves, works to the hardstand area and the construction of walls to prevent bank slippages.
Mr Entsch said the work is critical to the fabrication, maintenance and repair of vessels carried out by the Navy and the precinct’s three commercial operators, BSE Cairns Slipway, Tropical Reef Shipyard and Norship Marine.
“This is a strategically important upgrade to the wharves, dock areas and other infrastructure as it allows for faster turnaround for vessels, meaning more time at sea,” Mr Entsch said.
“It ensures Cairns and Far North Queensland remains a marine maintenance hub for years to come.
“Our region has a proud history of supporting the Royal Australian Navy and Border Force’s ongoing requirements and this upgrade will see that continue.”
BSE Cairns Slipway owner Justin Parer welcomed Mr Entsch’s support.
“Warren has fought ferociously for the Cairns marine industry and has been able to deliver real support which will create real jobs,” he said.
“Quite literally by building these wharfs and hardstand, the Federal Government has laid the foundation on which we will build the world’s best shipyard.”
$100 million in federal government funding has been requested for the remaining stages of the precinct.
Mr Entsch's closest competitor for Leichhardt, Labor candidate Elida Faith, is today speaking to transport workers across Cairns about the ALP’s plan to tackle casualisation.
It follows her pledge yesterday of an additional $550,000 in emergency relief funding for the region.