Cairns firms win Defence watercraft contract
Tropical Reef Shipyard and BME NQ will manufacture the 7.5m vessels, and provide spares and trailers, as well as operator and maintainer training.
Acting Defence Minister Marise Payne said the Cairns-built watercraft would assist Army amphibious operations and support systems.
“The vessels will provide dedicated and agile watercraft for survey, safety, planning and Command and Control,” Senator Payne said.
“These important watercraft will enable the Army to safely conduct a range of amphibious training activities and operations, which is a critical capability for the ADF.
“Today’s announcement is part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement through our unprecedented $270 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade, which is creating local jobs right across Australia.”
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said building the Australian-designed boats in Cairns was a win under the Morrison Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
“Tropical Reef Shipyard is a key defence industry partner and is used extensively by the Royal Australian Navy for maintenance and modification services on our Leeuwin Class Hydrographic ships and Paluma Class Survey Motor boats,” Ms Price said.
“Australian businesses will grow our marine manufacturing and maintenance capacity, showing once again that we are backing local businesses and supporting local jobs.”
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the contract win provided an excellent growth opportunity for the Cairns-based businesses.
“BME NQ currently employ 17 staff and will now bring on an additional six employees, including an apprentice, to work on the watercraft,” he said.
“This announcement is another positive step towards building on Cairns manufacturing, defence and marine maintenance capabilities.”
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