Minister joins Cairns push for defence contracts

Published Friday, 18 March, 2016 at 12:00 PM


Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Another Palaszczuk Government minister is throwing his weight behind Cairns’ shipbuilding capability in the competition for new defence work.

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham today visited the Norship Marine and BSE Maritime Systems shipyards in Cairns.

“The naval building program announced in the Defence White Paper is the largest in the nation’s history,” he said.

“I am here in Far North Queensland to hear about these companies’ improved processes and efficiencies, their proposal offer, and what further support the Queensland Government might be able to bring to bear for upcoming projects.

“I need to know their stories first-hand before I head to Canberra to discuss this and other important defence matters that Queensland companies have an interest in.”

A Cairns-based consortium is one of two final contenders, with a Western Australian bid, for the $2 billion contract to build and support replacement Pacific-class patrol boats.

Teekay Shipping (Australia) is leading the Cairns consortium, comprised of Damen, BSE Maritime Solutions and Norship Marine.

The Queensland and the Western Australian bids were shortlisted in November last year, with final bids tendered more than a month ago.

Dr Lynham said he recognised that the patrol boat contract was at a sensitive stage of consideration.

“But I want the Federal Government to be aware the Palaszczuk Government is very keen for this contract to come to Queensland,” he said.

“Cairns, with its existing capabilities, is an ideal base for modular constructions, components and subsystem opportunities in larger naval projects as they come through the pipeline.”

Dr Lynham said Queensland companies secured $3.6 billion in defence contracts in the 2014-15 financial year.


“The patrol boat replacement contract would give the local industry leverage into the future submarine, frigate and offshore patrol vessels,” he said.

“I will continue to advocate, alongside the Treasurer for the Cairns Shipyards as Australia’s largest and most capable patrol boat hub.”

Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said Far North Queensland had the skills, resources, and workforce to secure major defence and commercial shipbuilding contracts.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to further diversifying our state economy to meet the challenges of the post-mining boom economy,” he said.

“Securing defence contracts is one way to develop a strong shipbuilding sector and create new jobs.

“It can also help develop other spin-off jobs by strengthening service and supply industries.”

[ENDS]           18 March, 2016

Media contact:  Jan Martin 0439 341 314