Australien — Strong Defence presence in Cairns

Greg Com­bet, Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel and Sci­ence, and Jim Turnour, Mem­ber for Leich­hardt, today met with Aus­tralian Defence per­son­nel and local Defence busi­ness­es to dis­cuss defence oper­a­tions in Cairns.

Mr Com­bet and Mr Turnour toured HMAS Cairns today and met with Com­mand­ing Offi­cer HMAS Cairns Com­man­der Bob Hef­fey to talk about defence oper­a­tions.

They received brief­in­gs on the sup­port roles and func­tions of HMAS Cairns, the Defence Indige­nous Devel­op­ment Pro­gram — Navy, as well as Minor War Ves­sel Sea Train­ing Oper­a­tions. Dur­ing the vis­it Mr Com­bet and Mr Turnour spoke with off-watch crews from Hydro­graph­ic Sur­vey Ships and Armi­dale Class Patrol Boats.

They also took time to step on board HMAS Shep­par­ton and HMAS Benal­la, Paluma Class Sur­vey Motor Launch­es. These ves­sels under­take hydro­graph­ic sur­vey task­ing to update marine charts to ensure safe pas­sage in Aus­tralian waters.

“I have great con­fi­dence and pride in the pro­fes­sion­al Navy per­son­nel that serve at HMAS Cairns,” said Mr Com­bet.

“It was fan­tas­tic to meet with local ADF mem­bers and dis­cuss the work they are doing to con­tribute to defence oper­a­tions and pro­tect our bor­ders,” said Mr Turnour.

Fol­low­ing their vis­it to the Navy estab­lish­ment, Mr Com­bet and Mr Turnour met with local busi­ness lead­ers in Cairns to dis­cuss oppor­tu­ni­ties for them in the Defence sec­tor.

HMAS Cairns which is the home­port for four Armi­dale Class patrol boats, four Land­ing Craft Heavy ves­sels and all hydro­graph­ic ships. The base pro­vides oper­a­tional, admin­is­tra­tive and logis­ti­cal sup­port for these and vis­it­ing ships,” said Mr Turnour.

“There are over 890 ADF mem­bers sta­tioned in Cairns and 248 Defence Hous­ing Author­i­ty prop­er­ties.”

“Defence injects approx­i­mate­ly $96 mil­lion into the Cairns econ­o­my each year. This expen­di­ture helped gen­er­ate jobs and pro­vides sub­stan­tial sup­port to the local econ­o­my,” said Mr Turnour.

Media con­tacts:
Rod Hilton (Greg Com­bet): 0458 276 619
Belin­da Feath­er­stone (Jim Turnour): (07) 4051 2220 or 0427 737 203

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia