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