Advance Cairns welcomes Federal funding for “transformational” projects

Advance Cairns has today welcomed confirmation of $200m in key infrastructure funding from the Federal Government ahead of next week’s Budget in what it describes as transformational projects.

Speaking at a special Advance Cairns breakfast today, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King MP, with Senator Nita Green, confirmed the region would receive $150m for upgrades at Cairns Marine Precinct (matched by the State Government) as well as $50m towards a CQUniversity Cairns CBD campus.

The funding commitments were first announced in the lead-up to the May 2022 Federal Election following strong advocacy by Advance Cairns, Senator Nita Green and other key stakeholders including CQUniversity and Ports North.

Advance Cairns welcomed the Minister’s confirmation today that funds would flow immediately, in collaboration with State Government.

Advance Cairns CEO Jacinta Reddan said the announcements cemented years of work and reinforced the benefits of collaboration to create transformative change.

“The Cairns Marine Precinct project will significantly expand the capacity of the maintenance and sustenance work by the three shipbuilders with the benefits flowing well beyond the port precinct with jobs creation from trades through to professional services.

“Importantly, this creates an important career pathway to young people in Cairns who will find even more reasons to stay and prosper right in their own communities.

“The CQUniversity CBD campus will further revitalise the city centre, bringing the student and academic body into the heart of the city creating foot traffic and support for businesses large and small in the precinct.

“As the incoming Chief Executive, I want to pay tribute to Chairman Nick Trompf and the Advance Cairns board who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively to drive these generational initiatives which position Cairns well into the future with a broader, diversified economy.”

“We particularly welcome the Minister’s comments that the funds would be made available in the budget next week as the need to extend the capacity at the Marine Port is pressing.  This funding will lead to 150 immediate construction jobs, but potentially thousands of jobs in the broader economy.  With capacity at the port already tight, the sooner work can begin, the sooner the benefits can begin to flow.”