Australian HMAS Cairns base to woo larger ships after upgrade

Royal Australian Navy base HMAS Cairns will soon be able to welcome larger naval ships, including amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers, as it is set to benefit from a planned upgrade to the Port of Cairns.

The AUD$120 million upgrade to the Port of Cairns is closer thanks to the finalisation of the state’s consideration of the environmental impact statement for the project.

“The region will see the greatest benefit from passenger expenditure, port charges and associated supplies and servicing activity as the Cairns Shipping Development Project will allow for over 100 additional cruise ships to berth annually in the Port of Cairns by 2031,” Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said.

“More significantly, the upgrade will enable mega class cruise ships up to 300m in length to berth at the port.”

Minister Dick said deeper channel access to the HMAS Cairns Navy base will also enhance the potential for the Royal Australian Navy’s larger ships and US naval carriers to berth in Cairns, enabling future expansion of defense activities in the region.

Naval base HMAS Cairns has 900 navy and civilian personnel and is the homeport for 14 naval vessels.

After undergoing a $300 million upgrade announced in December 2017, the base will also accommodate four twelve new offshore patrol vessels to be built under German shipbuilder Lurssen as prime contractor.

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