Cairns Marine Precinct

The Cairns Marine Precinct (CMP) is a leading maritime maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) destination in Northern Australia that is home to a large and diverse civil and commercial maritime sector that includes a world-class tourism reef fleet, commercial fishing and shipping vessels, a cruising yacht squadron, as well as visiting superyachts and cruise liners and the HMAS Cairns Naval Base. 

The strategic importance of the CMP to Cairns, Queensland and Australia, and the need to provide infrastructure solutions to cater for growth, has long been recognised by state and federal governments. The Department of State Development and Infrastructure (DSDI) released a Detailed Business Case for the CMP in December 2021.  

The Detailed Business Case identifies an opportunity for investment in the CMP to realise the strategic vision of local, state and federal governments and consolidating the Port of Cairns’ position as a centre of excellence in the northern Australia maritime industry. It also recommends the following infrastructure to meet forecast market demand out to 2055:  

  • Direct landside accessibility and sufficient deep water access. 
  • Increased wet berth capacity.  
  • 3 to 5 hectares of hardstand area for a Common User Facility. 
  • Shiplift capable of handling vessels up to 120m long and 5,000 tonnes.   
  • Blast and paint facilities.  

A site for the Common User Facility (CUF) and shiplift has been identified which is located on land owned by Ports North.

The project is currently being led by DSDI.

To support the CMP CUF project, the Queensland Government provided $28 million to fund new infrastructure in the CMP, including two wharves in Smith’s Creek and at Commercial Fisherman’s Base No 2, and services upgrades to improve capability. Ports North delivered this early works project in July 2023.


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