New State Government projects in the far north will help fast-track the region’s booming marine services industry.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney has announced $57,000 in funding for two projects designed to expand educational resources and attract new businesses to the marine industry.
Mr Seeney said both projects would provide money from the Significant Regional Projects Fund (SRPF) to better position the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College (GBRIMC) in Cairns as one of Australia’s leading marine education facilities.
The college is already one of the best equipped marine training centres in the southern hemisphere with a mission bridge simulator, emergency response simulator, immersion pool and underwater escape training facilities.
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Mr Seeney said $21,900 was approved specifically to help the college research and recommend possible training courses to meet skills shortages in the industry and the resources required to deliver that training.
'The funding will help GBRIMC engage ARUP Consulting Engineers to complete a marine engineering expansion plan for the college,' Mr Seeney said.
'Engine room training is limited in Australia and the closest location for merchant and LNG cargo handling training is Singapore.'
A further $36,630 will be used to coordinate an FNQ marine services fast-tracking project to attract maintenance, repair and overhaul business for marine-sector firms in the far north.
'The funding will be used to develop a joint marketing capability profile and support two in-bound trade missions to help promote and win business for the region,' he said.
'The expansion of the marine services industry will be a significant boost to tourism, one of the four pillars of Queensland’s economic development.'
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The Member for Cairns Gavin King welcomed the funding for GBRIMC.
'I want Cairns to be a leading training and skills hub not only for Queensland but the Asia Pacific region and this is an important step towards achieving that goal.
'This is an economic expansion opportunity, a long overdue push towards diversification,' Mr King said.
Both marine services projects will be managed by Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning’s Cairns Service Centre.
More at www.gbrimc.com.au
by The Honourable Jeff Seeney
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12:20 AM Thu 20 Sep 2012GMT
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