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Cairns ADF personnel briefed on the Defence White Paper.

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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel JIM TURNOUR MP Federal Member for Leichhardt

Tuesday, 19 May 2009 077/2009


The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon, today visited Navy personnel at HMAS Cairns with Member for Leichhardt Jim Turnour MP to brief them on the new Defence White Paper.

“The White Paper affirms the Government’s commitment to the defence of Australia, the security and stability of the regional security environment, and a rules-based global security order,” Mr Snowdon said.

Over the next 20 years, the Navy force structure will include new major destroyers and frigates, submarines, amphibious ships, offshore combatant vessels, naval combat helicopters and other advanced enabling capabilities.

A significant component of this announcement, and one of direct relevance to Cairns, is the decision to acquire 20 new Offshore Combatant Vessels equipped with modular systems that will incorporate the capabilities presently provided by the patrol boat, hydrographic and mine hunter fleets.

“There is a significant and important Defence presence in this region, notably HMAS Cairns and the vessels that are home-ported here, and it can be expected that Cairns will benefit from the new capability direction the Government has announced,” Mr Snowdon said.

Member for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour MP said the White Paper also announced additional funding for 700 positions within Navy’s workforce structure.

“This initiative will address the significant workforce challenges presently being experienced by the Navy and will meet future requirements associated with the significant capability upgrades,” said Mr Turnour.

“I am confident that these changes will support our Defence efforts here in Cairns, and enable the Navy to reliably and consistently deliver a world-class maritime capability for the nation’s security.”

Media Contact: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): (02) 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Belinda Featherstone (Jim Turnour) (07) 4051 2220 or 0427 737 203 Defence Public Affairs: (02) 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664