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Accommodation upgrade benefits Cairns Defence personnel and community.



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MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSISTING THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE FEDERAL MEMBER FOR HUGHES

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND TOURISM FEDERAL MEMBER FOR

LEICHHARDT

The Hon. Danna Vale MP The Hon. Warren Entsch MP

Wednesday 19 February 2003 02/03

ACCOMMODATION UPGRADE BENEFITS CAIRNS DEFENCE PERSONNEL AND COMMUNITY

Defence personnel based at HMAS Cairns and the local Cairns community will benefit from an $873,000 accommodation upgrade of the Northern Heritage Live-in Accommodation, Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Danna Vale and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch announced today.

Mrs Vale, who is visiting Cairns, said the upgrade formed part of $100 million allocated in the 2002-03 Federal Budget for initiatives to improve conditions for Defence personnel and their families.

“The 30-year-old hotel was purchased by Navy in 1988 for single living-in accommodation for officers and senior sailors posted to HMAS Cairns,” Mrs Vale said.

“The upgrade will see built-in furniture replaced, refurbishment of all bedrooms with new carpets, new blinds and paintwork, and upgrades of bathrooms and kitchenettes.

“Work on the top floor of the three storey building started in January and is expected be completed by the end of March.”

The 49 rooms are principally bed-sitting rooms with en suite bathrooms, and three are one room flats.

“The Government recognises that people are Defence’s greatest asset and that we need to provide the conditions which will attract and retain people with the right skills.

“Providing high quality accommodation is essential if we are to keep valued members of the Australian Defence Force.”

Mr Entsch said as well as supporting local Defence personnel, local businesses would also reap benefits from the project.

“The great majority of this work is being done through local tradesmen and local suppliers through principal contractors Far North Queensland Building Contractors

P/L, so this work will inject a large proportion of the $873,000 into the Cairns economy,” Mr Entsch said.

“Defence is a major part of our local community, providing for direct and indirect investment and jobs.

“At the same time, Defence personnel and their families make a major contribution to community life.”

Media contacts: Rachael Thompson (Mrs Vale) 02 62777 820 0417 265 289

Kate Mutton (Mr Entsch) 07 4051 2220 0427 737 203