Cairns Naval Base

The naval base, HMAS Cairns is located in Cairns, Queensland. This naval base is the focal point of all Australian naval activity located off the north east of Australia. At the moment though there are some huge changes that are being planned for this long standing naval base.

Just recently, several high profile documents were released that detailed the plans to expand the Cairns Naval Base up to three times its current size. The Cairns Naval Base is expected to add several more facilities as well as accommodating over 3,000 more personnel in the near future.

Plans are already underway and are currently being fast tracked by delegates in order to start construction to upgrade this Australian naval base. Blueprints are already in the waiting line to be signed off by Defence Minister Marise Payne at the moment.

This enormous undertaking to expand on their naval base has been expected by experts as Australia is already building a reputation as one of, if not the most powerful and effective navy after the last world war.

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The Cairns Naval Base currently holds about 14 naval vessels and accommodates around 900 naval personnel and is expected to include an additional 12 brand new patrol vessels by 2020 that would replace the previous Armidale patrol boats.

Not only are these plans intended to boost their naval presence and capabilities, this expansion are also a way to attract more tourists into the country. Australia’s tourist economy has always been one of the country’s foundations and adding an impressive and high tech naval base for tourist to visit is seen as another great reason to visit the country.

Nevertheless, there are controversies that follow this plan to expand the Cairns Naval Base. The biggest issue lies in the need of dredging inland to accommodate the bigger facility and increased number of naval vessels as the path will have an adverse effect on the river mangrove which is currently a marine life sanctuary.

Those who object to this expansion of the naval base points out the risks it delivers toward the Great Barrier Reef as well as its World Heritage status.

However, this expansion is being seen by most of the Australian government as a way to also strengthen their defenses as tension rises over the South China Sea issue. Strengthening Cairns Naval Base is a great deterrent to any would be threats that might arise in the coming years.

Cairns Asbestos Problems

30 years ago, CAIRNS iconic Esplanade was used as asbestos dumping ground. The harmful material has started spilling out onto the beach.

A former teacher of Cairns State High School has lifted the lid on the demolition of several school buildings which were later used as landfill near where Cairns hospital helipad is located. Over the last three decades, coastal erosion has caused asbestos to spill out as pictured on the right potentially exposed to the elements.

Russell Geisel (above) who taught at Cairns State High School from 1982-1995 said three World War II era buildings with asbestos roofs were torn down in the mid-80s.

Mr. Geisel said that the sheeting was broken up at the school then mixed in with the rest of the rubble before being dumped on the Esplanade. Four months ago, The Cairns Post revealed that white asbestos had spilled onto the shore opposite Cairns Hospital amid building material dumped about 30 years ago that has been used as landfill.

He said that one day during school hours, he and some few people saw piles of sheeting perfectly sitting there and suddenly someone in a backhoe went and smashed it all up so that they could throw it into the back of a truck.

Two weeks ago, Cairns Regional Council inspected the area but they could not identify any asbestos sheeting. The Cairns Post gathered samples of the material from the Esplanade beach to be tested by experts at SGS Australia and reviewed by Clear Asbestos Removal (clearasbestosremoval.com.au/melbourne).

The laboratory analysis confirmed the presence or chrysotile which is white asbestos. Chrysotile has been the most used asbestos in Australia. It comprises of more than 50% of all asbestos used.

Queensland Health says the asbestos fibers can be split by mechanical energy into progressively finer fibers of microscopic size.

Respirable fibers are responsible for adverse health effects caused by asbestos including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. The Cairns Regional Council has said that asbestos remediation works are almost finished at the local Civic Theatre and it will reopen in three weeks.

After finding asbestos in the backstage area last month, the council closed the theatre. It relocated shows. Mayor Bob Manning said there had been extensive cleaning. However, he said it was fortunate that the asbestos contamination levels were very low.

10 Things to Do, See and Play in Cairns

Cairns is a fabulous place to visit and there’s always plenty to do to keep yourself entertained. To help make your life a little easier, the following are the top 10 things you can do when you are visiting Cairns.

Rainforestation Nature Park

You will need to drive a short distance outside of Cairns to visit, but it is definitely an absolute must-see. You will be visiting a real rain forest. The park covers 100 acres, and has a series of tours along with an impressive koala park. You will really love this if you are a nature lover.

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The Daintree Dreaming Tour by Adventure North

The Aborigines have lived in this part of the world for thousands of years. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for you to spend some of your time there learning about their culture and history. So you should definitely take the Daintree Dreaming tour and maybe think about going on an overnight safari with guided tours and talks conducted by Aborigine elders.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, located on Cairns’ outskirts, will give you an entirely new perspective on this area. It will take you on a ride covering 7.5m over the rain forest and gorges. It is an absolutely spectacular ride. If you are afraid of heights, then you should avoid it. However, if you do decide to go make sure to remember to take your camera along with you.

Cairns Tropical Zoo

Australia has so much wildlife that it really is logical to see as much of it as you can but in a controlled way. There are different wildlife shows at the tropical zoo every day, which includes a chance for you to get very up close and personal with some of the native species. This five star attraction is ideal for all members of your family.

Kurandu Scenic Railway

The railway travels from Cairns over to Kurandu. It is quite the understatement to state that it travels through some spectacular scenery. You pass through waterfalls, rain forest, and rugged mountains. Who would turn down an opportunity to see all of this? It might not be a really long journey, but it is certainly a spectacular one.

Barron Gorge National Park

Although it is a bit of a trek to get there, this is a really cool place that you absolutely must see. It is a huge place with a gigantic waterfall and many different areas for you to explore. It features spectacular scenery and is a great place to hike.

Fitzroy Island

The island is actually a national park situated around 27km south of Cairns. This tropical island is well worth visiting, especially to see the coral reef surrounding the island. The interior always has its very own rain forest, and here is a great resort. The 45 minute ferry ride to and from the island is also very enjoyable.

Palm Cove

Located 27km north of Cairns, this is a classical tropical beach with plenty of palm trees. It features amazing sand, perfect weather, outstanding views and is fairly quiet as well. It’s the perfect place to be on your vacation.

Great Barrier Reef

If you are going to be visiting this part of the world, then you simply must see the Great Barrier Reef. Seriously considering getting in some scuba diving to check things out closely or go on a boat tour.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The Australian butterfly sanctuary is the prefect place to take your family to. It is located right in the center of Kuranda and is filled with these incredible insects that will leave your children as well as you and your spouse completely speechless and in awe.