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.
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.