The Brisbane company taking over the Cairns Slipway has promised a fresh start for the troubled shipyard, bringing with it a lucrative contract and setting sights on uncharted waters. BSE Maritime Solutions says the untapped super yacht market in Cairns will be among its top priorities now that a long-negotiated take-over has been finalised.
The company will take control of the slipway today after signing a deal with the State Government to buy the waterfront facility, which has been in receivership since July 2010. The agreement provides a certain future for about 65 employees, whose jobs would’ve been under threat if the land had been sold to a private buyer outside the marine industry.
BSE shipping manager Wayne Shaw said some local jobs were lost in the handover, but the company planned to grow by developing untouched sectors in Cairns’ marine industry. "We don’t want to come in here and compete – we want to find out all of the things that we can grow to be in different markets than what the other two yards are in," Mr Shaw said. "We see a great future. It’s had a great past, so if we can get that back again, our directors and shareholders will be only too happy to get back to there."
This month, BSE will also bring to Cairns a lucrative contract with a Gladstone-based dredging company that was previously earmarked for another shipyard in Brisbane. "We looked closely at that project and decided it’s far better that we bring it here to Cairns and that will signal a return of confidence," Mr Shaw said.
"Part of the problem when the Cairns Slipway was in receivership was that potential clients had legitimate concerns about their product but now we can give them guarantees and certainty." Under the agreement signed yesterday, Ports North has paid $2.5 million for part of the slipway land, and BSE invested "substantially more" for the remaining land, buildings and equipment. "This was land that was owned freehold; it’s now been acquired by the port, which means into the future, that it will forever be part of the port’s holdings," Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said in Cairns yesterday.
Ports North chairman Ken Chapman said the deal was a critical boon in the city’s bid to lure luxurious super yachts and diversify the local economy. He said the business had remained profitable during receivership, kept running by receivers McGrath Nicol.
Cairns Queensland, Australia