New border protection vessel to patrol FNQ waters
A NEW regional support craft stationed at Thursday Island is being lined up to boost border protection in far north Queensland waters.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the 12.5m craft would provide marine support to whole-of-government operations.
"The craft will be operated by (the) army's 51st Far North Queensland Regiment, enabling them to perform tasks including search and rescue, recovery and casualty evacuation operations," Senator Reynolds said.
"It will also support community engagement in the Torres Straits and allow reconnaissance and surveillance in the north and northeast of Australia.
"Defence has a longstanding presence in the Torres Strait and this new capability will ensure our waters continue to remain safe."
Thursday Island company Rebel Marine will improve the infrastructure at the wharf and accompanying mooring facilities to accommodate the new vessel.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch welcomed the announcement and said he had been advocating for a permanent vessel in the Torres Strait.
"Rebel Marine already provide engineering and waterfront services for the Queensland Water Police and a variety of commercial vessels," he said.
"This additional opportunity is excellent news for Thursday Island."
The support arrangement with Rebel Marine for waterfront services is still under development and is expected to be in place by October, when the craft is scheduled to be delivered to Defence.
Originally published as New border protection vessel to patrol FNQ waters