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Queensland issued grants to two companies under coastal shipping program

Two local shipping companies will now expand their shipping services due to the latest round of funding

The Queensland government has announced it is revitalising the state’s coastal shipping sector by issuing grants under its new Backing Queensland Maritime Jobs (BQMJ) initiative.

The BQMJ commitment has resulted in Tn Marine (Cairns) and ASP Ship Management (Gladstone) being awarded grants following a rigorous assessment of applications for the program.

Tn Marine, trading as North Marine, will use the grant to create a new barge service from Cairns that provides general cargo and fuel to island communities and resorts in Far North Queensland, resulting in new employment for six people, while ASP Ship Management originally received partial funding from the program for six new positions in its cruise ship bunkering service at the Port of Brisbane.

The BQMJ provides $21 million of financial assistance to Queensland’s maritime sector through its Maritime Training Grant Program, Maritime Employment Grant Program and Coastal Shipping Grant Program.

The BQMJ election commitment aims to assist economic growth and create strategically important maritime jobs and training opportunities in Queensland.

After consideration, the six roles will now be fully funded under the Coastal shipping grants program, allowing ASP Ship Management to increase its scope and provide Queensland seafarers with enhanced career opportunities, including training towards higher qualifications.

MSQ will call for a second round of applications under its Coastal Shipping Grants Program, with revised and clarified criteria to encourage further applicants.

Round two opens today and closes on February 9 next year. Further information on the application process can be found on Maritime Safety Queensland’s website.

The new program will target operators of Regulated Australian Vessels that will deliver new coastal shipping services to regional Queenslanders.

The BQMJ initiative will help to improve Queensland’s economic and logistical resilience and reduce reliance on foreign flagged vessels and associated risks to the state’s supply lines.

“The grants to Tn Marine (Cairns) and ASP Ship Management are a vote of confidence in the ability of these companies to deliver new jobs and up-skill Queensland’s maritime sector,” Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey says.

“This brings the total to 16 jobs created under BQMJ initiative, combined with grants already issued under the Maritime Employment Grant Program and are in addition to the 29 training opportunities created by the Maritime Training Grant Program.

“These funds will kick-start maritime careers and businesses in Queensland and support locally based jobs and supply chains.”

Tn Marine company director Courtney Hansen says the grant will allow it to enter new markets, increase its employment capabilities and aid in the sustainable growth of the business.

“This will revolutionise our business in terms of productivity and we are thrilled to be given the opportunity to deliver high-quality outcomes,” Hansen says.

“Coastal shipping has a long and rich history in Far North Queensland. Our region is geographically sparse and shipping provides the lifeline between our major hubs and the remote communities that are dotted along the coastline, through the Torres Strait and into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“Through this grant opportunity, North Marine is eager to provide these communities another service to better enable connectivity to the mainland.”

ASP Ships Group CEO of Australia Mark Patman says the grant will enable ASP to develop its Queensland shipping activity with a higher degree of certainty and confidence of success for the longer term.

“The coastal shipping grant demonstrates the Queensland government’s support for coastal shipping and the importance this plays in Queensland,” Patman says.

“The grant will enable us to grow ASP’s shipping activity in Queensland. It is also important to note that shipping generates significantly lower CO2 emissions than road, rail and air transport.

“The grant has enabled ASP to grow the number of Queenslanders we employ and will also increase the opportunities for us to provide additional training opportunities for those seeking a career in the Queensland maritime industry.”

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