TAFE Queensland has been awarded a contract by the Australian Federal Government to provide training services to the navy crews of the Guardian-class patrol boats.

According to a media statement released by the Australian Department of Defence, the funding is being delivered as part of the government’s A$2bn Pacific Maritime Security Program.

The programme demonstrates the government’s commitment over 30 years to the Pacific island nations to safeguard the region’s maritime sovereignty and strengthen maritime capability.

Australian Acting Defence Minister and Senator Marise Payne said that the latest contract is designed to adapt and adjust to meet the changing needs of partner nations.

Minister Payne said: “A modern and innovative training approach offered by TAFE Queensland will have significant strategic benefits in the Pacific.

“TAFE Queensland has already established important relationships and arrangements with the Commonwealth and Pacific Island country governments, industries and communities.

“This, coupled with their established infrastructure in Australia and experience in delivering services in the Pacific, will enable TAFE Queensland to help achieve the outcomes of the Pacific Step-Up Program and the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

“This contract builds upon the success of the previous Pacific Patrol Boat training services contract, by providing new contemporary training for the Guardian-class Patrol Boat crew.”

As part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Australia is replacing the existing Pacific patrol boats with 21 new Guardian-class patrol boats to improve maritime capabilities in the region.

The Australian Department of Defence recently announced that the government will make an additional $115m investment in the Boeing Loyal Wingman programme.