On 22 July Curtis Pitt, treasurer for Queensland, Australia, announced that the state would be awarding a AUD$20,000 grant to fund an economic impact study, the aim of which is to determine whether or not there are sufficient gains to be had from investing in the superyacht market and its infrastructure.
“Undertaking an economic analysis of the state’s superyacht industry will provide the Palaszczuk Government with a clearer understanding of the sector’s economic contribution and identify the value-added directly attributable to the operation of superyachts,” explained Pitt.
Pitt explained that infrastructural development and maintenance facilities would be a possibility, provided that the economic impact study found these developments to be economically viable and beneficial.
“The Palaszczuk Government has an open door policy to partnering with the private sector and we’re already seeing an increasing level of private investment in the superyacht sector with millions committed to upgrade Abel Point Marina and the new Port Douglas facility,” continued Pitt.
Anythony Lytham, Queensland’s minister for state development, supported Pitt by highlighting Indonesia and Papa New Guinea’s burgeoning charter industries, believing that “Queensland’s proximity to these hotspots makes our state a logical port of call.”
“By supporting the growth and development of the superyacht industry we are aiming to give marine businesses around the Queensland coastline new contract opportunities to provide food and fuelling services, bunkering, maintenance, private jet services and crew pit stops,” added Lytham.
Australia currently attracts less than two per cent of the worlds global superyacht fleet. It is hoped that Australia’s federal government will introduce legislation allowing foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia in order to boost this figure. Australia has much to gain from the superyacht industry, however, beyond infrastructural development and an easing of charter regulation for foreign vessels, a joined up marketing approach may prove crucial.