Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham
Thursday, August 03, 2017
The Palaszczuk Government will develop Queensland’s first Superyacht Strategy in more than three years and also provide $45,000 sponsorship to the Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference to prevent it relocating to Sydney.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt made the announcement today at the Gold Coast City Marina in Coomera, which recently finished expansion works to be able to undertake maintenance and repairs on vessels up to 65 metres in length.
“The industry is already being inundated with berthing inquiries ahead of the Commonwealth Games and with New Zealand winning the America’s Cup, and we already know there aren’t enough facilities in Queensland to accommodate forecasted demand,” Mr Pitt said.
“This represents an untapped goldmine for Queensland well beyond the direct economic benefit for the local marine and tourism industries, there will be knock-on supply chain benefits through provedoring, refuelling and even thousand-dollar-a-day floral contracts to keep vessels decorated to the owner’s criterion.
“Queensland needs a new Superyacht Strategy and we actually had one up until 2013, when the Newman Government turned its back on.
“Since that time there have been significant changes in the sector, as well regulatory environment and economic outlook, so it’s timely for the Department of State Development to lead a new strategy.
“The Queensland Government is firmly committed to developing the superyacht sector to realise its substantial economic and employment potential of this growth sector, especially in regional Queensland.
“These yachts don’t just represent an enormous economic opportunity for local suppliers and contractors – aboard these vessels are some of the wealthiest investors in the world, representing an opportunity for places like the Gold Coast, Whitsundays and Cairns to showcase what their regions have to offer.
“Frankly I’ve been left dumbfounded by the Federal Government’s obstinate refusal to remove the simple and obvious barriers to unlocking this lucrative industry’s potential in Australia, so Queensland will again go it alone in leading the way.
“Our Superyacht Strategy will be to articulate the industry’s growth prospects, its importance to the economy and identify infrastructure needs.”
The strategy will be led by the State Development and Tourism Departments.
Minister State Development Anthony Lynham ramped-up the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to the industry, announcing a $45,000 investment to keep the Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference in Queensland.
“This sponsorship will ensure the ASMEX Conference remains in Queensland for the next three years,” Dr Lynham said.
“New South Wales has recognised the economic value of this event and attempted to secure it for Sydney, but we weren’t prepared to lose this unique platform which showcases Queensland’s capability in the marine sector and attracted 185 delegates to a sold-out conference this year.
“Supporting the Superyacht Industry means supporting a wide range of flow on industries, including maintenance, catering, florists, to name a few.
“This is about cementing Queensland’s position as the nation’s leading supplier of superyachts and allied services.”
Superyacht Australia CEO MaryAnne Edwards applauded the Queensland Government for providing the industry with confidence and reason to invest.
“We know New Zealand is already talking about developing their infrastructure to take advantage of the America’s Cup and we can’t afford for Australia to miss out, so Queensland is absolutely leading this charge,” she said.
“We look forward to working with the Departments of Tourism and State Development to ensure Queensland is positioned to capture a significant share of the industry growth.
“The biggest beneficiary is likely to be the Far North as most vessels coming to Australia currently enter via Cairns.
“We’ve already seeing a growing Superyacht supply chain on the Gold Coast with the Southport Yacht Club trialling a direct port of entry for 12 months.
“This is good, smart, positive groundwork but without a Federal change to Australia’s chartering red tape we won’t achieve the growth forecasts projected for this lucrative industry.”
Gold Coast City Marina has over 65 onsite businesses covering every facet of the marine industry and marina boss Trenton Gay is anticipating even more growth.
“We’re already looking to the future and have just finished installing equipment to be able to undertake maintenance and repairs on vessels up to 65 metres in length with floating pontoons to be able to get forklifts and heavy machinery alongside the vessels,” Mr Gay said.
“The rule of thumb is that superyacht charters will spend about 10 per cent of the value of the vessel on running costs alone and on top of that there’s the maintenance expense for the owners.
“So when we’re talking about yachts that are $10 and $20 or $30 million in value, it’s a big industry with big supply contracts up for grabs.
“Here on the Gold Coast we see the enormous potential in this lucrative sector and we’re already shining the spotlight on the industry both locally and internationally through the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous.
“This year’s Rendezvous was an enormous success and it will return next year in April to coincide with the end of the Commonwealth Games.
“We are encouraged by the State Government’s commitment to dredging the Broadwater and Coomera River, this support allows us to continue to invest in future improvements.
“Federal legislative changes to address the red tape associated entry requirements and flagging of foreign vessels would unlock incredible industry growth into the future and create many new local jobs.”
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