Earlier this week, the Morrison Government introduced the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 that will allow foreign owned superyachts to charter in Australia. The ability for these vessels to charter will unlock an estimated 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in revenue to the Australian economy by 2021.
Charter vessels make up more than half of the world’s superyacht fleet, and there are currently more than 5,000 superyachts in the world, growing each year by an additional 150 new yachts. Previously these vessels could not operate commercially in Australia unless they fully imported the vessel, which was a major deterrent to foreign superyacht owners considering cruising Australian waters.
David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia, welcomed the news of the Bill moving through Parliament. “Now is the critical time to act. We commend the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack, for introducing this Bill today. Huge events in the Pacific over the next 18 months will mean large numbers of superyachts will be in our region. The Tokyo Olympics in July 2020 and the Americas Cup in Auckland 2021 are expected to bring around 160 superyachts to our region – which is on the radar for superyacht owners for the marvellous cruising grounds and world-class service facilities Australia offers.”
Australians dominate the superyacht industry with over a quarter of the world’s captains and crew hailing from ‘down under’. The government supporting superyacht charter in Australia means supporting over 14,000 crew: Australia’s new age and highly skilled seafarers.
The main industries that will benefit will be tradespeople and small businesses. It is proven that each vessel spends 10 to 12% of the vessel’s value each year in maintenance, service and repairs, which benefits predominantly small, family-owned businesses and their communities. The more vessels that visit Australia, and the longer that they stay, the greater the broader economic benefits.
“These changes will also benefit the local superyacht charter market,” continued Mr Good. “Regions that have a high level of charter activity receive increased international marketing exposure which then encourages further investment in locally based vessels, infrastructure and repair facilities.”
This likely change to legislation will allow Australia to catch up to our neighbours who all have booming superyacht economies. New Zealnd, Fiji and Tahiti enjoy thriving marine industries, dominated by charter vessels. “With this change introduced by the Morrison government, Australia will enjoy a similar boost to our local industry and the thousands of skilled trade jobs and economic benefits that come with it. We congratulate the Morrison government for their foresight in supporting the Australian marine industry.”
Images: Pixabay, Tourism Australia