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The Australian marine industry has extraordinary potential — it just needs to be unlocked. That was the consensus at the Australian Superyacht, Marine Export & Commercial Marine Industry Conference (ASMEX) held in Queensland in May.
Much discussion among the 260-strong industry professionals in attendance centered on the Australian Superyacht Industry Economic Impact Study and its findings that the industry contributes $1.48 billion (AUD $1.96 billion) to the Australian economy.
“We have been having conversations with various politicians, state and federal, for over a
decade trying to explain the value of this niche industry and what additional potential it has in the right regulatory context,” said MaryAnne Edwards, CEO of Superyacht Australia and the Australian International Marine Export Group, and organizer of the conference.
The industry faces a lack of understanding and support from government authorities at all ends of the boating and yachting spectrum, according to delegates. From manufacturers to captains and service providers, the room called for specific regulation acknowledging the marine industry’s special place in Australia’s economy and social history.
Kevin Merrigan, CEO of brokerage house Northrop & Johnson, counseled the industry to look at Florida’s model of simple and low taxes, standardized agreements and development of the charter market, which has made yachting the second largest industry in the state behind tourism.