Paul Darrouzet, owner of Abell Point Marina, launched a campaign last week to encourage superyachts to visit Australia and the Whitsunday Islands, taking his campaign to officials within the government.
This is following news that superyachts owned by the world’s rich and famous have the potential to bring in at least $50,000 a week to a region’s economy, yet Australia and the Whitsundays is not even on the industry’s radar.
Last week, Mr Darrouzet invited Charmaine du Plessis, charter broker at Brugess, to the Whitsundays from the Burgess office in Miami, USA to discuss the potential for charter trips to the area.
Ms du Plessis outlined that the reason that Australia and the Whitsundays are rarely on the charter radar is due to the heavy restrictions and taxation rules placed on yachts over 35 meters in length. She went on to reveal that she had clients who would certainly suit the itinerary.
Mr Darrouzet invited representatives from all three tiers of government along to hear firsthand from Ms du Plessis about how the region was missing out, including state MP Jason Costigan, Dawson MP George Christensen and Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney.
After hearing from Ms du Plessis, Mr Costigan said that an opportunity to boost the economy was “just going to waste”, with Mr Christensen agreeing that the Federal Government needed to remove impediments to superyachts entering the Great Barrier Reef marine park area, and to help facilitate and streamline “efficient and friendly ways of paying GST”.
Mr Christensen went on to state his support for the Whitsundays marketing itself as the superyacht destination for Australia, and the potential benefits it would bring, agreeing to take the matter up with Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt.
He commented, “We need all levels of government supporting this and we need the local community backing it and I’m sure they will when they know that $50,000 each week could potentially be brought in. That’s money that translates into jobs.”
Ms Whitney added that she was pleased to support the campaign from a local government perspective.
For more information on the campaign, visit Abell Point Marina.