The recent DestinationQ conference held in Cairns on 25th to 26th June was an initiative of the new Newman government and was driven by Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey. The aim of the initiative is to grow tourism and re-position the state as the number one tourist destination in Australia. The marine industry in Queensland employs around 8000 Queenslanders directly and contributes some $2 billion a year to the Queensland economy.
The Conference was attended by 300 key industry stakeholders along with a number of high ranking Queensland government members of parliament and officials.
Maryanne Edwards, CEO of AIMEX and Superyacht Australia, attended the Conference and explained that it was a valuable experience, well run and covered considerable ground over the two days. Maryanne said she raised the key concerns of the superyacht sector asking the state government to support Superyacht Australia’s drive at federal level to remove regulations that are barriers to growth, to also support an amendment to the 35-metre rule for superyachts in the Great Barrier Reef, and to look at the infrastructure now required to support this significant part of the Queensland economy.
A key barrier to attracting more yachts to cruise in Queensland is the charter regulations and Superyacht Australia has a submission on this issue currently sitting with the federal government. It is hoped this submission will lead to a full review of the charter regulations making chartering in Queensland and other parts of Australia an attractive option.
Maryanne added, “Currently we are losing business as the global superyacht fleet are bypassing us for destinations like Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand where the charter regulations have been made more attractive.”
Minister Jann Stuckey who spoke recently at the Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Conference (ASMEX), a key conference for the superyacht industry, confirmed her awareness of the issues facing the superyacht sector and has publicly stated that the superyacht market is an important part of the Queensland economy and this was again echoed at the conference and in the 2020 strategy. This is a positive step forward for the superyacht industry, which has a positive effect on a variety of sectors of the local Queensland economy.
Maryanne explained that it is critical to work with the Queensland government to develop a new five-year strategic plan for the industry.
The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) is the peak body for the Australian Marine Export Industry. Its primary purpose is to develop and promote Australia's thriving marine sector to the world.