Published: Thursday, 21 May 2015

A clear message for the Australian Government to take note of its marine sector was given at the start of the ASMEX 2015 Conference, which opened today in Sanctuary Cove. The Sanctuary Boat Show runs May 21-24. 

Asmex Conference Urges Australian Government To Give Priority To Marine Sector

“The Australian marine sector including the export, superyacht and commercial sectors, is estimated to be worth over AUD$10 billion a year,” says Richard Chapman, Chairman of the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX).

“We are a boating nation with boat registrations currently at close to a million with roughly one boat for every 23 people,” says Chapman. “We have 347 marinas with first class facilities in strategic locations all across Australia and many with superyacht berths.

“Government red tape and regulation causes the Australian Superyacht Industry huge problems,” Chapman says. “Many charters and refits are lost to our overseas competitions due to these regulations. The question AIMEX would like answered is whether Australia is open for business for the superyacht sector?”

“Make your message to government clear about what you would like,” says Gold Coast MP, Karen Andrews. “Do not leave it open to interpretation. I seem to be the portfolio boating expert, because I was in the area a couple of weeks ago speaking at Marine 15, another national recreational marine conference. The fact that the Australian Superyacht and Marine Industry Export Industry conference and its associated expo is in its fifth year speaks volumes about the strength of Australia’s superyacht businesses.”

Asmex Conference Urges Australian Government To Give Priority To Marine Sector 1 

“Riviera has 36 apprentices in the first and second years of their training, including 11 school-based apprentices through its relationship with a Gold Coast school,” says Andrews. “It re-established its school-based apprenticeship programme last year and operates a state-of-the-art marine training centre.”

The $484.2 million Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme is part of improving business capability and making important links, with a particular emphasis on small and medium enterprises. The programme has three streams: Business Management, Research Connections and the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme.

AUD$188.5 million is being spent on Industry Growth Centres as part of the Competitiveness Agenda. The AUS$476 million Industry Skills Fund is helping firms invest in a skilled workforce.

“I’ve spoken a lot about creating an environment in which business can take responsibility for transforming itself for the new global economy,” says Andrews. “Getting out of the way of business by lightening the load of red tape is a core part of paving the way for greater productivity and competitiveness. In Government, we all know that excessive regulation and compliance pressures impose costs on businesses and waste valuable time. We have decisively pursued our commitment to cutting red tape by AUS$1 billion a year.”