Charter Law Could Mean Thousands of new Marine Jobs

12,000 jobs could follow a new law that allows superyachts to stay in Australia’s waters for six months
Author:
Publish date:
Australia is expected to see more 
superyachts chartering areas such as the Great Barrier Reef following the recent passage of a superyacht charter bill. 

Australia is expected to see more superyachts chartering areas such as the Great Barrier Reef following the recent passage of a superyacht charter bill. 

The 2020 Olympics in Japan and 2021 America’s Cup in New Zealand promise to be big revenue generators for their respective marine industries, especially if the number of foreign-flagged superyachts visiting those countries is as high as expected.

Peter Busfield, executive director of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association, says 150 superyachts are already signed up to visit Auckland for the America’s Cup, compared to about 50 that typically cruise the North Island that time of year. The Olympics next July could attract a similar number to Japan.

Australia, which recently passed the Special Recreational Vessel Act 2019, could see a large portion of those yachts, too, as there will be a six-month window between the two events. David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia, says the new law will allow foreign-flagged superyachts (larger than 80 feet) into Australia for up to 126 days without custom duties. Owners previously had to pay full import duties on superyachts in order to charter them.

“This law is important in several ways,” Good says. “It could support our superyacht builders by giving people a taste of the yachting lifestyle and potentially buying a new yacht.”

More likely, Good says, the influx of superyachts will create the demand for charter crew, landside support services and refit services. Citing a 2016 economic study, Superyacht Australia says the new law could create up to 12,000 jobs and contribute $1.13 billion to the national economy by 2021.

AustraliaStory

Some shipyards have already started to expand facilities and rebuild infrastructure to prepare for visiting yachts. “Boatworks, on the Gold Coast, is expecting to hire 1,000 extra workers during the busy season, while we expect that area to hire another 4,000 workers across the local economy,” Good says. “The yards have already spent millions working toward the changes.”

The loosening of Australia’s charter laws was a long, hard-fought battle. The concept was first proposed in 2000, according to Hillary Buckman, founder of OceanLIVE, but met resistance from successive governments for almost 20 years. “This is the culmination of decades of collaboration among all levels of the marine industry,” Buckman says.

Good says that when Fiji, a popular charter destination, changed its charter rules, the number of days superyachts visited the island “went through the roof.”

Before its passage, the Australian law went to Parliament twice recently but was defeated because it was “tied up in cargo-rule changes,” Good says. “When it was presented by itself, both political parties voted for it. We were able to show the demand and the jobs would be there.” He says the bill’s authors left “superyacht” out of the title, instead referring to them as “Special Recreational Vessels.” 

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue.

Related

A Record Q2 for Brunswick

With strong global demand in all its business segments, Brunswick Corp. reported another stellar quarter, posting a 57 percent jump in net sales.

OneWater Adds PartsVu

The online marketplace for marine parts, accessories and electronics posted $25 million in sales over the last year.

Groupe Beneteau Updates Revenue Forecasts, More

The builder saw gains in its boat and luxury-home sectors and made several acquisitions, including a majority stake in Dream Yacht Group.

Golden Manufacturing Expands

The fabricator of aluminum boat lifts and aluminum and concrete floating docks adds 18,000 square feet to its Fort Myers, Fla., headquarters.

GetMyBoat Takes You to the Movies

The boat rental marketplace site teams with Disney’s Jungle Cruise for a contest to win a boat trip or movie tickets.

ConMar Adds to Sales Team

The manufacturers’ representatives add industry vet Brain Steele.

Will Canada Reopen to Boaters?

Set to open its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. residents next month, our neighbor to the north could be facing a strike by Canadian border guards and customs officials. Plus, the Great Lakes welcomes a newly designated marine sanctuary.