The peak body for Australia’s marine export and superyacht industries (AIMEX) has called on the Federal Government to change restrictive legislation holding back Australia’s superyacht industry after an economic impact study revealed its high value to the Australian economy.
The AEC Group study found the Australian superyacht industry contributed a total of A$1.97 billion ($1.5 billion) to gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2016 financial year.
An Australian first, the economic impact study found the superyacht industry to be a high value niche sector, held back by restrictive policy - if relaxed, the industry could contribute an additional estimated A$1.12 billion to GDP by 2021, for a total contribution of A$3.34 billion.
MaryAnne Edwards, AIMEX Chief Executive, said: “We’re calling for the Australian government to fix our legislation, so foreign superyachts have freedom to charter here, like they do in New Zealand. This would boost our local superyacht industry substantially. We could see an extra 8,100 local jobs making a total of 24,400 jobs by 2021.”
Currently, very few international superyachts come to Australia because the current legislation makes charting in Australian waters unviable. A superyacht must be fully imported and pay 10 percent Goods and Services Tax on its value.
The study revealed for the first time a fuller picture of the economic benefits superyachts provide to the Australian economy, including:
• Local jobs - the industry supported around 14,500 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs, paying A$1.2 billion in wages and salaries in 2016.
• Tourism - foreign tourist, guest and crew expenditure provides near A$190 million annually for the local tourism market.
• Luxury goods and services - foreign guests on superyachts spend an estimated A$15,000 to A$25,000 per day on land in Australia, in the days before and after their cruise. This includes an average A$7,500 for luxury goods and services, such as jewelry, clothes, food and drinks.
• Local maintenance and construction of superyachts - contributed A$400 million in gross product in 2016.
Forecasts gross state product from superyacht industry in 2021, with and without policy change:
• Cairns (including Whitsundays) – A$374 million; A$577.7 million.
• Southeast Queensland - A$724.3 million; A$1.13 billion.
• Sydney - A$546.2 million; A$877.8 million.
• Melbourne - A$101.7 million; A$173.3 million.
• Perth - A$228.9 million; A$271.1 million.
• Tasmania & rest of Australia - A$243.4 million; A$362.5 million