Pitt wants smoother sailing for superyachts
QUEENSLAND Treasurer Curtis Pitt has released a 14page document urging the federal government to ease a raft of customs red tape strangling the Far North’s super-yacht industry.
Mr Pitt backed the changes in his submission to the federal government’s discussion paper on coastal shipping reforms, saying foreign-flagged superyachts should not attract GST on their purchase price when they entered Australian waters.
Currently they must pay 10 per cent of a vessel’s worth.
“I have previously urged the Government to work with the Queensland Government and the superyacht sector to address specific issues which are within the Australian Government’s policy responsibilities to help promote growth in the sector,” Mr Pitt wrote.
The document said the Coastal Trading Act should be amended to have less stringent trip pre-registration and minimum trip requirements with consideration given to exempting superyachts from the legislation or creating a new special licence class with “more appropriate conditions”.
Neighbouring countries have introduced similar legislation in recent years with Fiji attracting a 40 per cent increase in vessel visitation and an increase of average stay from 21 days to 136 days.
The state government’s submission coincides with similar calls from the Super Yacht Great Barrier Reef business consortium last week.
The group called for 12month permits for foreign superyachts to operate in Australia without the need to pay customs entry fees.