Pitt wants smoother sail­ing for su­pery­achts

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Chris Cal­cino

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.

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