Bring­ing in spenders

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith

A PUSH to bring one of the big­gest spend­ing bracket of tourists to the re­gion is gain­ing mo­men­tum.

Queens­land Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt met with his Fed­eral coun­ter­part Scott Mor­ri­son on Fri­day and called on him to re­duce red tape cur­rently turn­ing away su­pery­acht own­ers.

This would help re­gions like the Whit­sun­days tap into the $20,000 to $40,000 weekly spend by a su­pery­acht crew, which far ex­ceeds the av­er­age $1600 spend by a do­mes­tic tourist.

“Ev­i­dence shows that just one for­eign su­pery­acht can spend $2.5 mil­lion in a 12 month pe­riod, which would have con­sid­er­able flow-on ben­e­fits for lo­cal tourism, hos­pi­tal­ity and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors for ar­eas right along the Queens­land coast,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Whit­sun­days can’t af­ford to be miss­ing out on all the as­so­ci­ated jobs that would flow from ship main­te­nance and en­gi­neer­ing, sup­plies, re­fu­elling and other ser­vices.”

The first piece of red tape he wants al­tered is a tax that de­mands 10% on the hull value for any in­ter­na­tional su­pery­acht to op­er­ate com­mer­cially in Aus­tralian wa­ters.

That meant if a $30m yacht ar­rived, it would have to pay $3m in tax.

It has also been re­ported that the process for ob­tain­ing visas for su­pery­acht crews are sub­ject to longer as­sess­ment time­frames, re­quire more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion re­quire­ments and cost con­sid­er­ably more than pre­vi­ous ar­range­ments.

Mr Pitt said one op­tion he put to Mr Mor­ri­son was a stand­alone bill fo­cussing on the su­pery­acht sec­tor which con­sid­ers the broad range of is­sues cur­rently con­strain­ing fu­ture growth.

REEL THEM IN: State Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt will push to cut red tape that re­stricts su­pery­achts op­er­at­ing in Aus­tralia.

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