State treasurer Curtis Pitt will push to cut red tape that restricts superyachts operating in Australia.
State treasurer Curtis Pitt will push to cut red tape that restricts superyachts operating in Australia.

Push to bring big spenders and their boats to region

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 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 $2.5million 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.

He raised the matter in general business during the Council on Federal Financial Relations summit.



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