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The Great Barrier Reef region promises to Rate Highly on Visiting Superyachts Bucket Lists!

Today we welcomed the passing of the “Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019” in the senate.

Our Great Barrier Reef region will now be poised to benefit from increased visitation from foreign-owned superyachts and their Ultra-High-Net-Worth guests resulting in an estimated additional $577m to gross regional product, leading to an extra 4500 jobs over the next two years in our region.

The bill removed a major barrier where foreign-owned superyachts were to pay GST on the value of their vessel for temporary import ($10m+ GST). The new laws provide a temporary licence for up to 12 months which the superyacht industry is predicting will add an extra $1.6bn to GDP and 12,000 jobs.

The bill passed with bi-partisan support and has a sunset clause to ensure that Australia may now harness the expected increase in vessels visiting the South Pacific due to future world events, the Tokyo Olympics (July 2020) and the America’s Cup hosted in NZ in 2021.

We congratulate the Morrison government for their foresight in introducing this bill and applaud the Labour party who have supported it and realised the value to the Australian marine industry.

The SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef acknowledge the tireless efforts and dedication from Superyacht Australia – CEO David Good and his work in capacity as SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef Deputy Chair, we also thank past Superyacht Australia CEO, MaryAnne Edwards and the entire charter working group engaging the AEC to provide an economic impact study proving the true worth of the industry. We have thrown our full support to this new bill since the groups inception with the likes of original founders/lifemembers, Ley James, Stewart Smith, Bill Millett and Carrie Carter and other executive committee and group members lending their time for assistance. 

Chairperson Carrie Carter said “the passing of this bill is an absolute milestone in the history of the Australian SuperYacht industry and the combined efforts of all of the many people involved are to be applauded, especially David Good for the many hours and frequent flights made to Canberra to ensure this bill was passed today”. 

We thank Advance Cairns, Ports North, Cairns Regional Council, Member for Leichhardt – Warren Entsch MP, Michael Healy MP, and Justin Parer – BSE Maritime Solutions for backing this bill along with all of our stakeholders over the long period of time it has taken and we will continue to work with Superyacht Australia to work towards permanent legislation once the tremendous worth of this industry has been proven over the duration of this bill.

“These low-impact, eco-friendly vessels with philanthropic billionaire owners are the perfect high-value-traveller that our region seeks” said Joanne Drake, Manager of the SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef. “We are not talking large volumes of visitors descending onto the reef either, it’s actually a very small total number for the year, which would equate to less than what one of our reef boats caters to in one day – with the added benefit of these vessels offering their assistance for future reef preservation and research efforts!” said Drake.

Our ideal tropical lifestyle, geographical location, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and authentic ancient culture accompanied by all the required infrastructure, refit and maintenance facilities ensures that vessels have everything at their fingertips. The customs clearance port of Cairns and the entire Great Barrier Reef region stands to gain the most. Cairns Marlin Marina boasts the largest capability of all Australian superyacht marinas able to accommodate vessels up to 140m within a two-minute walk to the vibrant CBD, and a 10-minute drive to shipyards and the Cairns International Airport. Nearby extended cruising opportunities exist with our SuperYacht Group Great Barrier Reef marinas in Port Douglas (Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina) and the Whitsunday’s (Coral Sea Marina and Hamilton Island Marina) offering additional diversity and beauty with world-class island resorts up and down the large area of the outstanding Great Barrier Reef.



Joanne Drake
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef
Ph: +61 458 794 001

Carrie Carter
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef
Ph: +61 429 391 046

David Good
SuperYacht Australia, Australian International Marine Export Group AIMEX
Ph:+61 2 9956 8906

The Super Yacht Group Great Barrier is a non-profit, industry consortium, proactive internationally in promoting the GBR region as the perfect home port for superyachts. It attends major boat shows around the world, such as The Monaco Yacht Show, Ft Lauderdale Boat Show, The Singapore Yacht Show and Rendezvous in Tahiti and Fiji.  With the assistance of the Cairns Regional Council and Ports North the group also hosts numerous inbound familiarisation tours.