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RESPECTED global superyacht experts have joined the chorus of Far North voices calling for charter restrictions on foreign-flagged vessels to be lifted.

Andy Shorten, director of Indonesian company The Lighthouse Consultancy, said Cairns’ multi-million dollar superyacht industry could break new ground if the federal government made chartering in Australian waters viable for international vessels.

“You’ve got the infrastructure here (in Cairns) to handle it,” Mr Shorten said.

“You can see the market out there and the possibilities of what might come, but it’s impossible to fully know what’s there until you’ve opened that door.”

It comes as Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) this week welcomes delegates for an international “famil tour”.

American Yacht Agents owner Debora Radtke said, while the Far North had a good reputation within global superyacht circles, the industry’s full potential in Australia would not be reached unless the restrictions were eased.

“For Australia, changing the legislation would make a huge difference,” she said.

It comes after a report, commissioned by the Australian Marine Export Group, found that easing charter restriction on foreign superyachts could grow the industry’s Gross Domestic Product from $1.97 billion in 2016 to $3.34 billion by 2021.

In the meantime, the delegates, some of whom have never before visited Cairns, will be given a comprehensive tour of the Far North this week.


Full attribution to:
Hayden Smith, The Cairns Post