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The Special Recreational Vessel Bill 2019 has passed in the Australian Senate, allowing foreign superyachts to charter in Australia under a temporary Coastal Trading Licence.

Written by Superyacht Australia

05 December 2019


David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia welcomed the news of the Special Recreational Vessel Bill passing Parliament.

“We commend the Morrison Government for recognising that now is the critical time to act. Huge events in the Pacific over the next 18 months will mean large numbers of superyachts will be in our region. The Tokyo Olympics in July 2020 and the Americas Cup in Auckland in 2021 are expected to bring around 160 superyachts to our region.

“The number of high value travellers that this will bring to regional Australia is significant. Tourism Australia has been working with Superyacht Australia to ensure our country’s signature experiences are well marketed to these potential charter clients. The 11,800 jobs this will create again mostly in regional areas is something the government should be proud of.”

Australia is the dominant refit and maintenance provider for superyachts in the Asia/Pacific region, with facilities and skilled tradesmen that rival what is available in the USA and Europe.


Echo Yachts in WA, BSE Cairns Slipways, Tropical Reef Shipyard and Norship in Cairns; Rivergate, BSE and The Yard in Brisbane; The Boat Works and GCCM on the Gold Coast; Harwood Marine on the Clarence River in Northern NSW, Sydney City Marine in Sydney are all very capable superyacht refit yards.

“This is where the majority of jobs will be created. Our refit facilities have invested over $100M on growing their capabilities over the last 12 months to meet this expected demand,” added Good.

The industry has been working hard for the ability for foreign vessels to charter for a very long time, commencing with industry stalwarts like Captain Richard Morris and Lance Cushion, business owners such as Paul Darrouzett, Trenton Gay, Justin Parer and more recently with the Superyacht Australia charter working group led by former CEO MaryAnne Edwards, Kane Bygrave, Cameron Bray, Jo Howard and Luke McCaul, with the assistance and political advice from of Damien McGreevy, Nick Trompf and Dan McCarthy.

“There is a lot of people that have contributed to this outcome and the reason why there are so many, is because this is such an important change for our industry and for Australia,” stated Good.

“This new legislation will likely triple our industry activity almost overnight, with double the vessels visiting and the length of stay for each vessel increasing significantly.

“Australia is a year round destination, with vessels encouraged to explore the Great Barrier Reef, Northern Territory and the Kimberley’s in the winter whilst in summer enjoy, Port Stephens, Pittwater, Eden, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, Abrolhos Islands, Margaret River and Rottnest Island.

“Events in Melbourne such as the Australian Open and F1 GP and on Sydney Harbour such as SailGP,  NYE and Australia Day celebrations are expected to increase in popularity for high value travellers with the ability to stay onboard a superyacht in 6-star luxury.

“We look forward to welcoming a huge increase in superyachts to Australia and invite the guests and crew to stay longer and enjoy all that Australia has to offer,” concluded Good.


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