So far this year, Queensland has attracted 25 visiting vessels, injecting $38 million into the economy, including $28 million in refit and maintenance.
Rivergate Marina & Shipyard has welcomed 15 privately owned and five commercial superyachts since March 2020 when restrictions were put in place. Of these vessels, 12 were foreign-flagged, and eight were Australian.
Under strict guidelines that require crew to quarantine and pass testing for COVID-19, these superyachts took advantage of a break in Brisbane to undertake refit projects, repairs and maintenance. Crews from international ports such as Singapore were relieved to finally set foot on shore and enjoy the warm hospitality of Brisbane after completing strict lockdowns on their vessels.
While at Rivergate, several captains expressed their gratitude for the professionalism, support and seamless procedures in place.
One captain of a 51-metre Feadship congratulated Rivergate on the world-class calibre of their customer service as well as the synergy among the skilled workforce on site.
He observed, “They worked together with pride and commitment, providing the best outcome for the yacht.”
Andrew Cannon, General Manager at Rivergate, said: “It’s vital for the tenants and trades at Rivergate and the broader superyacht industry that we continue to operate in compliance with COVID-19 protocols and promote Brisbane as a safe haven for the region’s fleet.”
David Good, CEO at Superyacht Australia, explained: “Since the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions, our primary focus has been on making sure vessels can receive exemptions and continue to arrive into Australia, particularly Queensland.”
These visiting vessels are carrying out refit and maintenance work, keeping many local tradespeople and contractors employed.
Good continued, “There are another three vessels en route to Queensland and two applications are awaiting approval. Along with every vessel, every crew member and every crew rotation for all vessels in Australia needs to have exemptions processed.
“It’s a complex process that agents, with support from Superyacht Australia, are undertaking to keep the industry alive and the shipyard tradespeople and contractors in work.”
The Queensland Government has provided support for key industries generating income for the Queensland economy. The Queensland Department of Health has been pivotal in the development of the COVID-safe protocol that allows superyachts to come to Queensland to undertake maintenance.