Labor is backing the thousands of Australians who work in the super yacht industry by today supporting the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019.
Tourism is at the heart of our economy driving good jobs, new infrastructure investment and increasing quality of life, particularly in regional communities.
The Bill will enable international super yachts to be offered for hire or charter on Australian waters, thereby potentially securing jobs and contracts for Australian workers, service companies and suppliers of premium goods.
While Labor recognises the benefits of this industry, we believe improved access for super yachts must not be at the expense of Australian tourism cruise operators or the Australian shipping industry more broadly, and must not facilitate the further eroding of pay and conditions, and job prospects of Australian seafarers.
That is why Labor secured Government amendments to exclude the transportation of commercial cargo under a super yacht temporary licence.
Labor also ensured the Government’s revised Explanatory Memorandum specifies that Australian wages and working conditions apply to the crews of superyachts sailing in Australian waters under a temporary licence.
While Labor backed the amended Bill today and the jobs that will flow from it, we remain strongly concerned that the Coalition Government is failing to support Australia’s maritime industry.
An eighteen month sunset clause on the bill will give the Government time to deliver long term solutions and ensure that there are no unintended consequences that would disadvantage the local industry.
The Government must take urgent action to reverse the decline in Australia’s shipping industry, which has seen the reported number of Australian flagged commercial vessels fall to as low as 11.