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Qld marinas tempered by on-going uncertainty

Qld marinas tempered by on-going uncertainty

by October 15, 2014

Queensland (QLD) marinas are being held back from making a much more significant contribution to the State economy according to Colin Bransgrove, Executive Officer of the Marina Industries Association (MIA). “While QLD marinas have been optimistic about revenue growth the reality is they have not been investing in their businesses”. His comments are founded on independent research commissioned by the MIA and supported by leaders in the industry.

The research was conducted by the Recreational Marine Research Centre, Michigan State University using industry data from the 2012/2013 financial year. The data was collected from 163 of Australia’s 347 marinas.

Nationally 40% of marinas expected growth in gross revenues in the 2013/14 period with marinas in QLD (55%) and NSW (44%) the most optimistic. According to Marine Queensland General Manager Don Jones the projected optimism from QLD marinas has been tempered by on-going uncertainty around the matter of marina leases and lease payments. “This uncertainty is having a significant and negative impact on the marina sector in the State” he said.

The data from the research relating to capital investment highlights that QLD has been suffering from the uncertainty around these issues for some time. During the survey period the ratio of capital expenditure to gross revenue was 16% for QLD marinas while the national average was 62%. Furthermore only 9% of QLD marinas surveyed invested in new revenue producing facilities or services against at national average of 33% and only 9% of QLD marinas invested in new boat storage capacity against the national average of 27%. The average amount spent on new or improved environmental facilities or technologies at QLD marinas was $9,000. This was half the national average despite QLD marinas being the biggest in the country as measured by turnover and boat storage capacity.

MIA QLD Director Mike Harvey from Runaway Bay Marina said the data provides a clear indication that State government inertia has been holding back the marina industry. “It is ironic that QLD has the most registered recreational boats, the biggest marinas in the country and close to average boat occupancy. Yet we have a government that has been sitting on its hands and it has not sorted out the mess with three agencies meddling in the management and setting of marina lease charges. The State should be leading the country with marina investment as it is a clear competitive advantage and strongly linked to our vital tourism industry.”

The research indicated that across Australian marinas provide employment for approximately 19,000 people and generate gross revenues of $4.1 billion per annum. According to Colin Bransgrove the QLD marina industry has the most latent potential of any state to grow strongly and significantly boost employment in coastal communities. “It needs the State government take the shackles off industry and let it fulfil its potential” he said.

The full research report can be found on the MIA web site-