Western Australia is the only state in Australia manufacturing superyachts, with two large superyacht builders who specialise in the design, manufacture and export of large custom-made superyachts, superyacht refits and maintenance work, worth a total of $226.2 million to the Western Australian economy. The national domestic fleet of superyachts (imported into and operated within Australia) has doubled in the last 12 months.
The SuperYacht industry is a unique industry that employs 570 direct local employees and just over 1,300 indirect full-time employees in Western Australia alone. Those people are highly trained and skilled Project Managers, Naval Architects, Engineers, Designers, Fabrication/Engineering/Electrical/Fit-out/Painting tradespeople and apprentices.
Echo Yachts and Silver Yachts are two Western Australian companies that are the only shipyards manufacturing these leading high-tech vessels in the Southern Hemisphere and hold themselves competitively amongst established European brands. The high cost of labor in Australia is not a significant factor when manufacturing such high quality and high value products.
In December 2019, the Australian Parliament passed the Special Recreational Vessel (SRV) Act to enable foreign flagged vessels to be chartered in Australian waters. This has created a new and unique opportunity for Fremantle to build on the incredible work down at the Australian Marine Complex in SuperYacht builds, maintenance and refits. Since the introduction of the SRV Act, Australia has recorded 150% growth in economic value from visiting international superyachts.
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that Fremantle has the potential to be a world leader in home porting for superyachts providing accommodation for crew, hospitality venues, viewing facilities and access to support services from florists, art, upholstery through to entertainment communications.
The Chamber has been working with Corporate Partners Echo Marine Group and Superyachts Australia to build momentum to ensure Fremantle is able to capitalise on this opportunity and what is required, is focus on consideration of berth infrastructure and capability to meet increased yacht sizes (between 60m to 100m), power requirements and fuel and access to amenities.
One 15 marina in Sentosa Cove Singapore, is a great example of what is required in providing the right private, public and market investment, industry backing and understanding of the links between ship building and maintenance. Queensland is also working hard in this space, capitalising on the industry opportunity.
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, together with industry leaders Echo Marine Group and Silver Yachts (who form part of our Chamber Marine and Engineering Committee), State Government decision makers, industry, tourism, our marine harbour planners and interested parties to investigate the opportunity to leverage the opportunity the SuperYacht industry brings.
Work Done to Date:
SuperYachts industry capability, investigation of links between the AMC, Fishing Boat Harbour, the inner harbour and Rous Head facilities, and stakeholder engagement sessions have been held with industry leaders on how we brand and tell the story of not just industry capability, but also the role they play in servicing and attracting global players in the industry.
A recent media call was also held on Tuesday June 8 with key industry stakeholders, Echo Marine Group and Silver Yachts. The tour included a tour of SuperYachts White Rabbit and Bold.
Stakeholders Engaged to Date:
• The Hon Mark McGowan MLA – Premier of Western Australia
• The Hon Lisa Scaffioti MLA – Minister Transport, Planning & Ports
• The Hon David Templeman MLA – Minister Tourism
• The Hon Simone McGurk MLA – Elected Member for Fremantle
• Mr Josh Wilson MLA – Federal Member for Fremantle and Assistant Shadow Minister Environment
• Mr Michael Parker – CEO Fremantle Ports
• Mr John O’Hare – Executive Director, JTSI
• Nicole Lockwood – Fremantle Future Planning Committee
• Craig Vandepeer – General Manager, Australian Marine Complex Common User Facility
• David Good – (CEO of AIMEX/Superyacht Australia)
• Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan – City of Fremantle
• Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge – City of Fremantle
• Councillor Frank Mofflin – City of Fremantle
• Glen Dougall – Acting CEO City of Fremantle
• Tony Brun – CEO, City of Cockburn
• Roger Makins (Asset and Infrastructure Division) – Fremantle Ports
• Franco Andreone (Manager Planning & Placemaking) – Fremantle Ports
• Corey Verwey – Department Transport (Maritime) – Fishing Boat Harbour
• Larry Adams – Manager Infrastructure Planning – Department Transport (Maritime)
• Donna West – Department Transport (Maritime) – Fishing Boat Harbour & Exmouth Harbour
• Shelley Grice – Department Transport (Maritime) – Fishing Boat Harbour & Exmouth Harbour
• Jackie Crooks – Director Destination Development and Projects – Tourism WA
• Ella Herbert – Project Manager AMC – JTSI
• Adrian Fini/Patrick Hollingworth – Hesperia
• Bret White – Director – Cox Architects
• Sander Toonen – (COO of SilverYachts)
• Chris Blackwell – W.A. Chair of SuperYacht Australia and Marketing Manager Echo Yachts
• One15 Marina in Sentosa Cove Singapore
• Queensland- Capitalising on the marine and support services industry
Fremantle is one of Western Australia’s most frequented and popular urban centres in the State – a historic Port City that attracts residents and visitors in their millions annually. For Fremantle, we know intuitively we have a lot to offer but now is the time to get on the map from a destination perspective. Western Australia needs to find ways to link up the outstanding cruising grounds of the Kimberley and Ningaloo Reef in the North with the servicing and home port locations in Fremantle. We then need to promote our marine support and services capability.
Chamber members Kailis Marine have significant capability in the Fishing Boat Harbour and have also been involved in this conversation for years. They have capacity to help berth vessels between 40m to 70m, and the next steps in the conversation relate to how we build on this in the Fishing Boat Harbour Masterplan or in Victoria Quay, and planning for future opportunities for larger vessels, particularly if the container elements of our working Port move further down the Coast.
The Chamber recognises the substantial benefits the Superyacht industry brings to our Port City and understands the scale and opportunity around the branding and storytelling of not just the industries capability and product, but also the pivotal role in attracting and servicing global players and creating positive opportunity for the entire community in employment, tourism, trade services, manufacturing, events, and local Government.
There is a great opportunity to knowledge share on how the industries are promoted and supported in European and other overseas markets and work with local and state Governments, leveraging and promoting how both companies have won international acclaim at several prestigious international superyacht awards across Europe, the USA and Australia and their promotion in leading SuperYacht and luxury magazine publications. Locally, Queensland has noticed the potential of the SuperYacht industry and is making headways in supporting industry and business and capitalising on the growth generated with 81% of market share in Australia. Western Australia has better links with Asia which is recognised as the major growth area for SuperYachts internationally.
To ensure SuperYachts and other marine industry can continue to move in and out of our Harbours, it is a vital and important that we:
• Work with industry to tell the story, clarify the brand and promote the enormous growth potential and the industries capability, infrastructure and facilities.
• Provide the infrastructure and opportunity of proper large berths for hire in Fremantle and along the Western Australian coastline, improve marine facilities and be included in any future decision-making regarding marina development and planning.
• Australia’s national industry association SuperYacht Australia and Western Australia’s Marine W.A. are here ready to assist the W.A. State Government in quantifying, identifying and facilitating the necessary W.A. State Government, Government Agency and associated Council support necessary to achieve the growth potential, just as the Queensland Government is already doing in supporting and realising at the expense of W.A.
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Photo Credit @limitededitionco