Welcome to our first edition for 2006, and the first
to feature our outstanding new look. Our editorial and production
teams have been working overtime to give Club
Marine Magazine a facelift
and we hope you enjoy the new format.
Business is booming for the marine sector, as record
numbers of Australians take to the water to enjoy our unique maritime
environment. There are now reportedly more than 650,000 boats registered
in Australia, and boat ownership has increased nationally by more
than 25 per cent over the past ten years – and up to a remarkable 60 per cent
in some states.
According to industry reports, there were more than
5000 new boats registered on the eastern seaboard in the month of
December, 2005, alone. The 2700 companies that make their living from
the marine industry now directly employ some 29,000 people and turn
over more than $5.5 billion per year.
Industry legend, Bill Barry-Cotter recently raised
concerns about the number of boats being imported into Australia,
suggesting that whilst the industry is busy selling boats, it is
busy selling imported boats, and some local manufacturers have seen
their market share drop by up to 50 per cent in recent years. Barry-Cotter
boat builders must not only strive to achieve a healthy share of the
local market, they must also attain added export impetus.” It’s
a case of “export or perish” for some.
The really great news here is that Barry-Cotter and
many of his contemporaries are internationally renowned for building
bloody great boats, and we also have some of the world’s leading manufacturers
of after-market marine products right here. So much so that we are
a significant exporter of boats and marine equipment, and this year
we will send some $750 million dollars worth of marine goods to markets
I am very pleased to see government and industry working
together to make some excellent advances towards providing support
to the local manufacturing industry in a forward-looking way. Organisations
such as the Australian Marine Industry Federation (AMIF), state Boating
Industry Associations (BIAs) and the Australian International Marine
Export Group (AIMEX) are doing great work in this area. And Federal
Industry Minister, Ian McFarlane recently released a paper titled
New Horizons – the Marine Industry Action Agenda, to provide
a national focus for our marine industry. (For info, go to: www.industry.gov.au/marine).
The Action Agenda is intended as a blueprint to bring
all the stakeholders together to tackle a range of critical issues,
including the development of new and innovative product, building
export markets and removing barriers to future growth, such as skills
shortages, environmental and regulatory issues. By pooling the resources
of the entire industry, our local manufacturers should be able to
build on their international reputation and further develop both the
domestic and export markets.
The big question then becomes: Who is focusing on ensuring
that infrastructure for boat users keeps pace with the industry’s
enhanced supply capability? Already the lack of boat ramps, fuel supply
points, marina berths and storage facilities is constraining the growth
of boating in this country.
From where will the investment money come to address
these pressing needs? How will state and local government authorities
manage the eternally conflicting pressures of development vs conservation?
And how will they balance the needs of existing users of waterfront
land with those of the next generation of boat owners?
While I wholeheartedly commend those who are driving
the marine industry to innovate and grow, I join those who are concerned
about the lack of any coordinated effort to address the desperate
lack of facilities for both present and future boat users. I would
welcome your input on this important issue. Please drop me a line
by e-mail to: email@example.com.
Safe boating, and I hope you enjoy the mag.
Publisher and CEO
Club Marine Limited