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INTERNATIONAL superyachts will be able to sail into the Gold Coast Seaway from this weekend in a coup for the city’s boating and tourism industries.
An Australian Customs boarding station, complete with Biosecurity and border force staff, will be set up at the Southport Yacht Club as part of a 12-month trial.
Superyacht Queensland chairman Cameron Bray said the move was a result of extensive lobbying from Superyacht Australia.
“It has been a big initiative, especially with the Commonwealth Games coming up, it makes perfect sense.”
Mr Bray said a single superyacht on the Gold Coast could generate up to $20,000 each day for the economy. It was equal to the spending of 2000 cruise ship passengers, he said.
“For us that’s huge.”
And the Gold Coast shipbuilding industry is also expected to benefit.
“Vessels could travel from the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, so generally they require some kind of maintenance by the time they get here. It’s not just the shipyards who benefit from that, electricians, painters and even florists — all trades will benefit.”
International vessels that pass customs at the Seaway must be private and can be no greater than 50m long.
Federal Trade Minister and Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo said there was a demand on the Glitter Strip for international yachties.
“We know there is a strong desire for people to come straight into the city and not have to spend extra hours going via Brisbane,” Mr Ciobo told 7 News.