THE potential for lucrative superyacht and cruise ship traffic to Greater Whitsunday region marinas remains a focus for a key economic development group.
Superyacht opportunities for the region were discussed during a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Greater Whitsunday Alliance representatives and Mackay business leaders in Canberra this week.
While current infrastructure at the Mackay Marina is able to accommodate cruise ships and superyachts, there are existing financial barriers to doing so.
Dawson MP George Christensen, who was also involved in the meeting, said the Federal Government had introduced laws to remove these barriers.
The Special Recreational Vessels Bill was introduced into the House by Mr McCormack on Wednesday, and could be debated as soon as next week.
GW3 chief executive Kylie Porter said the group was part of a Northern Australia delegation to Canberra involved in a series of meetings with key advisers and ministers.
MEETING: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in Canberra with, from left, CQ University Deputy VC Pierre Viljoen, David Hartigan from Field Engineers, GW3 CEO Kylie Porter, Josie Angus from Signature Beef, Melissa Green from BOQ, Jason Sharam from Linked Group and Dawson MP George Christensen.
Key topics discussed included water, roads, skills and resources.
“We wanted to make sure that, as a collective group, we were able to inform the refreshment of the Northern Australia agenda to make sure the realities of living and doing business in Northern Australia is reflected in this new agenda moving forward,” Ms Porter said.
“The reason why we brought regional delegates is to make sure that story around the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region is clearly heard and understood.”
Ms Porter said difficulties the region had faced in accessing the Northern Australia Infrastrcuture Facility, as well as digital infrastructure, were also raised.
“Being able to simplify the application process or the engagement that needs to occur with a NAIF application is critically important,” she said.
Those involved in the meetings included Ms Porter, Linked Group’s Jason Sharam, Signature Beef’s Josie Angus, CQ University Deputy VC Pierre Viljoen, Field Engineers’ David Hartigan and BOQ’s Melissa Green.