Yachties drowning in red tape and fees

THE vast difference between weekday and weekend fees for cruising yacht owners to enter Australia via the Port of Bundaberg Marina has caused many yacht owners to spend extra nights at sea, according to local yacht owners.

“This year in the Port2Port, there were about 30 boats offshore because they didn’t want to pay the extra fees,” Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Club vice-president Richard Schofield said.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service fees on a weekday are about $320, while on a weekend they are about $640.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said the charges and red tape were harming Bundaberg and Australia’s reputation as one of the best destinations for cruising yachts.

“If we don’t address this issue then we are allowing our competitor New Zealand to run a scare campaign in the South Pacific, which targets cashed up American yachting families and other potential international visitors,” Mr Messenger said.

AQIS said it was unable to comment.



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