Inside Track

Victoria slammed by highest costs

Marinas in Victoria have the highest lease, tax and payroll costs of any state in Australia according to independent research commissioned by the Marina Industries Association (MIA).
 
Costs amount to 61.2% of gross revenue compared to the national average of 44%. Tasmania and Western Australia were lowest at 37% and 38% respectively. Lease and tax charges paid by Victorian marinas averaged 32% of gross revenues compared to the national average of 20%.
 
The research was conducted by the Recreational Marine Research Center, Michigan State University, using industry data from the 2012/13 financial year. Data was collected from 163 of Australia’s 347 marinas.
Stefan Borzecki, MIA Victorian director, and owner of Yaringa Boat Harbour, says these figures highlight one of the challenges facing industry in the state despite the good demand for services at Victorian marinas including berthing, repairs and associated activities. “This is reflected by the research findings that Victorian marina berth occupancies are at 88%, or 5% above the national average,” he notes. “And, as it is so difficult to build or extend a marina in Victoria, demand should continue to grow and gross turnovers increase.”
 
“Unfortunately, this does not necessarily translate into growth in net profit. The staggering percentage Victorian marinas pay in lease, tax and payroll costs has a lot to do with this. These excessive costs also reduce a marina business’s capacity to employ more staff to meet the growing demand.”
 
The research indicated that marinas across Australia provide employment for approximately 19,000 people. Boating Industry Association Victorian CEO, Steven Potts, points out the important part that Victoria plays in this. “The research demonstrated that Victorian marinas are very important employment hubs along the Victorian coast. We need to fully support the marinas so they can continue to foster new job creation,” he urges.

Momentum builds for marine15

The programme for marine15 – the three-stream international conference and trade exhibition to be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast 3rd-5th May – is being finalised. The associated exhibition space, marinex@marine15, is also shaping up very well and looking to be the largest exhibition of its kind in Australasia.
 
Topics within the marina stream will include new technology; berth occupancy versus yield; and drystack case studies. Obtaining development approvals for marina upgrades, expansions and redevelopments will be the focus of a special session led by Dr Kate Panayotou, principal consultant environmental management and communications at GHD. She will focus most particularly on the strategies and processes for effective stakeholders and community consultation.
 
On the morning of 3rd May, prior to the official opening, a special two-hour forum will be held to address the needs of publicly run marinas. Strongly supported by various government agencies, this should prove to be an invaluable opportunity for marina managers to network and discuss ongoing concerns.
 
Delegates will also learn more about the three best profit ideas submitted by marina industry professionals and vote for the best idea. Find out how to submit a best profit idea on www.marine15.com. The winner will receive AU$700 to put towards an electronic device of their choice compliments of marine15 Platinum Sponsor, Bellingham Marine.
 
The latest programme updates can also be found on the website including pre and post activities such as technical tours and other special interest meetings.
 
Register now to secure early bird rates and book accommodation at the RACV Royal Pines Resort. The event is expected to attract around 550 delegates from 20 countries.
 

METS 2014 beats yet more records

METS 2014 proved to be yet another record-breaking B2B success with 21,086 visitors and 1,358 exhibitors. The show attracted more international visitors (a rise of 6.5%) and more decision-makers (up 3%).
 
The Marina & Yard Pavilion (MPY) shared in the upsurge in terms of exhibitors and visitors although ‘quality’ rather than ‘quantity’ was the watchword. “We feel there were fewer visitors than we received when we exhibited in the Swedish Pavilion but more relevant potential customers,” confirmed Lars Brandt of Seaflex. “We are committed to continuing to exhibit in the MYP in coming years,” he added.
 
Ramon van Asselt of Orsta Marina Systems Nederland agreed that the MYP attracted “focused visitors” and felt they were “ready to do business”, and James Beaver of first-time exhibitor Moffatt & Nichol reported “some strong enquiries”.
 
Virginie Segura of Poralu, France, commented: “The MYP was successful for us due to the discussions we had in terms of projects and partnerships. It would be a great idea to duplicate this event in other territories like Asia and the Middle East as markets are expanding in these regions and there is no appropriate show.”
 
Lars Gunnar Odhe of SF Marina, Sweden, summed up as follows: “We really enjoyed exhibiting in the MYP at METS. We consider it to be the best show and meeting place in the world for our market.”
 
METS 2015 will be held 17th-19th November in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.