Marinas in Queensland account for more than a quarter of the country’s total gross revenues for all marinas, but marina owners also have the most negative financial outlook. A report by the Marina Industries Association of Australia (MIAA) attributes that pessimistic view to "disproportionately high taxes" and leases that Queensland’s marinas must pay.
The “2011 Health of the Australian Marina Industry Survey” said Queensland's marinas had more tenants (939) than any other state, and generated 26 per cent of Australian marinas total gross revenues in 2010/11. But the state’s marinas also paid 30 per cent of the total taxes and lease charges.
Only 40 per cent of Queensland’s marinas expect to grow gross revenue this financial year, while nationally the average was 49 per cent.
“The report provides the evidence that industry has been saying for years. Queensland marinas are paying excessive taxes and lease payments,” said Mike Harvey, manager of Runaway Bay Marina and MIAA board member, in a statement. “This is strangling marina investment in a state with a natural competitive advantage in recreational boating.”
According to the report, the national average of capital expenditures to gross revenues by Australia’s marinas was 46 per cent. But that number varied greatly across the country. In Western Australia, the percentage was 85 per cent, while in Victoria it was 64 per cent. In Queensland, it was only 10 per cent.
Mark Robertson, chairman of Marine Queensland’s marina division, said the lack of capital expenditure by marinas was due to a lack of government action to remove barriers holding back investment.
“The challenge for the new state government is to quickly create a positive sustainable investment environment,” said Robertson in the statement. “For example, mandating marina lease arrangements that provide a long-term incentive for investment by marina operators and financiers is urgently needed.”
Robertson said the state's trade association is planning to hold discussions with newly appointed ministers and department heads to address tax and lease issues.