Victoria’s Marine Industry, which employs 17,700 EFT and generates $4.5 billion annually into the State’s economy, is a major key to unlocking billions of dollars of future investment, economic development and major employment opportunities, the Boating Industry Association of Victoria said today on the eve of the Melbourne Boat Show which opens on Friday .
Steven Potts, CEO of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV), said “Victoria’s world class expanding marine industry and related tourism activities provides Government at all levels with major opportunities to interface with the private sector to create a stronger BLUE ECONOMY, which to date has not been fully recognised or promoted as a policy at all levels of Government despite its massive potential.
“It is a little known fact that there are more boats in Victoria than motorbikes or caravans, and that just under one million Victorians annually are engaged in marine activities. This is expected to double with the predicted population increase in the central coastal areas of Victoria, including Port Phillip and Western Port, from 4.6 million to nearly 8 million by 2050.
“This forecast population increase and demand we believe will see Geelong, where a proposed $5.2 billion 4000 berth residential marina Nelson Cove estimated to generate $20 billion of economic activity, and a new safe boat harbour project for the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, and the recently approved Balmoral Quay residential marina, could make Geelong the Boating Capital of Port Phillip Bay.”
The recent opening of Wyndham Harbour has also provided a major important residential boating and safe harbour facility between Melbourne and Geelong.
The BIAV have also nominated the Mornington Peninsula and the establishment of a major boat harbour at Frankston as two areas which are set to play a future significant role in future marine activities and the developing strength of Victoria’s Blue Economy.
Melbourne based boat manufacturers including Haines Hunter, Bar Crusher, Whittley, Evolution and Caribbean are all releasing new innovations and models at the 2016 Melbourne Boat Show reflecting the strength and potential growth of the Victorian Marine Industry.
Mr Potts said through the BIAV’s continuing education and industry linked apprenticeship careers program, the Melbourne Boat Show will also be used to attract apprentices and provides a unique opportunity to view and discuss the type of jobs involved in the marine industry including marine mechanics, marina management, manufacturing, repair and servicing of all watercraft.
Developing Victoria’s BLUE ECONOMY, a major part of Victoria’s lifestyle and tourism economy at both a domestic and international level, needs to be supported with appropriate expenditure and co-ordinated policies by Government at all levels to protect and enhance Victoria’s BLUE SPACE to underpin its long term economic and environmental viability.