Port Douglas tour boat operators get Marine Tourism Rebate


Karlie Brady


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Tourism boat operators can apply for support to offset the cost of private marina berthing fees. Image: Karlie Brady.
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Eligible Port Douglas tour boat operators will be able to access a share of $2 million in fee relief from the State Government to offset the cost of private marina berthing fees.

The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had listened to the concerns of local vessel operators, who are major employers in the Far North, and implemented the COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate program this week.

“This is a key part of Queensland’s economic recovery strategy, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, to help accelerate the state’s recovery from the pandemic,” she said.

“Tourism is the backbone of our economy, supporting one in five local jobs.

“We’re investing heavily in this industry to support local businesses to make it through this pandemic.

“We know dozens of tour boat operators in the region are struggling to make ends meet.”

The assistance available under this program is a rebate up to a maximum amount of $20,000 (excluding GST) per operator.

Ms Lui urged operators to check their eligibility and to apply as soon as possible because once the fund is fully subscribed applications would no longer be taken.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, Chief Executive Officer, Tara Bennett, said the local marine sector is in desperate need of support to remain competitive in the toughest of trading environments.

“The fee relief rebate goes some way to addressing the inequity that is present with state-owned marina assets in other regions providing free berth and marina facilities since March,” she said.

“I dearly hope our regions marine operators are successful in their applications as this is likely to be heavily oversubscribed with a large fleet in the Whitsundays also eligible.

Owner of Sailaway Port Douglas, Steve Edmondson, said he welcomes any support they can get for their local family business.

“It is finally recognising the difficulties for tenants in private marinas and although support is very welcome, unfortunately it is still not proportionate to our expenses relating to marina berth rent.

“However, every bit does help,” he said.

Applications are open. To apply to visit the QRIDA application portal via https://applyonline.qrida.qld.gov.au/login 

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