Australia’s most famous boat builder, Bill Barry-Cotter says “grey imports” are responsible for about 90 per cent of the industry’s job losses over the past three years.
Barry-Cotter, who is the CEO of Maritimo motor cruisers is calling on the Australian federal government to change laws that allow “grey imports" of boats. As reported through IBI news this week the Gold Coast builder says the dumping of unregulated boats is responsible for 90 per cent of boat manufacturing job losses in the last three years on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Barry-Cotter told local media that while the government was concerned about Ford cars laying off 1,800 workers in Victoria, they ignored the fact their policies resulted in boat manufacturers shedding 1,600 jobs over the last three years.
He says that the combination of grey imports and a high Australian dollar has made it extremely tougher for domestic boat builders to compete in their own market.
He says boats are coming in from overseas that don't comply with any standards whatsoever. He says the marine industry has lobbied for a change in the import laws, but the government has so far refused to budge.
Barry-Cotter says that the upcoming carbon tax will add even more cost to local boat builder, especially to engine cost. With the new carbon tax in July, he expects the price of a boat to rise between 5 and 8 per cent.