How does this make you feel? For
a comparison, see the NT where the annual registration fee for
all private vessels is $0.00. Or, compare this with WA where,
typically, the annual fee for a private vessel 16 m LOA is $261.
msq may claim all sorts of reasons for
these outrageous increases, but you would have to be nuts to
believe anything they have done or intend to do could possibly
justify this patently obvious grab for cash. This, one suspects,
has much to do with some mandarins trying to create an administration
pyramid at our expense.
But wait! There's more!!
msq also insist that private vessels between 15 and 35 m must
carry pollution clean up and wreck removal insurance cover ($250
000 and $10 000 000 respectively).
Now if your vessel is in this size category,
you would need to contact a local insurer who will inform you
that these two extras can be included in a pre-existing comprehensive
policy. In fact, that is the only way you can get these two extras.
OK you say? Not really. What if you don't want to buy a comprehensive
policy for your boat? It is not a legal requirement anywhere
in Australia to have a comprehensive policy. (Some vessels such
as ferro and some older boats can't get comprehensive cover in
I would suggest that what msq have done borders on the illegal.
Due to their rules, you may be obliged to purchase a policy that
you have no real need or wish for.
Suppose you are a Queensland local and decide to pen your 15
m vessel for a year and the marina requires only third party
property cover. If you adjust your policy then, technically speaking,
msq can, even in the confines of the marina, charge you with
not possessing the required insurance cover. Would they? Why
If you can't get a comprehensive policy to attach the two extra
insurance components to, you can try to obtain an "exemption".
See the msq site. You must get a "seaworthy" statement
from a surveyor and an acceptable "risk management plan"
must also be established. Msq clearly have no idea what these
are as they cannot supply any information on either. They leave
it to you to get these from a surveyor (costing about $1600).
Then, after you have submitted the documentation, it then takes
a minimum of 12 weeks to process it! (No guarantees here. How
can they assess something they know nothing about?)
It is an annual event. Are they serious? What a welcome to visitors!
Note that if you actually behave responsibly
and want to obtain the two insurance components, it is still
impossible to get them even if you get the exemption. The exemption
does not absolve you from clean up or wreck removal claims by
msq should your vessel come to grief. This makes a mockery of
the msq claim to responsible management of the environment. It
certainly opens doubt about the intellectual veracity of the
msq management team.
So!! There you are sailing your 15m dream
boat from Europe through the Pacific, heading to Queensland.
You have scoured the websites and are up on the Aussie Customs
nightmare (or maybe you are an interstate sailor on a holiday).
You wish to visit or transit Queensland waters and on arrival
you are fined for not complying with these two local requirements.
(You must have all this done before entering Queensland waters.
Check the msq website).
If the reef protection issue is as essential as msq implies,
then why not include it in the current outrageous registration
fees for all vessels? An 8m vessel is as capable as a 15m vessel
of causing pollution. A fully submerged 8m vessel is probably
more expensive to remove from a distant reef as a 30m yacht blown
onto a beach. All vessels are capable of inflicting pollution
and removal costs. When a cyclone blows a dozen yachts onto a
breakwater, the ones over 15 m, except ferro, are insured for
pollution and wreck removal and the smaller ones are not! Does
this make any sense to you?
There has to be a better way of managing
the issues than the msq model.
Send a bullet to the ministers' office.
After all, he is ultimately responsible.
Hon John Mickel MP
Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations.
Or try your local member. Don't worry about
msq as they can't wriggle out of the legislation and have nothing
to add to the matter.
The smart state? Ho, ho ho! What a joke.
PO Box 2890