Marine groups join forces

THE Gold Coast Marine Industry Association (GCMIA) has merged operations with the Boating Industry Association of Queensland (BIAQ).

Under the new arrangement, the GCMIA will continue to operate as an incorporated association under its existing name; but will officially become the Gold Coast Division of the BIAQ.

GCMIA president Charles Dickson says the move is in keeping with recommendations made under the Federal Government's Marine Industry Action Agenda and will increase the local industry's bargaining power when state and federal government representations are necessary.

"Gold Coast boat builders now produce around 80 per cent of the total number of boats built in Australia," says Dickson.

"The local industry currently exports over $300 million worth of boats and boating products each year and the Coomera marine precinct is internationally regarded as one of the best examples of industry clustering in the world.

"The time is right for us to work more closely with the BIAQ and the over-riding national body, the Australian Marine Industry Federation, to ensure we maintain our competitive advantage over mass-produced US imports and the likelihood of even cheaper competition from China in the near future."

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