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Baldwin welcomes HRH Princess Anne & further accredited marine training courses.



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Media Release The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP

13 July 2006

BALDWIN WELCOMES HRH PRINCESS ANNE & FURTHER ACCREDITED MARINE TRAINING COURSES HRH Princess Anne will officially launch the Royal Yachting Association in Australia, at a ceremony in Sydney today.

Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources will welcome HRH Princess Anne and the advent of Royal Yachting Association accredited training courses in Australia.

The courses are now being offered by 15 training centres spread through Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia and the RYA has plans for further expansion over the next 12 months.

Mr Baldwin, a boating enthusiast who has sailed in several Sydney to Hobart races, says the impact of the courses is potentially profound.

"Right now, there are around 770,000 boats registered in Australia and about 1.3 million people with a recreational boat license.

"The marine industry is worth around $5.5b. It exports more than $750m of product and employs over 29,000 people.

"The internationally recognised RYA courses mean that people in the Australia marine industry will be able to apply their newly acquired skills at home and overseas.

"I understand that the super yacht industry is already reaping the benefits with crews undertaking training as their vessels are refitted in Australia", Mr Baldwin said.

The RYA courses also have the potential to deliver spin off benefits to the tourism industry.

"Indications are that a lucrative 'niche' tourism sector may also be developing around the RYA courses offered in Australia as international visitors from the UK, Europe, South Africa and Canada choose to combine a holiday with training.

"These holiday makers tend to stay longer and spend more during their stay than average visitors," Mr Baldwin said.

In recognition of the marine industry's positive impact across a broad spectrum, Mr Baldwin said

the Australian Government was working with the marine industry to develop a Marine Industry Action Agenda.

"This plan is aimed at further improving the marine industry's competitiveness, sustainability, professionalism and safety to ensure the industry reaches its potential as a major contributor to Australia's economy.

"The arrival of RYA accredited training courses in Australia is a very welcome step on the way to achieving our professionalism and safety objectives" Mr Baldwin said.