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Speech to the Aimex Annual Networking Function and 2009 Australian Marine Industry Export Awards.

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The Hon Anthony Byrne MP Parliamentary Secretary for Trade

Speaking Notes

10 August 2009

Aimex Annual Networking Function and 2009 Australian Marine Industry Export Awards


Thank you very much Barry for such a warm welcome, it is my great pleasure to be here this evening.

I would like to acknowledge:

• Alistair Murray, President of AIMEX • Sean Griffin, Vice President of AIMEX • Mary Anne Edwards, CEO of AIMEX • The AIMEX Board • Representatives of Club Marine, key sponsor of tonight’s function • The major sponsors for this year’s marine export awards; namely:


o Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show o Austrade; and, o The Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

AIMEX members and guests,


This is AIMEX’s first year organising and managing the marine industry export awards and it has been a great success, with a strong field of entrants. From what began as a small group of like-minded exporters 11 years ago, AIMEX has grown to become the peak body representing the Australian marine export industry. This growth has helped to increase Australia’s marine profile internationally, opening doors in new markets and assisting new exporters.

I was fortunate to have recently visited the marine precinct at the Gold Coast, to obtain a first hand experience of the internationally renowned Australian products that are exported around the globe.

I note that the Gold Coast City Council has been a welcome and vocal advocate for the industry in recent times.

The past year has certainly been a period of upheaval for the industry and anyone who attended Sanctuary Cove can attest to how, quite literally, it has been about weathering the storm!

To this end, AIMEX recently organised a series of workshops around the country funded by the Government’s Enterprise Connect program.

These workshops were designed to assist marine companies manage through these turbulent times by addressing key areas of business performance, developing alternative commercial strategies and strengthening business networks. The feedback from attendees has been fantastic and it is these kinds of initiatives that can make a key difference for marine


AIMEX works closely with the Australian Government’s trade and investment agency, Austrade, to support Australian companies at a number of local and international events. In the past 12 months, this has included the Dubai, Korea and Shanghai Boat Shows, IBEX (‘I-beks’) in Miami and METS (‘Mets’) in Amsterdam. Locally, they have collaborated at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and here at the Sydney International Boat Show.

Austrade has provided AIMEX with assistance in preparing this year’s awards application so that applicants to these Awards can progress to their State and Territory Export Awards programs using the same application.

Winners of those State and Territory awards then progress to the Australian Export Awards, which is currently in its 47th year.


Many of you here tonight know at firsthand the difficulties of competing in international markets.

The Australian Government is aware of these long-term challenges, including competition from lower cost but lower quality boats, as well as the impact of the global financial crisis on sales.

One way in which the Australian Government is helping exporters, like the marine industry, is working hard to break down barriers to trade and investment.

At the multilateral level we are pushing for the finalisation of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization. Once finalised, the Doha Round will lock the world into the discipline of lower tariff regimes.

At the regional and bilateral level Australia is making efforts to expand our networks of free trade agreements, especially in the Asia Pacific.

In February, for example, as the global economy sank into one of the worst downturns since the Great Depression, Trade Minister Simon Crean signed on behalf of Australia an historic free trade agreement between New Zealand, Australia and the ten nations of ASEAN.

The AANZFTA, or ASEAN FTA, is set to begin next year and will reduce or eliminate tariffs across the region. On paper, it will create a common economy of about 600 million people, with a combined GDP of US$2.7 trillion.

Australia is committed to an open international trading and investment system and to a program of lifting domestic productivity.

Protectionism, however, is not the solution to our problems because trade is a stimulus to growth, delivering jobs and higher incomes.

This year’s awards remind us of the importance of innovative sectors, like the Australian marine industry, and how critical their enterprise is to our economy.

We have faith in the high-quality products and services you deliver, and your determination to sell into growing areas of the world economy.

The Australian marine industry is worth around $7.5 billion annually, and a large portion of that is thanks to export sales.


I mentioned Austrade earlier and I would like to highlight a couple of items of interest to everyone here.

I know that many companies here tonight attend international trade shows through AIMEX to make their international marketing dollar go even further and I would like to congratulate AIMEX on its efforts.

If you would like to know more about the detailed changes to EMDG, Austrade is currently running information seminars around the country. These are run by senior grants assessors who can answer all of your questions and provide personal advice on how to apply and how

to maximise your grant entitlement. You can get more information on these sessions via the Austrade website or by talking to the Austrade representatives here with us this evening.

Austrade has an international presence in over 110 locations across more than 60 countries, including a network of marine industry specialists. Here in Australia, there are 18 Austrade offices and another 50 TradeStart offices in partnership with public and private sector organisations. We have here with us tonight representatives from Austrade’s Global Marine Industry Network:

• Leigh Wilmott, Marine Industry Network Coordinator, from Melbourne • Leigh Berwick, Senior Industry Adviser, from Sydney • Peter Ironmonger, Senior Export Adviser, also from Sydney • Dugald Anthony, Senior Export Adviser, from Brisbane

Please feel free to introduce yourself, they will be happy to answer any questions you may have about working with Austrade in international markets.


Australia’s marine industry has benefited from the tireless work of some outstanding individuals in recent years. These ‘Industry Champions’ have led the way, raising the profile of the Australian marine industry internationally and increasing its prominence domestically. We would like to thank these individuals for the benefits that they have provided to the entire industry.

Tonight therefore is an opportunity to celebrate shared success, recognise excellence and honour this year’s winners.

It is an opportunity to be recognised by your peers and the community as Australia’s leading exporters in the marine field.

It is also an opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new acquaintances and share experiences.

I hope that the conversations you have this evening sow the seeds of export success for you in the year ahead, and your entry into next year’s awards.

So without further ado, I would like to welcome Grant Wilson, Manager Aerospace and Marine Industries in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, to present the award for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Marine Industry Export Champion.

There are three finalists for the award and they are: • John Muir • Alistair Murray • Barry Jenkins

The judges have awarded two Highly Commended Awards in this category, can I ask that the winners please come forward when their names are announced.

The first Highly Commended Award is to Barry Jenkins.

Most would know Barry Jenkins as Mr Sanctuary Cove. Barry has a tireless commitment to the industry having year run the boat show since its inception and travelling internationally to attract buyers and visitors to the show in Australia.

His efforts have resulted in Sanctuary Cove Boat show being a truly international show with delegations coming from Korea, Taiwan, China, Middle East, Malaysia, USA, Singapore and NZ.

Barry has undertaken numerous industry related public speaking opportunities in Taiwan, China and South Korea to promote the Australian Marine industry to interested parties. He also speaks regularly to many international delegations who visit Sanctuary Cove to inspect the resort’s marine based facilities.

Barry’s roles in the industry have involved being President of SuperYacht base, President of the Australian Marine Industry Federation, President Marine Queensland and a director of AIMEX.

Passion, tenacity, and purpose motivate Barry to champion the Australian marine industry in its many facets. Involvement with AIMEX remains a priority in Barry’s strategy to promote and elevate the Australian recreational marine industry through the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show vehicle.

The second Highly Commended Award goes to John Muir.

John Muir, Managing Director of Tasmanian-based Muir Engineering has been at the helm of his family-owned company for 40 years. John is driven and passionate about his own business and for the marine industry as a whole.

John is dedicated to the growth of export markets and driven to be the finest windlass manufacturer in the world.

John Muir is still at the ‘coal face’ as he has been for the last 40 years traveling the globe and exhibiting at major international boat shows. His efforts in promoting the marine export industry and the Australian product were recognized last year being presented with the 2008 Australian Superyacht Industry “Person of the Year”.

John has been a significant supporter of the goals of AIMEX since its inception.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to announce the winner of the DIISR Marine Industry Export Champion Award is Alistair Murray.

Alistair has demonstrated true industry leadership and will be well known to all in the marine export industry.

He was a founding member of AIMEX. He conceived, planned and ran the International Sailing Summit in Geelong in 1999 and this event is now held every year with the 9th International Sailing Summit held in Paris in December 2008.

Alistair is the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Ambassador for Australia, working with people around the world to promote sailing.

Other key achievements have included driving key issues as a representative on the Governments Marine Industry Action Agenda, Board Member of the BIA of Victoria, Board

Member of Sail America, Board Member of the Melbourne Volvo Ocean Race Stopover and Board member of Sail Melbourne.

Testimony to the level of commitment Alistair has shown over a long period include a personal Governor of Victoria’s Export Award, an Austrade Export Hero Award, a Centenary Award for Services to Industry, a number of BIAV Industry Achiever Awards and most recently induction into the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame as an individual.

In all of his endeavours Alistair’s primary passion has been for export and anyone who knows him would say he has one of the busiest schedule of international travel and I understand he is also known at METS for his dancing and bar tendering skills.