Foreign vessels arriving on the Gold Coast will benefit from a dedicated boarding station as part of a 12 month pilot by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the pilot programme will provide inwards and outwards clearance for vessels and their crew and may encourage additional vessel traffic to the area.
"The boarding station will be active from 1 July this year until 30 June 2018, which will allow us to support the 2018 Commonwealth Games and to assess the potential for a permanent boarding station in the future," Mr Dutton said.
"Australian Border Force and Biosecurity officers will clear foreign vessels of less than 50 metres length at the boarding station, which will be located at the Southport Yacht Club.
"By establishing a boarding station on the Gold Coast, we are expanding our border protection coverage of south east Queensland and supporting local marine and tourism industries."
Federal Member for Moncrieff and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said this is a coup for the city.
"This is yet another way we're growing our city's booming tourism industry by enticing more domestic and international tourists to the Gold Coast, including superyachts," Mr Ciobo said.
"Having the ability to welcome these vessels to Southport Yacht Club rather than having to go into Moreton Bay means more people visiting the city, more growth in our local economy and more jobs in our thriving tourism industry.
"We've worked together with the local government and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation to deliver a fantastic outcome for our city.
"The Coalition Government has invested more than $200 million into delivering a bigger and better Commonwealth Games which, in turn, has transformed our city into a world-class destination."
Federal Member for Fadden Stuart Robert said the boarding station is a vote of confidence for the Gold Coast.
"This is one more step in building the Gold Coast into one of the world's great superyacht destinations and another example of the LNP delivering for the Gold Coast," Mr Robert said.
Stakeholders involved include Gold Coast City Mayor Tom Tate, Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation the Hon Peter Beattie and boating industry representatives.
At the completion of the pilot, an assessment will be made as to the future viability of a permanent boarding station. In the region, similar clearance facilities exist in Brisbane, Bundaberg and Coffs Harbour.