Image credit: Gold Coast Waterways Authority

Advocacy work is a significant priority for the BIA on behalf of our Membership and is a key responsibility for our Team Members. The advocacy piece is headed by BIA GM of Advocacy and Communications, Neil Patchett, and supported by Andrew Fielding, BIA’s Business Development Manager, and George Bolton in South Australia. Their work is further bolstered by the valuable support and contributions by BIA Directors and Council members.

BIA Advocacy operates across Federal, State and local governments. Recent BIA Advocacy has included the following:

  • Neil Patchett and Andrew Fielding today met with the new Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish MP. Topics included, the economic and social value of recreational boating, the importance of Marine Careers, the Propelling Our Future decarbonisation work to inform government policy makers, and the opportunity available for a major boating hub to be built at Manly (Qld) to support the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games and create a significant legacy in boating infrastructure.
  • Andrew Fielding met with Gold Coast Waterways Authority CEO (Chris Derksema) and newly appointed Minister for State Development and Infrastructure (Grace Grace MP) to discuss projects being undertaken by GCWA and the work that the Authority continuously does from the Logan River to the Queensland New South Wales border. This discussion included the importance of continuing to maintain and improve marine assets and develop new infrastructure to support boaters, marine businesses, tourism and primary industries, throughout SEQ Waterways.
  • BIA have also attended meetings this week, on the future of the National Transport Industry and for the collaboration information on Jobs and Skill, of the Manufacturing Industry and Government, in skills and training, including meetings with RTO, Australian Institute of Engineering (AIE) in South Australia and MAS National. The focus being able to support our Members with current and up to date career and employment opportunities for the Marine Industry.
  • BIA Advocacy has led in efforts since late 2023 to engage the Qld govt at the highest levels to support outcomes that deliver Olympic legacy infrastructure for the general boating public. The main aim is to support Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with a major recreational boating proposal at Manly; and supporting marine infrastructure for the Brisbane River for private and commercial vessels over 28m.
  • Last week BIA secured a meeting with a host of senior government executives and stakeholders that included: Brisbane 2032 Coordination Office, Department of State Development and Infrastructure; Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee; Protected Area Strategy and Investment, QPWS and Partnerships, Department of Environment and Science; Department of Transport and Main Roads, Deputy Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation, Maritime Safety Queensland; Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron; and Australian Sailing.
  • BIA Advocacy has met directly with the offices of the Minister for Tourism and Minister for Transport in NSW regarding ongoing support for the Sydney International Boat Show.
  • BIA has also met directly with the executive of the Centre of Maritime Safety, within Transport for NSW, regarding boating strategies in that State.
  • BIA has worked directly with the South Australian regulator in development of that State’s new Boating Safety Strategy.
  • BIA Advocacy led in the work with the Federal Government which resulted in the announcement earlier this year that boat building and shipwrights were returned to the national Apprentice Priority List.
  • BIA is also preparing to lead in a national working group involving all maritime regulators which aims to develop an Australia-wide behaviour change campaign on Responsible Boat Ownership, to be funding by regulators.


The BIA has re-focused its Advocacy work and our Advocacy Team is arguably the strongest for many years.

See you on the water.

Andrew Scott