You will all have to forgive me cos I am about to RANT! I am so angry I could spit (and probably will any minute now).
We bought our yacht in NZ about 18 months ago - a fibreglass hulled 44' yacht. (She is lovely by the way) and we worked our guts out to get her ready for this cruising season. We made it in time and we set off for Fiji
and (due to illness of the skipper) missed Vanuatu
and made New Caledonia
Whilst in NC we met many cruisers thinking about Australia
as a destination
and, sadly, a few who were giving us a miss for reasons of petty bureaucracy. New Quarantine rules, chest x rays for some and not others ( and no reason given why), new insurances, Customs
reporting, costs of clearing in (highest in the world we believe) and the list goes on. It was embarrassing and humbling that so many people who would have loved to come to Australia
were giving the whole place a miss because Australia has become a nanny state and has more rules and regulations
than you could get your head
BUT we wanted to come home and pass through Australian waters so we had to face up to the fact that we would have to pay duty and gst to cruise
here for one season (that makes you feel sick to pay to cruise
your own country) but we have family
here and so we took that concept
on the chin. We cleared in the other day and I cannot speak more highly of the officers here where we cleared but today we are hit with more news of the bad variety.
Some wet behind the ears twit sitting in an office somewhere has decided that our fibreglass yacht with only minor wood trim, all in exceptionally good condition and varnished, constitutes a risk for termites and we HAVE to present to a port that we weren't intending on stopping at to have an inspection
done. The inspection
done here was of the opinion that we were not a 'predominantly wooden boat' and what wood there was was in good condition. So why the inspection then?
So help me god this country gives me a pain in the posterior!!!! Friends being forced to pay thousands for chest x rays to visit but people coming through the airport
don't have too? Paying to clear in - when if you arrive by plane you don't have too? Having to pay to bring our home into the country? Now we have to pay to get our home inspected? Now don't get me wrong here - if we were at risk at all of anything then I wouldn't hesitate at all to get it inspected. I don't want nasties getting in here anymore than the next guy BUT we met their own guidelines for 'not requiring further inspection' and she is an obviously well maintained boat with no damage anywhere so WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING?
Honestly the bureaucrats here are really and truly trying to get us put on the worst destination
list for cruising yachts. Shame Australia Shame!!!!