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Old 26-10-2010, 22:57   #1
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Australia Trying for 'Worst Destination' Title

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 around.

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!!!!
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Old 27-10-2010, 00:20   #2
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Willow, do you mind if I copy that and paste it on a NZ based forum?
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Old 27-10-2010, 00:52   #3
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HI Squid! Hope you got home ok - last we heard you on the HF was in New Caledonia. Yep feel free! Frankly we are so disappointed in the behaviour here that we would have been better off bringing her back to NZ. At least NZ is more reasonable about duty and importing etc but we have family here so we really wanted to come back for a while and see them. Stupid thing is if your an international yacht you don't have to pay all these little extras.
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Old 27-10-2010, 01:45   #4
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Honestly the bureaucrats here are really and truly trying to get us put on the worst destination list for cruising yachts. Shame Australia Shame!!!!
It is just as bad if you live here. It really feels like those bastards want to squeeze every bit of blood from you they can. Then some of them will even have the audacity to use their secure employment and unfitting salaries to buy fancy production yachts and with the intention of going cruising.

My favourite one over here is the signs on parks that have so many prohibitions you are left wondering what you can do. Some witty kid even added “no velaptosaurus” to the sign down the beach.

And you wonder why I would be happy to sail off and live like a vagabond?
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Old 27-10-2010, 02:02   #5
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I got pinged the other day for fishing with my Son. I was reading a book, he was fishing. He is under 16 so doesn't need a fishing licence, I wasn't fishing, so I don't need one or so I thought!

They didn't believe I wasn't fishing.

Fined and told to take it to court.

I agree Nanny state but that's what we voted for
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Old 27-10-2010, 03:06   #6
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I got pinged the other day for fishing with my Son. I was reading a book, he was fishing. He is under 16 so doesn't need a fishing licence, I wasn't fishing, so I don't need one or so I thought!

They didn't believe I wasn't fishing.

Fined and told to take it to court.

I agree Nanny state but that's what we voted for
I take it to court. Tell them you accompanied your son as you didn't want prosecuting for endangering the life of a minor, by allowing him to participate in a dangerous activity, viz standing on a river bank fishing, whilst unsupervised.
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Old 27-10-2010, 03:09   #7
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Refuse to pay the fine and elect to go to court. Get a witness who knows you from way back to say something like " No way, he hates fishing."

Claim lost wages for the day of the hearing. Hire a lawyer if you can afford one and claim his costs too. Stick it up the bastards.
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Old 27-10-2010, 03:46   #8
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The truth is I DO hate fishing, but the smile on my sons face is priceless.
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Old 27-10-2010, 04:12   #9
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So there you go. You want someone who knows you to say as much be it wife, old school friend, neighbour - whatever.

Don't fear a big day in court. Often these government outfits bail out of a small time court case when they see you are full on against them.

Good luck.
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Old 27-10-2010, 04:51   #10
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Don't fear a big day in court. .
And you can do it yourself without a solicitor. When you do that the magistrate often makes it really easy by explaining things and helping

And I don't think they are big bad meanies, they are the protectors of honest folks
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Old 27-10-2010, 14:50   #11
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Well they have gone one step further now - we have been told it is going to cost us $139/half hour to have AQIS onboard and $500 for a Pest Controller to do a thermal inspectioin WHILST aqis watch. Where do I get a job where I can sit and watch someone else do the work and get paid $139/half hour?

Whilst in New Caledonia we met 7 yachts who had decided to miss Australia because of all this idiocy. NZ did an estimate and worked out that for each cruising yacht that comes into NZ for a season they spend (on average) $25000NZ. That makes for a lot of money that NZ is getting and it is good for local business. If we were in NZ we wouldn't have to pay duty as this is our only home and as our primary place of residence it doesn't get slugged Duty or GST. BUT here in Oz we are being slugged left right and centre and we are now facing a sickening thought that they may drive us into big debt.

So why can't Australia see that all these rules and regs make this such an unattractive destination to Ozzies returning home and to visiting yachts? We need an advocate in Federal Govt to take a close look at this loss of tourism and take it in hand!

By the way I have now stopped spitting and am now in the mode of 'let the bastards bring it on' - we have a lovely yacht with no pest infestation and we are proud of our home. Shame we have to pay to prove that.
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Old 27-10-2010, 14:54   #12
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Thanks Willow, keep us informed and good luck.
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:15   #13
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chest x rays for some and not others ( and no reason given why),
There is some information here
Health Requirements for Visa Applicants


Quote:
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.
How do you think I will go?
50ft of Timber core and Ply bulkheads
All covered in epoxy resin and fiberglass (do termites eat epoxy ?)

Its a good thing I dont plan on coming back once out


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So why the inspection then?
Because they are all secretly He Man and the Masters Of the Universe fans?
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:28   #14
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Hey Willow, I posted this on Crew.org.nz, here's one of the replies, like to comment?

Quote:
Bit light on the detail and heavy on the drama there Squid.

Until I see names, dates, boat details and customs papers etc itís all one sided scaremongering as far as Im concerned.

Until I hear the other side of the story Iíll assume,

1. Itís a termite infested boat.
2. Elderly owners of questionable health
3. Rude to officials.

Nearly all first world officials Iíve dealt with have been perfectly reasonable as long as you give them a smile and treat them with a little respect. The people who have trouble with them, generally asked for it.

Bashing officialdom is a pastime for many a cruiser
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:29   #15
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Sorry to hear Oz is in the same sad shape as Canada. I'm planning on buying my boat this year specifically to get out of this over regulated, money bilking, bureacratic nightmare that used to be such a fun country to live in.
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