In an inaugural meeting held during the Sydney International Boat Show the AIMEX board invited some key industry players to discuss the formation of a commercial marine division.  AIMEX President Richard Chapman said “this has been on our drawing board for some time as more and more of our members in both the marine export and superyacht sectors have diversified to focus on the commercial /defence sector.”

Businesses in this sector desperately need a voice to government, they need to understand where their future work is going to come from, how big the supply chain is, who are the key primes driving the industry and how they get access to these companies. This sector is concerned regarding how to retain the skills and experience in the industry especially when we see the government giving large contracts offshore.

AIMEX is now developing the marketing collateral around this division and will drive a marketing campaign within the industry to ensure all key players are aware of this initiative.

Government sources have advised they see this as a positive initiative to support existing members and those that currently are looking for advice and information in the commercial sector.  The key areas that will be beneficial to the industry are a consolidated showcase at key Australian and International marine events, research into the current industry that will show the true value of this sector to the Australian Government and the key issues affecting growth of the industry, a must have when going to Canberra. A website presence is being developed and a solid programme of networking events is to be established.

The newly elected chairman Tommy Ericson said “It is time to really start driving this industry sector; we need a strong voice and an organization behind us with the resources and capability to make things happen.  AIMEX has a proven track record, they have really developed the Superyacht sector profile and have a number of very professionally run events like ASMEX and the Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards, some excellent publications, a very dynamic website and a board that is committed to making things happen”.

AIMEX will now be including the commercial marine sector within all their programmes and the AIMEX commercial manager, Justyna Wajler will take responsibility for driving this group.  Justyna has a strong background in the industry being with AIMEX for nearly 4 years.

Other committee members appointed by the AIMEX board include Matthew Johnston, Managing Director Muir Winches, Fritz Shoemaker, CEO PFG Group Tasmania, Mike Cipitelli, Chairman of Marine WA, Jeremy Spear, Managing Director of Spear Green Design, Alan Steber, Steber International, Denis Maher, BSE Maritime Solutions and Andrew Cannon, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard.

The AIMEX Commercial Division is aiming to be the leading industry body; supporting, developing and promoting the Australian Commercial Maritime Industry both nationally and internationally through collaborative partnerships and the common interests of its members as well as the trade and networking opportunities with state and federal governments.