There are plenty of times with her day job where Teresa Lloyd feels like she’s banging her head against a brick wall. On the face of it, as an island nation and a major commodity exporter, Australia should have a vibrant, strong maritime industry. The fact that it does not is something that this determined lady is trying to change.
Lloyd has served as the CEO of Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) for the past 16 years, a body that is the voice and advocate for the Australian maritime industry.
MIAL has 66 members from across the maritime cluster and works with all levels of government, local and international stakeholders to ensure the voice of the Australian maritime industry is heard.
“The breadth of the Australian maritime activity is as diverse as just about any other nation globally,” Lloyd tells Maritime CEO in an exclusive interview from Melbourne. “The level of Australian business engagement in servicing that activity is heartbreakingly far lower than anywhere else in the world that we know of,” she warns.
The profile of the maritime industry in Australia is, in general, “very, very low”, Lloyd admits.
Profile-building within the general public is absolutely part of MIAL’s remit, however it is also very expensive and resource intensive to do it with measurable effect. The lobbying body has to use its limited resources to maximum effect, and has therefore taken an active decision that the focus of most of its profile building is the policy/decision makers.
Lloyd uses the Maritime CEO platform today to call on the Australian government to acknowledge the local maritime cluster and create a vision for Australia’s maritime enterprise.
Corporate taxation needs to be looked at if the country is to see any growth among its shipowning base, Lloyd argues.
“Australia lacks the fiscally competitive policies to encourage shipowning. This is a result of a lack of vision regarding the benefits that a nation accrues by virtue of having such activity taking place within their borders. There is no recognition by our government of the value of a maritime cluster in Australia, therefore no will to do anything to create one,” Lloyd suggests.
This October MIAL will be hosting its Modern Maritime Conference in conjunction with Pacific 2019, the biennial Pacific International Maritime Exposition, in Sydney.