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NSW marinas post clean sweep in national awards

by Bob Wonders on 24 Jun 2011
Aerial view of a winner, Empire Marina Bobbin Head, Marina of the Year for the second successive occasion. Image supplied .
Empire Marina Bobbin Head (north of Sydney) has again been awarded the prestigious Australian Marina of the Year in the Over 140 berth category.

The honour was announced by the Marina Industries Association during an awards dinner staged in Melbourne earlier this week.

Winners in other categories included Soldiers Point Marina (Port Stephens) in the Under 140 berth segment and the Royal Motor Yacht Club which triumphed in the Club category.

Sponsored by Club Marine, the Australian Marina of the Year is the peak award for marinas with a rigorous judging criteria including facilities, infrastructure, customer service, environmental practices, risk management, training and staff development, industry involvement and community contribution.

A panel of eight independent judges from around Australia assesses the awards.

For Empire Marina Bobbin Head, this is the second consecutive win for the 200-berth facility in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park 24km north of Sydney.

The facility recently celebrated its fifth birthday since undergoing a major upgrade and re-development since it was acquired from the legendary Halvorsen family in 2006.


In accepting the award, Darren Vaux, director of the marina, described it as 'a great honour.'

'It is also an honour to be involved with an industry that strives for excellence in all aspects of its business,' he added.

Mr Vaux is also president of the Boating Industry Association of NSW and chairman of the recently-formed Boating Industries Alliance Australia.

'Winning this award for the second time affirms our vision to operate our marina and service facility in a manner that exceeds our stakeholders’ expectations and it motivates us to strive to achieve even more and remain always on top of our game,' he added.

Empire Marina Bobbin Head offers a number of unique facilities to make it an inviting destination for its customers and the local community.

With 200-berths, wide fairways and 10 swing moorings, it also boasts a large hardstand area and service facility that sets a new benchmark for environmental sensitivity.

A public walkway along the waterfront includes a ‘Discovery Trail’ chronicling the history of the precinct with ancient Aboriginal rock carvings clearly visible even from the marina’s security car park area.

There’s no better place to relax and watch the world go by than at the marina’s licensed waterfront restaurant.

Adding to the awards victory was the confirmation of Stephen Smith, the Operations Director of the marina as a Certified Marina Manager CMM) by the Global Marina Institute.

This international qualification recognises the highest level of professionalism in the marina industry.

Stephen Smith now becomes one of only 270 people worldwide to achieve CMM status.

'I see our mission here is to consistently set new standards for service and facilities in the marina industry,' he declared, 'We are always seeking to find new products and services to meet the needs of our customers.'

Perhaps a good example of Empire Marina Bobbin Head going the extra mile can be seen in the range of berthing options offered.

Marina clients can secure berthing from one day to 25-years!

Two-year and 10-year options have also proven very popular with customers seeking to ensure their berthing future.

Only limited berthing for longer terms are available and there’s a waiting list for larger vessels, perhaps not surprising following a 2010 NSW Maritime report predicting a dramatic shortfall in berths in the area over the next 15-years.

'We have only one 25-year berth lease remaining for sale and the other options including the 10-year leases are being snapped up fairly quickly,' Mr Smith explained.

For further information contact Stephen Smith, telephone (02) 9457-9011.

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