NEWS - Licence logbooks for safer boating in NSW

NEWS - Licence logbooks for safer boating in NSW

People applying for a NSW power boat licence will have to show they have practical ‘on-water’ boating experience under new licence regulations which come into force today.

NSW Ports and Waterways Minister, Joe Tripodi, said from Monday June 1, 2009) anyone wanting a licence will have to complete a Boating Licence Practical Logbook or attend a registered training provider course.

“This practical component is in addition to the two existing theory tests applicants need to sit,” said Tripodi.

“NSW already has one of the strongest boat licence test systems in Australia and people wanting a licence need to demonstrate a comprehensive level of boating safety knowledge.

“But just as you need practical experience to get a licence to drive on the roads, the Government believes the same principle should apply to boating,” Tripodi said.

The Minister said obtaining a General Boat Licence now involves three steps: the new practical component; completing the Boating Safety Course, either on-line, by CD or at a training course; and, a theory test which can be undertaken at a NSW Maritime office.

Licence applicants can gain practical boating experience by:

* Undertaking a minimum of three trips in a powered vessel under the guidance of an experienced skipper and completing the Boating Licence Practical Logbook; or,

* Attending a practical course conducted by a Recognised Training Provider.

“To complete the logbook which contains a checklist of practical, on-water experiences, a ‘trainee’ must be accompanied by a licensed skipper who then verifies that the specific activities have been undertaken,” said Tripodi.

The logbook will be available at all NSW Maritime service centres, RTA Motor Registries, and Government Access Centres. It can also be downloaded from Maritime’s website.

As of the end of April 2009, NSW Ports and Waterways said there were just over 473,000 boat license holders in NSW — an increase of nearly 4.5 per cent on the previous year.