NEWS - Murray River safety


Responding to community feedback and safety concerns, NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay has announced more safety resources for the Murray Region.

“Since 1992 there have been 287 incidents, resulting in 28 deaths and 115 serious injuries in the area. This is simply too much,” McLeay said.

“In light of this, I am reviewing a safety review in the area. NSW Maritime has held a number of community and stakeholder meetings as part of the review process.

“I have heard the community’s concerns and am pleased to announce the creation of a new position to cover the Murray Inland Region,” he said. The new position will join two other Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) based at Moama. There are another two in Albury and one in Mildura.

Country Labor’s Tony Catanzariti said the position created would be a senior one, to free-up time on the water for other BSOs.

“We know when our Boating Safety Officers are out on the water conducting education and compliance campaigns they’re at their most effective. More resources to the area will ensure more BSOs can be out on the water,” Catanzariti said.

“More than 32,000 people hold a licence to drive a powerboat and there are nearly 15,500 registered boats in the Murray Inland Region.

“Personal watercrafts including jetskis are very popular with a lot of waterskiing in summer and fishing in other months. The best way to increase safety is through increased presence on the water,” he said.

McLeay said the new role would refine education, patrol and compliance strategies, conduct on-water patrols, increase community liaison and safety campaigns and liaise with Marine Safety Victoria. “Eighty per cent of boating incidents in the area involved Victorian registered vessels. We are working together to find a solution,” he said.

A discussion paper on boating safety in the area will be released for public comment.

The Murray/Inland Region covers approximately 36 per cent of the state, consisting of 290,000km² of southern and western NSW. The area is bounded by the Alpine areas of Tumut and Blowering Dams, through the Murray-Darling Irrigation area inland and along the Murray River to the border with South Australia, including the areas of Menindee lakes and inland regions to the Queensland border.