News - New Marine Regulations Set To Cost Victorian Boaters
The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) has voiced serious concerns over new Marine Regulations that are set to impose a minimum $643 cost on anyone wanting to obtain a recreational boat operator license, heavy-handed new penalties for existing boat owners including $120 parking fines, and a 500 per cent increase in many fines for recreational boaters on the water.
“Taking your son or daughter out boating during the day does not need to cost you an extra $2400 if you forget to leave an all-round white light on, while anchored somewhere for lunch,” says BIAV president David Heyes.
“It’s obvious that this is about cost recovery under the disguise of improving recreational boating safety. The Department of Transport had to include the number of body boarders being swept out to sea in the safety data in order to justify the position that all recreational boaters are dangerous.
“The Department of Transport have presented a safety case that is not only one-sided and misleading, it is seriously flawed. They then had to initiate a bogus consultation process to help sneak these proposed regulations through,” he said.
Heyes pointed to serious concerns with the consultation process and added, “while BIAV acknowledge the Minister has doubled the consultation period, the Department of Transport released over 400 pages of documents, kept key documents hidden, including safety data reports referenced in the options paper, and started public consultation meetings the very next business day for the purpose of providing recreational boater support feedback to the Minister.
“The Department didn’t release a regulatory impact statement until 10 days into the consultation process — an impact statement that they wrote themselves anyway. This is not ‘comprehensive’ consultation, this is a sham! It is clearly designed to mislead the recreational boating public into rubber stamping the proposed regulations,” said Heyes.
“BIAV formally asked the Minister for Ports (Dr Denis Napthine) to halt the rushed consultation process until relevant information, including the regulatory impact statement, could be read and understood by recreational boaters before the Department reported their feedback, and the Minister refused to do so.
“Recreational boaters are not a money tree and the Government can count on a swift and vigorous response from industry and the recreational boating public. The BIAV website contains a new regulations fact sheet and a submission form for boaters to send to the Minister for Ports,” he said.
For information on the new regulations and to send a submission by the October 11 deadline, visit www.biavic.com.au