Boating Zone Review
Parks Victoria completed a targeted review of the boating and swimming zones to improve safety across Port Phillip and Western Port and prepared a report of recommended changes. This report was submitted to Maritime Safety Victoria for consideration and to seek approval for the recommended rule changes.
Maritime Safety Victoria have now completed the review and the Safety Director has made the decision to approve several of the recommendations.
Why do Recreational Boating and Swimming Zones need to be reviewed?
Boating and swimming zones are prepared under the Marine Safety Act 2010 with the primary aim of providing a safe environment for water users. They apply conditions of operation and prohibit incompatible uses for safety reasons.
Parks Victoria, as the Local Port Manager of Port Phillip and Western Port, periodically reassess Boating Zones to ensure they reflect on-water and beach recreational pursuits in the local ports of Port Phillip and Western Port.
A targeted review was undertaken in 2016-2017 and a number of rule changes were proposed. Following extensive public consultation in December 2016, the Boating Zone Review Report was prepared. This report recommended twelve of the fifteen proposed rule changes, some with minor amendments, proceed to Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV) consideration.
What were the recommended changes?
What was approved?
Parks Victoria submitted the final report and its recommendations for waterway rule changes to Maritime Safety Victoria in 2017. The Director of Maritime Safety is required by the Marine Safety Act 2010 to conduct a thorough and detailed review of the recommendation before approving any rule change.
- Maritime Safety Victoria have now released the decision to make a waterway rule report. The Safety Director has decided to:
- Make minor realignments to the borders of existing Kiteboarding, 5 Knot and Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Elwood; Figure 1.1
- Realign the border of existing Kiteboarding, Shared 5 Knot and Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Hampton; Figure 2.1
- Expand the Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zones to commence at Showers Avenue, Chelsea; Figure 3.1
- Create a new Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zone at Coleman Road, Aspendale; Figure 4.1
- Expand the Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zone south of the Patterson River at Carrum; Figure 5.1
- Create a New Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones near the Point Leo Life Saving Club that is activated by the presence of lifesaving flags; Figure 8.1
- Remove the existing No Personal Water Craft Zone and replace with a new Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zone at Portarlington Harbour; Figure 9.1
- Rename all Port Phillip and Western Port Kiteboarding Zones to Shared Windsports Zones; Figure 10.1
In addition, the Safety Director has agreed that the following rules will remain in place for a period of two years, pending further review and trialling of additional waterway zones:
- The No Personal Water Craft Zones (NPWCZs) immediately north and south of the Patterson River; Figure 6.1
- The No Personal Water Craft Zone at Shoreham; Figure 7.1
A full copy of the “reasons for decision for making a waterway rule report can be downloaded here: Permanent waterway rule changes
What happens next?
Now that the Safety Director has made the decision to approve a number of the recommended rules, Parks Victoria will work with the local foreshore managers to confirm the implementation program and seek funding to implement the changes prior to December 2019.
Until the Aids to Navigation and signage are installed to clearly indicate the boundaries of the new zones, current boating and swimming zones remain in place and enforceable under the Marine Safety Act 2010.
Parks Victoria will also continue discussions with MSV with regard to trialling specific zones to manage congestion and the associated waterway safety risks linked to increased Personal Watercraft use at some locations.
For further information and to keep updated of the boating and swimming zones review, please contact the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.