Boating Zone Review
Parks Victoria recently 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.
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 are the recommended changes?
The proposed rule changes that were supported to proceed for MSV approval include:
- Renaming of all Port Phillip and Western Port Kiteboarding Zones to Shared Windsports Zones; Figure 10.1
- Allow all human powered paddlecraft to use Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones of Port Phillip and Western Port; Figure 11.1
- Minor realignments to the borders of exisitng Kiteboarding, 5 Knot and Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Elwood; Figure 1.1
- Minor expansion of Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zones at Showers Avenue, Chelsea; Figure 3.1
- New Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zones at Coleman Road, Aspendale; Figure 4.1
- Expansion of the Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zone south of the Patterson River at Carrum; Figure 5.1
- Retention of the No Personal Water Craft Zones (NPWCZs) immediately north and south of the Patterson River; Figure 6.1
- Rationalisation of adjacent Kiteboarding, Shared 5 Knot and Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Hampton; Figure 2.1
- 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
- Retain existing No Personal Water Craft Zone at Shoreham; Figure 7.1
- Removal of the existing No Personal Water Craft Zone and replacement with a new Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zone at Portarlington; Figure 9.1
The proposed changes that were not supported to proceed for MSV approval include:
- Minor expansion of Vessels Prohibited -Swimming Only Zones at Williams Grove, Bonbeach and Gnotuk Avenue, Aspendale; and
- Minor realignments to the borders of existing Kiteboarding, 5 Knot and Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Brighton.
What happens next?
Parks Victoria submitted the final report and its recommendations for waterway rule changes to Maritime Safety Victoria earlier this year. 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. Marine Safety Victoria are currently undertaking the review.
Parks Victoria will announce when the review is complete, along with the approved rules and subsequent implementation process.
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.