Victorian Minister for Ports reacts to BIA Victoria claims

Dr. Denis Napthine
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Victorian Boaters will not be forced to pay exorbitant fines or licensing fees as the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) has incorrectly claimed says Victorian Minister for Ports The Hon Dr Denis Napthine MLA

Following is a statement from the Minister.

In a press release titled 'New regulations set to cost Victorian boaters', the BIAV makes a number of false and misleading statements relating to the proposed Marine Safety Regulations (MSR) which are currently open to consultation.

BIAV President David Heyes says, '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'.

This is not true. Failing to comply with requirements for navigational lights will incur an on the spot fine of $244 – not a $2400 fine.

Also, contrary to claims from the BIAV, not a single fine will rise by 500 per cent. The vast majority of infringement notices in the proposed regulations are subject to marginal increases of less than half a penalty unit.

The BIAV appears to have confused the proposed MSR with an options paper which aims to generate discussion about future licence testing and training requirements.

The BIAV has mistakenly assumed that the scenarios presented in the options paper are set to be implemented and has selectively quoted the fees associated with one of those options in its press release.

There is no secret plan to change licensing requirements or fees as suggested by the BIAV. Fees will remain unchanged and the Victorian Government will not gain any extra revenue through the regulations, should they be adopted.

The Coalition Government and the Department of Transport have operated openly and accountably at all times throughout the proposed MSR consultation process.

Not only have we doubled the length of the consultation process – which includes 24 information sessions at 15 locations throughout the state – we have also advertised extensively in print, radio and electronic media including the BIAV's own website.

I have also met personally with Mr Heyes and offered to provide further time for consultation to occur if it is necessary. That offer is still on the table.

Information sessions for the proposed MSR are still running and I would like to invite the BIAV and any other people with an interest in boating to attend one of these consultations or alternatively view the regulations and make a submission online.

More information can be found on the Department of Transport website