Plan announced to reduce boating incidents on NSW waters

by RMS 
. .
Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay formally announced a plan to improve boating safety on the Georges River and Botany Bay.

Mr. Gay visited the waterway with local MPs John Flowers (Rockdale), Mark Speakman (Cronulla), Graham Annesley (Miranda), Mark Coure (Oatley) and Melanie Gibbons (Menai).

'The Botany Bay Georges River Boating Safety Plan will see the development and implementation of a range of initiatives to address safety on the waterway,' Mr. Gay said.

'During the five years to the end of June 2011, there were 123 incidents reported on the waterway and almost all of these involved recreational vessels.

'Of the vessels involved in these incidents, 38 per cent were open runabouts, 26 per cent were motor cruisers or cabin runabouts, 23 per cent were personal watercraft and six per cent were sailing vessels.

'We know the factors we need to address include lack of judgement, failure to keep a proper lookout, weather conditions, excess speed and equipment failures.'

Water safety initiatives include:

•removing of the disused piles at East Hills which are considered a navigation hazard
•installing CCTV at designated boating facilities, including ramps to monitor how they are used and behaviour
•regularly reviewing speed limits and upgrading safety and advisory signs
•establish an aquatic park on a trial basis at Floyd Bay, Lansvale, for personal watercraft riding and waterskiing activities
•allocating more resources to support education and compliance operations

'The trial of Floyd Bay as a trial aquatic park is appropriate as it’s located away from dense population and is largely isolated from the rest of the river by rocks,' Mr Flowers said.

'The Maritime Division of RMS will work with council and stakeholders to establish this trial aquatic park which will be reviewed at the end of June 2013.

'This said the strategy was the result of a robust process of consultation with community members and other stakeholders.'

A timeline is included in the plan which will see its recommendations actioned within five years.