Position Statements



Ports and Marine Legislation Amendment Act 2017
New Safety Duty for Managers of Boating Activity Events
Updated: 20 June 2018


The Ports and Marine Legislation Amendment Act 2017 creates a new safety duty in the Marine Safety Act 2010 – with a very broad definition and a huge penalty (including a criminal conviction).

boating activity event“—

(a) means an event on State waters that directly or indirectly involves vessel operations; and.
(b) does not include—
(i)  a pyrotechnic display or show on State waters; or
(ii) groups of people cruising together in vessels on State waters in an informal manner;

Boat race, open water swimming race, water sports competition or exhibition, filming or promotional event, school kayak excursion            

Effect of the duty on managers of boating activity events:

  • Section 8 of the Ports and Marine Legislation Amendment Act 2017 inserts a new section “25A” in the Marine Safety Act 2010
  • The new section imposes a duty on a “person” who manages a boating activity event to, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the safety of participants in the boating activity event or persons affected by the boating activity event
  • The new safety duty is to give Transport Safety Victoria the regulatory responsibility and authority (to assist Worksafe Victoria) to ensure that risk management obligations are being adhered to when boating activity events are being organised and conducted.
  • TSV proposes to work with known event organiser/manager groups to codify best practice and issue guidance, for example the development of a code of practice for different activity areas e.g. fishing, sailing, outdoor education activities involving human powered vessels, etc.


  • BIAV is seeking further clarification with regard to the definition of a ‘boating activity event’ and, in particular, if this extends to ‘on water’ boat demonstrations and/or come and try activities.
  • Whilst having worked extensively to have this amendment stopped, BIAV accepts that it has passed parliament and we are therefore working with TSV and pushing for the development and circulation of the required Codes of Practice. When available, these will be shared with all BIAV members and briefings offered.


  • BIAV recently met with Transport for Victoria and Sailing Australia to discuss ongoing concerns regarding the legislation impacting negatively on club volunteers who are assisting in the management of ‘boating activity events’.
  • BIAV was assured that the Marine Safety Act 2010 will be amended as soon as possible to remove the unintended consequences for club volunteers and trainees.
  • BIAV welcomes the proposed changes





Licence and Registration Fee Collection – Boating Safety & Facilities Program

Updated:  23 May 2018


  • The State Government collects circa. $27m per year from Boat Registrations and Marine Licences.
  • Consecutive Acts of Parliament, dating back to the Motor Boating Act of 1961, through to the Marine Safety Act of 2010, indicate that these funds are to be re-invested to support recreational boating through facilities, infrastructure, safety, promotion, master planning and aids to navigation.
  • This is not happening and our best estimates indicate only an annual $3m spend. As an example, from 2011-2016, the total collected was $132m and the total spend was $14m.
  • The spending model for these funds is through the Boating Safety and Facilities Program (BSFP), through Transport for Victoria (TforV), as part of DEDJTR, under the Ports Minister. Each year there is a significant over-subscription for these funds from the bodies that make applications to TforV.
  • There is overwhelming evidence that current facilities are inadequate in terms of quantity and quality, and in terms of the resources, space and efficiencies around them.
  • The facility shortcomings are having an adverse effect on participation, a negative effect on mind-sets, and a negative impact on demand/industry/jobs etc.
  • Independent research in 2018 indicated that a $7.5m annual spend over 10 years would result in 64,000 extra boat registrations. A major participation and industry upswing that didn’t happen!
  • NSW and Queensland by comparison spend upward of five times that of the Victorian government and the results indicate superior facilities, and as a result, more participation and higher satisfaction levels.

BIAV Position and Actions:

  • BIAV believes that at least $20m per year of these $27m should be spent annually as part of a strategic program to enhance access to water, destinations, as well as to the other listed areas above. The remaining $7m would be a suitable quantum for administration and consolidated revenue for government.
  • BIAV should play a lead part in the strategic planning group that develops the long term strategic plan for recreational boating facilities in Victoria, including destinations
  • BIAV is calling upon on all sides of parliament in Victoria to make a commitment to this for the four years of the 2018-2022 election cycle. Specific party responses are awaited and will be shared with the industry and wider boating community.
  • Legal opinion, as to the current and previous ‘non-spend’ of these funds, as required through the legislation, is being sought.

Further links and attachments: