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General Category => News Views & Press Releases => Topic started by: Editor on January 23, 2011, 03:36:08 PM

Title: Murray River Safety Review Outcomes
Post by: Editor on January 23, 2011, 03:36:08 PM
Murray River Safety Review Outcomes

NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn has released the findings of the NSW Maritime safety review of boating on the Murray River.
Mr Dunn said the findings were the final stage in the Murray River Safety Review, which was initiated following a number of fatal boating accidents (4 fatalities and 7 serious injuries) on the river between 1 December 2009 and 13 February 2010.
“We have taken into account public comment on the discussion paper and from stakeholder meetings in formulating these safety recommendations,” he said.
“These safety outcomes are being actioned with NSW Maritime already having held talks with Marine Safety Victoria over a number of issues and further consultation with user groups and key stakeholders is to follow.
“The aim is to promote safe and responsible use of the Murray River.”
Mr Dunn said the six findings were as follows:
1. More NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers to be deployed along the Murray River
NSW Maritime response:
• Already actioned due to overwhelming community support.

2. Zoning for designated boating activities to be introduced to cover all areas of intensive use, with provision for seasonal speed and activity limits where required.
NSW Maritime response:
• Dedicated wake board and PWC zones for the Albury/Mulwala and Echuca/Moama reaches of the river (further consultation required)
• Dedicated Passive Activity zones (for floating and fishing) be introduced in accessible areas of the river after further consultation and annually reviewed

3. Enhanced compliance targeting dangerous and anti-social behaviour.
NSW Maritime response: 
• More on-water speed cameras
• More Random Breath Test patrols with NSW Police
• Anti-hoon enforcement provisions with vessel confiscation powers
• Demerit point system for NSW boat licences
• Ski-tube ropes to be a maximum of 10m from the stern of the vessel
• More joint operations, including safety campaigns, with Maritime Safety Victoria.

4.  Enhanced education and advisory material by NSW Maritime.
NSW Maritime response:
• Ski ropes to comply with manufacturer’s recommendations
• Blowers and vents to be fitted to all in-board petrol engines
• More signage on both sides of the river.

5. Improved boat driver licensing standards in Victoria.
NSW Maritime response:
• More stringent boat licensing requirements in Victoria (to match NSW standards)
• Increased boat and PWC driver education in Victoria
• Demerit point system to apply across state borders.

6. Increased boating opportunities.
NSW Maritime response:
• To advocate more off-river ski parks where appropriate.

Steve Dunn ruled out a demerit point system for boat licences in NSW. He also ruled out the introduction of speed cameras on NSW waterways.
“In NSW we have found that our current policy of education and preventative safety measures has significantly reduced the number of boating incidents across the state,” he said.
The Murray River Safety review has been going on since early 2010 following an unusually high number of incidents over that summer.
Mr Dunn said the Review was the result of extensive consultation including a series of local community forums, where the public and stakeholder offered a range of ideas and suggestions.
These included the implementation of wake board and PWC zones, the use of speed cameras, demerit points, signage, and inboard petrol engine blowers and vents.
NSW Maritime and Marine Safety Victoria worked together to identify issues that could potentially improve boating safety and a consultation paper was prepared which can be viewed at: http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au

Source: NSW CFA