Guest Comment Ben Scullin

By: Ben Scullin, Photography by: Supplied

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

BIAV Advocacy Manager Ben Scullin gets ramped up.

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Ramp Rage in Victoria

All boaters go to sea with one eye on the horizon. As a professional advocate in the marine industry, I’m paid to scan the horizon for any dark clouds that will affect our industry.

These dark clouds come in all forms but mostly they are legislation or regulation that will have unintended consequences for boaters or industry or are simply an ill-informed decision by a bureaucrat.

Sometimes they are decisions that will negatively impact the growth of our industry. A recent example was the decision by a NSW Minister who announced an intention to ban a towed water sport without scientific evidence.

It was a social licence decision not a decision based on best available evidence.

So, what happens when the Victorian State Government makes a social licence decision on behalf of all Victorians and decides recreational boaters made the wrong choice in their recreational investment? That instead of launching a boat with family and friends on the weekend they should now be walking along piers feeding seagulls, cycling along roads or attending farmers markets in boat ramp car parks.

Well, Ramp Rage happens!

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The ramp rage phenomena is not new in Victoria. Every metropolitan boater has almost certainly rolled their eyes and thrown up their hands while queuing to launch and retrieve at one time or another. Its just that they mightn’t know why they are doing it.

The simple reason is that consecutive Victorian State Governments have ignored the requirement in Marine law to return the marine licence and registration fees you pay to improving public recreational boating facilities.

The RampRage campaign is a platform for Victorian recreational boaters to voice their opinion on whether they should have a say in decisions affecting their chosen recreational activity. It’s as simple as that. Our decision makers have lost their way when it comes to understanding what a large proportion of the Victorian population want. Better public recreational boating facilities.

Without a voice, recreational boating as the chosen pastime for nearly one million Victorians will be ignored. The Ramp Rage campaign is one way of ensuring that Victorian State Governments, now and into the future, will hear that voice. They can ignore that voice at their risk!

Vic Marine Licence and Vessel Registration fees collected versus Public Boating Infrastructure spend

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 TOTAL
Fees Collected $27,973,000 $26,390,000 $27,780,000 $26,381,000 $27,592,000 $136,116,000.00
Infrastructure Spend $2,641,977 $2,236,159 $4,300,560 $2,490,022 $3,258,101 $14,926,819.00

Head to the Ramp Rage website to find out more!

 


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