NEWS - Multi-deck houseboats approved for NSW
NSW has joined Queensland and SA by approving the use of multi-deck hire and drive houseboats to operate on the state’s waterways.
New guidelines have been approved which will allow the construction and operation of multi-deck hire and drive houseboats on NSW waterways, announced the State’s Ports and Waterways Minister, Joe Tripodi.
The Minister said the guidelines will take effect from July 1 and are designed to ensure larger, heavier boats can be managed in narrow waters in a safe manner, even by inexperienced holidaymakers.
"When NSW Maritime called for public submissions late last year on the operation of multi-deck hire and drive houseboats, it received 13 submissions from the public, industry bodies and houseboat hire companies," said Tripodi.
"After this consultation, agreement was reached on the standards required for the operation of hire and drive houseboats with more than one deck," he said.
Tripodi said the guidelines provide strict safety, design and geographic controls which will encourage industry growth and preserve the present high standards of marine safety.
"Multi-deck houseboats have now been approved in three states, with South Australia and Queensland also permitting the hire and drive of houseboats with more than one enclosed storey," the Minister said.
"Commercial houseboats have always been an important part of maritime tourism in our state and today there are some 150 hire and drive houseboats operating on the Hawkesbury, Tweed and Murray Rivers.
"Houseboat tourism operators and tourists alike stand to benefit from the introduction of multi-deck hire and drive houseboats," said Tripodi.
For more information on the safety standards for the operation of multi-deck hire and drive houseboats on NSW waters, visit www.maritime.nsw.gov.au
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