Murray River to become safer

NSW Minister creates new position to address safety concerns in Murray region

Murray River to become safer
Murray River to become safer

The Murray region is to receive more safety resources following community feedback and safety concerns over the high number of marine incidents in the area, NSW Ports and Waterways Minister, Paul McLeay, announced last month.

"Since 1992 there have been 287 incidents, resulting in 28 deaths and 115 serious injuries in the area. This is simply too much," McLeay said.

"In light of this, I am reviewing safety review in the area. NSW Maritime has held a number of community and stakeholder meetings as part of the review process.

"I have heard the community’s concerns and am pleased to announce the creation of a new position to cover the Murray Inland Region."

Country Labor’s Tony Catanzariti said the position created would be a senior one, to free up time on the water for other boating safety officers.

"We know when our boating safety officers are out on the water, conducting education and compliance campaigns they’re at their most effective. More resources to the area will ensure more BSOs can be out on the water," Catanzariti said.

"More than 32,000 people hold a licence to drive a powerboat and there are nearly 15,500 registered boats in the Murray Inland Region.

"Personal watercraft including jetskis are very popular with a lot of waterskiing in summer and fishing in other months. The best way to increase safety is through increased presence on the water," Catanzariti said.

Mr McLeay said the new role would refine education, patrol and compliance strategies, conduct onwater patrols, increase community liaison and safety campaigns and liaise with Marine Safety Victoria.

"80 per cent of boating incidents in the area involved Victorian registered vessels. We are working together to find a solution."

A discussion paper on boating safety in the area will be released for public comment.

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