New boating laws for the Murray

River deaths prompt NSW Maritime to release Murray River Safety Review

New boating laws for the Murray
New boating laws for the Murray

NSW Maritime recently released the findings of its Murray River Safety Review, launched after several fatal accidents on the river in 2009 and 2010.

The findings were a collaborative effort between NSW Maritime and Marine Safety Victoria but were also said to have taken into account the views and opinions of user groups such as skiers and wakeboarders. With the intention of improving safety on the river, the review made a series of recommendations:

· More NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers will be deployed, a move said to have overwhelming support from the local community.

· Zoning for designated boating activities will be introduced. There will be dedicated wakeboard and PWC zones for the Albury/Mulwala and Echuca/Moama reaches of the river, as well as dedicated "Passive Activity" zones for floating and fishing, introduced in accessible areas of the river after more consultation.

· Safety officers will be tough in handing out penalties to hoons and ratbags. Proposed measures to counter anti-social behaviour include more random breath test patrols and empowering the authorities to confiscate your boat.

Victorian authorities say their boat licensing requirements will be raised to match those of NSW, while boat and PWC driver education will be improved. NSW Maritime said it would also like to see more "off river" ski parks where practicable.

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