Appendix 13: Waterways Fund

Financial overview

Roads and Maritime administers the Waterways Fund, which was established under section 42 of the Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995.

It accounts for all revenues and expenditures associated with the boating safety, maritime property management and infrastructure functions delivered in accordance with NSW marine legislation. Until 26 June 2017, an independently chaired Waterways Fund Management Committee provided oversight of the integrity and transparency of the Waterways Fund and advice to the Chief Executive. This committee was dissolved from this date forward as part of changes under the OneRMS operating model.

The revised governance process has aligned the approval of expenditure drawn from the Waterways Fund with the approval process for project funding across the Transport cluster. Funding proposals drawing on the Waterways Fund will now be treated the same as any other proposal for funding from across the Transport cluster and only considered in line with cluster-wide finance and budget processes. Under this model, all new funding proposals will be jointly submitted on a biannual basis to the Chief Executive, Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW's Deputy Secretary, Freight, Strategy and Planning, in line with the cluster budget process to:

  • confirm the proposal aligns with the strategic priorities
  • confirm the proposal satisfies the statutory requirements for the fund
  • determine whether the proposal can be accommodated through reprioritisation within the existing budget for the fund
  • endorse the proposal for funding, or where required, its progression to the Transport for NSW Finance and Investment Committee for consideration.

The fund is subject to financial controls and monitoring to ensure the fund receives all revenue payable to it and that expenses met by the fund accord with the governing legislation. The main sources of revenue are from maritime property, boat driver licensing, vessel registrations, mooring fees and commercial vessel fees for National Certificates of Survey, Operation and Competency.

The operating and capital costs of the fund are incurred in delivering safety, education and compliance services to the boating public and improved maritime infrastructure.

During 2016‑17 Transport for NSW provided the maritime and boating strategic policy agenda and our agency delivered safety and education services and programs.

Information relating to the Waterways Fund is aggregated in Volume 2 financial statements of this report. A summary of 2016‑17 Waterways Fund revenue and expenditure follows.

Figure 16: Waterways Fund revenue 2016‑17


Building works and infrastructure upgrades

The Wharf Upgrade Program continued in 2016‑17 at a cost of $22.9 million. An additional $7 million included the Rose Bay seaplane terminal and waterways remediation in Woolooware Bay, which brought the total to $29.9 million.

Journey management and operations

Journey management represents the largest portion of Waterways Fund expenditure at $50.5 million (Figure 17). It includes the operations of the Maritime Division, which are focused on core boating safety, education and compliance, mooring and aquatic event management, marine pollution preparedness and response, commercial vessel survey and certification functions, and broader Roads and Maritime customer service.

Journey management expenditure also includes functions delivered by Transport for NSW's Freight, Strategy and Planning Division ($7.5 million). This division delivers port safety management and marine pollution strategic capability and policy functions for NSW.

Asset maintenance

We maintain maritime assets including property, wharves and navigation aids to benefit our customers and the users of the ferry network. In addition, there is the maintenance of the patrol vessel fleet, which is instrumental in the delivery of boating safety. The total investment in maintenance over 2016‑17 was $13.4 million.

Enabling functions and property

Enabling functions support every part of the agency, including those connected to the property portfolio and information management and technology. In 2016‑17 direct expenditure (Figure 17) comprised:

  • $11.6 million on administration and management of the maritime property portfolio, which is valued at more than $1 billion and includes the beds of Sydney Harbour, Port Botany, Port Kembla and Port of Newcastle, as well as some adjoining lands
  • $4.9 million on administration and management of customer support services
  • $2 million on vessel procurement and a dockside crane
  • $3 million to support delivery of boat driver, aquatic and mooring licence and vessel registrations via the Government Licensing Service
  • $0.6 million for software application development to provide customers with online access and live remote access to customer details for boating safety compliance and governance
  • $2.1 million for minor premises improvements and maritime equipment.

Marine and boating grants

We provide grants to support recreational boating infrastructure, safe navigation and volunteer marine rescue services. In 2016‑17, we provided $14.9 million in grants for the following:

  • $10.1 million for the NSW Boating Now Program
  • $1.7 million to Marine Rescue NSW to support its operations
  • $1.1 million to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • $0.7 million for the administering of boating infrastructure grants
  • $0.5 million for the Better Boating Program52 to support local councils deliver boat ramps and other boating infrastructure
  • $0.8 million for minor grants and riverbank erosion.

We also collected a contribution on behalf of Marine Rescue NSW as part of boat licences and vessel registrations. In 2016‑17 we forwarded $5.6 million to the Ministry of Police and Emergency Services for the funding of Marine Rescue NSW.

Figure 17: Waterways Fund expenditure 2016‑17


  1. The NSW Boating Now Program was introduced to replace the Better Boating Program. This funding was committed in 2014‑15 but not transacted until this financial year.

You are using an unsupported browser

Roads and Maritime Services are aware that visitors will use a diverse variety of operating systems and browsers to access this site.

While we want every visitor to have the best possible experience on our Web site, we recognise that it is impossible to develop applications and sites that work identically, efficiently, and effectively with all browsers.

Please upgrade your browser.