Boating fees at work

Your boating fees and charges directly support the delivery of boating related services and infrastructure to benefit you, your family and the NSW boating community.

In 2012-13, Roads and Maritime collected almost $52 million in boat driver licences, vessel registration and mooring licence fees from the State’s 485,000 licensed boaters and 228,000 boat registration holders.

These fees are paid into the Waterways Fund which contributes to service delivery reforms identified in the Government’s Maritime Policy Agenda 2012-15 spanning boating safety, access and infrastructure improvements and customer reforms aimed at reducing ‘red tape’.

Boating safety education, enforcement and investigations

  • Boating safety education and compliance campaigns and programs to encourage a safe boating culture, and promote the wearing of lifejackets
  • Production and distribution of the Boating Handbook - a guide to safe boating across NSW
  • Boating accident investigations conducted to understand the cause of boating incidents,  enforce safety laws, and guide safety improvements
  • Roads and Maritime boating safety officers work closely with safety partners from the NSW Police Marine Command and Marine Rescue NSW, and also Port Corporation staff.
  • In 2012-13, boating safety officers conducted 45,000 boating safety checks, issued 3,850 written warnings and 2,000 penalty notices, achieving an overall compliance rate of 91.1 percent. A total of 351 boating incidents were reported and investigated.

NSW Boating Now

  • NSW Boating Now provides $37.5 million of funding for 192 Priority Regional Projects for new and improved recreational boating infrastructure and improved public access to waterways. This includes public boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, dinghy storage and car/trailer parking at boating facilities.
  • Additional funding has also been provided for other boating projects and initiatives and is detailed in the NSW Boating Statement.
  • Roads and Maritime Services will work closely with local councils, boating organisations, community groups and other agencies to deliver the program.
  • Since 1998, Roads and Maritime Services has awarded over 760 grants, totalling more than $45 million, for recreational boating infrastructure projects across New South Wales.

More information on NSW Boating Now

Navigation maintenance and mooring management

  • A network of around 3,500 navigation markers, including lights and buoys are maintained to support safe navigation and identify hazards across coastal and inland waterways
  • Thirteen NSW lighthouses including at Point Danger, Ballina, Evans Head, Norah Head, Barrenjoey Head, and Kiama are operated by Roads and Maritime to support safe navigation
  • A system of 14 ‘bar crossing’ safety cameras enable boaters to check conditions before they attempt to cross a bar, and to reschedule their trip offshore if conditions are unsafe
  • Provision of 128 courtesy moorings and 72 emergency moorings
  • More than 20,200 recreational (private) moorings and 6170 commercial mooring sites are administered by Roads and Maritime.

Aquatic event management

  • On-water boating traffic management including the monitoring of exclusive use zones is carried out during major aquatic events
  • Major events include the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, New Years Eve, and Australia Day celebrations as well as ski events such as the ‘Southern 80’ on the Murray River. These events are represented in more than 700 aquatic licences issues annually
  • In October 2013, Roads and Maritime managed vessel traffic involving thousands of spectator vessels participating in Centenary of Navy International Fleet Review celebrations on Sydney Harbour and Jervis Bay.

Marine Rescue NSW

  • An annual grant is provided to support the operations of Marine Rescue NSW, the State’s 3,000 member volunteer marine search and rescue service.  In 2012-13, a $1.52 million grant was provided to Marine Rescue NSW
  • An annual ‘Marine Rescue contribution’ is also collected as part of boat drivers licence and boat registration fees on behalf of Marine Rescue NSW. In 2012-13, $6.4 million was collected and forwarded to the Ministry of Police and Emergency Services for this purpose.

National Marine Safety Committee

  • The intergovernmental National Marine Safety Committee was established to achieve uniform marine safety legislation and practices throughout Australia
  • In 2012-13, a grant of $0.45m was provided by NSW to support the work of the committee.

Hydrographic survey and spatial information

  • Hydrographic surveys of coastal waterways are carried out periodically to identify hazards and inform the placement of navigation aids and support mapping
  • Boating maps are produced to communicate boating safety requirements across coastal and inland waterways.

Marine pollution preparedness and response

  • Preparing for and responding to the threat of oil and chemical spills in marine waters, north of Port Stephens and south of Gerroa (outside the areas Port Corporations are responsible for) is carried out by Roads and Maritime as a ‘combat agency’ under marine pollution laws.
  • A major NSW oil spill response exercise involving all agencies is held annually, and was hosted by Port Macquarie in October 2013.
  • During 2012-13 contingency plans for responding to oil spills were drafted for the North Coast and South Coast.
  • Fees collected from shipping, via the Port Corporations, pay the majority of costs incurred for maintaining the State’s marine pollution response capability, under a ‘potential polluter pays’ principle. However, each year boating incidents also result in a number of smaller marine pollution response activities, therefore the Waterways Fund supplements the funding provided by shipping.

Sydney Harbour Environmental Services

  • The Sydney Harbour Environmental Services Unit removes hazards to navigation, litter and waste from Sydney Harbour including the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, and public beaches and foreshores to improve harbour safety and amenity
  • In 2012-13, the Environmental Service Unit vessels removed around 3,500 cubic metres of waste from Sydney Harbour.

Reinvestment of savings

  • Waterways Fund ‘savings’ have been generated since Roads and Maritime was established in 2011
  • Cost savings are being reinvested in priority boating infrastructure and frontline services.  For example 13 new boating education officers and six additional boating safety officers were employed in early 2014 as part of a boating safety enhancement programs
  • During 2013-14 and 2014-15, savings will also fund improvements to safety signage and bar crossing cameras, development of regional boating plans and an expanded boating infrastructure program.

Other Waterways Fund revenue and expenditure

  • Roads and Maritime manages a ‘maritime property’ portfolio which includes the bed of Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, Newcastle Harbour and Port Kembla and some adjacent land
  • Revenue from the lease, rental and sale of maritime property assets is also paid into the Waterways Fund, and these funds support the delivery of related functions.

Other information

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