Recreational Boating in Tasmania since 1997 by alendar


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									            Recreational Boating in Tasmania since 1997

Executive Summary

Recreational boating is an extremely popular leisure activity in Tasmania. In
2006-07, there were 25,365 registered recreational boats in the State and over
46,300 renewable boat licences held by Tasmanians.

Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has administered recreational boating
safety in the State since its establishment in 1997. Prior to MAST, recreational
boating safety and other issues such as power boat licensing and mooring
management were administered by the various Marine Boards around the State.

In the ten years since MAST took over responsibility, there have been some
major changes introduced for recreational boating including:-

      • Licences required for all boats with a motor of 4hp or greater, with
        licence applicants being required to log 20 hours of sea time or
        undertake a practical course before a licence is granted.
      • The compulsory wearing of PFD’s on boats under 6m
      • More effective requirements for the carriage of mandatory safety
      • The establishment of a Recreational Boating Fund to cover the cost of
        improvements to infrastructure and services nominated by the
        Tasmanian boating community.
      • The use of licence revenue to fund new and upgraded facilities and

MAST has also worked hard to improve communication with boat owners through
its publication Boatwise, education and safety displays across the state and
regular surveys of recreational boaters together with interaction on the water with
boat owners and crews.

The Boating Community has embraced these changes and as a result the safety
culture existing in Tasmania is perhaps the strongest amongst recreational
boaters for the entire country.

The next five years will be a challenging and exciting time for MAST and
recreational boating. Building on the results of the most recent boating survey,
MAST will continue to deliver valuable resources through the Recreational
Boating Fund and Licence Fund Projects. Other planned safety initiatives will
ensure MAST is well positioned to ensure recreational boating remains a popular
and accessible pastime for all Tasmanians.


Recreational Boating Safety in Tasmania has now been administered by Marine
and Safety Tasmania (MAST) for 10 years.

MAST was formed in 1997 as part of the Port Reform process when the Marine
Boards turned into private companies. MAST is a statutory authority with a Board
of five plus Chair reporting to the Minister for Infrastructure.

Prior to MAST, recreational boating safety and other issues such as power boat
licensing and mooring management were administered by the various Marine
Boards around the State. This meant there was little uniformity in respect to the
carriage of safety gear, registration requirements for pleasure boats and
moorings and power boat licences in the various regions, the Navigation and
Survey Authority took responsibility for the inland lake areas.

Recreational Boating was not high on the list of priorities for the Marine Boards
and hence management in respect to recreational boating was ad hoc to say the
least in some areas and recreational boaters were left to go about their boating
with little need to worry about enforcement and adhering to the relevant
legislation of the time.

In the inland lake areas there was no one body responsible for recreational
boating and as a result boaters in these areas generally had no idea in respect to
safety equipment, boating registration and power boat licensing.

Formation of MAST

The establishment of MAST on 30 July, 1997 ensured one organization was
responsible for recreational boating management state wide. MAST was also
responsible for other activities such as survey and certificates of competency.

This formation of a semi Government controlled body with a small staff was met
with trepidation by the recreational boating public. Concerns were raised from
boaters in respect to increased costs and the prospect of enforcement.

By Laws made by the previous Marine Boards were repealed and MAST drafted
new by laws covering recreational boating arrangements. As mentioned above,
the former Marine Boards were not consistent in their by laws or their application
which meant that a transition to uniform, state wide laws required some
adjustments for all recreational boaters.

Recreational Boating 1997 – 2002

1997- 1999

Big changes were experienced in recreational boating in the state when MAST
commenced in July 1997. Fees increased although not as much as some boaters
initially thought.

The new By Laws were the result of a widely distributed consultative paper on
recreational boating. Three thousand Regulatory Impact Statements on the Motor
Boat and Licences and the Mooring by laws were printed and 170 clubs and
organizations contacted and there were public meetings held.

MAST policy at that time was to renew all power boat licences for a period of 5
years with no cost, these were previously $15.00 however boating registrations
rose from around $20.00 to $40.00, a net increase of $5.00 per annum for the
average boater. Mooring fees rose to $50.00.

There was no Recreational Boating Department structure and most of the
recreational boating work was split between facilities, moorings and what was
then known as water safety.

The water safety side of recreational boating was carried out by an officer in
conjunction with the Office of Sport and Recreation.

A facility project officer was employed to look after the newly announced
Recreational Boating Fund which managed applications from boaters for the
provision of new and upgraded facilities; funds were derived from boating
registrations and were treated as a “sweetener” to the boating public for the
payment of additional fees.

Major changes introduced for Recreational boaters during this phase in time were
as follows:-

   •   Licences were required for all boats with a motor of 4hp or greater.
   •   Simpler and more effective requirements for the carriage of mandatory
       safety equipment.
   •   Improved mooring management – commencement of survey program for
       each registered mooring.
   •   A streamlined administrative arrangement for renewals.
   •   Establishment of a Recreational Boating Fund from registration payments.

With the necessity of operators being required to be licensed if they operated a
motor of 4hp or more meant an increase of 23% in licenses during 1998-1999. A
large percentage of these licenses were “life time” and were issued by the
previous Hobart Marine Board. The problem with these “life time” licenses was
that MAST had no other details apart from a name and license number so it was
difficult to match up with the new data base.

Other boating safety initiatives included:-

   •   Signage on buses.
   •   Distribution of 18,000 “Be Water Safe” stickers

   •           Television advertising, the advertisement was based on wearing of Life
   •           A safety equipment sticker was included with renewals.
   •           Safe Boating Handbook

During 1998 a review was carried out following a number of fatalities as to
whether or not there should be legislation for the compulsory wearing of life
jackets. The review found there was little support and this recommendation was
made to Government.

Recreational Boating continued strong growth with licenses, registrations and
moorings all increasing in numbers.

In August 1999 the structure of the staffing in respect to recreational boating
changed with the introduction of two project officers following the resignation of
the officer employed to manage the RBF and the uptake of survey work of the
officer previously managing moorings.

In late 1999 following a number of incidents which saw 5 incidents and 12
fatalities during that year the Government announced MAST would carry out a
recreational boating safety review. This followed a decade when drowning was
high. (see table below)

                                    Incidents and Fatalities

    a lities

                8                                                                        Incidents
   F ta

                6                                                                        Fatalities
                    87   88   89   90   91   92   93       94   95   96   97   98   99

The review was announced in December, 1999 and was to be wide ranging to
include a look at coronial records, a comprehensive safety survey with stake
holders and the development of an issues paper which was sent to boating and
yacht clubs asking for feedback.

The feedback from stakeholders was most encouraging with a response rate of
52% which indicated boaters wished to have their say about safety. The survey
gave an ideal picture of the average recreational boat owner.

2000 - 2002

The safety review was completed and released in April, 2000 with a number of
suggestions as to how reduce fatalities and other issues in relation to recreational
boating such as hazard reduction methods.

The major recommendations from the safety review were:-

   •   Compulsory wearing of life jackets for children under 12
   •   Compulsory wearing of life jackets on PWC, canoes& kayaks
   •   Requirement for non registered motor boats to carry safety gear
   •   PWC to carry a “Behaviour Sticker”
   •   Introduction of capacity labels to reduce overloading
   •   Make owners aware of positive buoyancy
   •   Encourage greater use of up to date weather forecasts
   •   Increase safety awareness of recreational boaters
   •   Increase enforcement
   •   Improve education through schools and accrediting training providers
   •   Signage improvements
   •   Introduction of water management in certain areas
   •   Review of operational limits

The recommendations were costed as part of the review and various actions
were placed against the recommendations.

Changes were made to the organizational structure of the set up for recreational
boating within MAST with Recreational Boating Safety being made a separate
entity within the organization and marine facilities being wrapped into one section

which looked after the Recreational Boating Fund, MAST facilities and
management of moorings.

Amendments were necessary to the Marine and Safety (Motor Boat & Licences)
By Laws to enable the necessary legislation to be in place by 1 January, 2001.

A Recreational Boating Safety Officer was employed to help introduce the
changes recommended by the safety review in August 2000 and a little later that
year the organizational structure again changed with Recreational Boating Safety
and Marine facilities and moorings being amalgamated into one entity.

A $10.00 safety levy was also added to registration costs to help to fund the
recommendations; this safety levy was introduced from January, 2001.

A further 3 fatalities in 2000 and pressure from certain media outlets saw the
Government legislate for the compulsory wearing of life jackets as from 1
January, 2001 on all vessels 6m and under for all occupants whilst under power.

During 2001 recreational boating in Tasmania went about many significant
changes as a result of the survey, a safety pack was sent to all registered boat
owners with registrations and the new capacity label.

Brochures had been produced as part of the implementation of the safety review
and all boat owners were sent these in the safety pack. These were centered on
safety and included topics such as buoyancy, correct safety gear and operational

During 2001 and 2002 recommendations from the survey were introduced along
with other initiatives.

Boat owners and crews in Tasmania embraced the changes after a short period
of time and this caused a complete change in boating culture in Tasmania and it
was felt that MAST was also accepted by the boating community as an
organization by increasing their direct communication and mixing with the boating
community both on and off the water.

This was beneficial to the boating public and to MAST.

Strategic planning also evolved which saw recreational boating being structured
into definitive areas of responsibility such as recreational boating safety
(previously water safety), education, recreational boating fund, licensing,
moorings and MAST owned facilities and navigation aids.

Initiatives and Actions 2000-2002

Boating Safety Awareness

   •   Compulsory Wearing of PFD’s on boats under 6m – this new rule was
       introduced on January 1, 2001.

   •   Introduction of phone weather number – four regionalized weather
       numbers were introduced at the cost of a local call.

   •   Enforcement and patrols were stepped up – MAST and Police worked
       together and visited boats at ramps and on the water.

   •   Safety Pack & brochures – sent to all boat owners with renewals in
       December, 2000. The pack included safety information and capacity

Increasing communication with boat owners

   •   Boatwise – An educational and news publication was issued with the
       safety kit in December 2000. This publication enabled MAST to
       communicate directly with the stakeholders involved.

   •   Education Nights – These were introduced to help educate boat owners
       and crews on different topics in relation to boating and to meet boaters
       first hand to discuss safety or other issues.

   •   Client Survey – Another safety survey was conducted in 2002 enabling
       MAST to ask a range of questions in relation to facilities and safety.

  •   Boat shows – These enabled MAST officers to represent the organization
      at various displays and to answer questions from patrons.

  •   Boating and Ramp patrols – MAST officers mixed and communicated on
      the water with boat owners and crews.

Water Usage

  •   Lake Barrington – safety concerns existed between users of Lake
      Barrington and a management strategy was constructed with ideas from
      the users with MAST being the coordinator.

  •   Tamar River Guide - was upgraded from the original guide which was
      published by the previous administration of the marine board.

Dealers & Clubs

  •   MAST visited dealers as well as conducting meetings to discuss aspects
      of recreational boating and strategic planning ideas. This concept evolved
      as the dealers had first hand contact with MAST clients and valuable
      feedback could be gained.

School Education

  •   A school education pack – Teachers Resource Kit was developed for
      teachers to use in schools for grades 4-5. The concept was also used by
      WA for their school program. This resource kit was sent to every school in
      the state and as a result MAST visited a number of schools. Later, a video
      was also made to supplement the pack.

      This program was funded through successful applications made by MAST
      in the joint names of Kidsafe Tasmania and MAST with the Tasmanian
      Community Fund contributing $15,000.

Recreational Boating Fund

  •    The fund arguably is the flagship of MAST in respect to positive publicity
       for the organization and value for money with boaters. Funding is from
       boating registrations. The amount funded was $200,000 per year which
       equated in 1998 to $15.17 per registration, this dropped to $10.03 per
       registration at June 30, 2002.
  •    MAST visited Council Managers to encourage them to include a line item
       in their budgets for the improvement of marine facilities in their specific
       areas which was successful.
  •    MAST started to take greater responsibility for the construction of facilities
       through the fund and a greater emphasis was put onto building to
       Australian Standards and engineering designs.

                 Recreational Boating Fund - Sources of expenditure

   $150,000.00                                                           RBF f unding
   $100,000.00                                                           Ot her f unding

                   1998      1999      2000        2001       2002

Signage Program

  •    MAST encouraged Councils to erect safe boating signage on their facilities
       in a 50% funding arrangement.
  •    A similar program was also carried out in the central lakes area.

Tigers Program

  •                         MAST was involved with the above program which formulated the “fish on
                            line website” MAST was able to secure $17,500 from the TIGERS
                            program which contributed towards the upgrade of the MAST website and
                            staff accessing coordinates for the various facilities around the state.


  •                         Final surveys were carried out. MAST had surveyed all moorings
                            throughout the state and this gave the organization a prefect management
                            tool. Moorings were previously managed by the marine boards and many
                            areas were not charted and MAST was unaware of what was in the water.
  •                         Moorings continued rapid growth and an audit program was instituted to
                            manage the survey areas. Few illegal moorings have been identified since
                            the survey process was finalised. The number of registered moorings grew
                            by 882 (42.5%) from June 1998 to June 2002.
  •                         Assessment of applications also changed during the period; previously
                            some moorings were assessed by contract staff which was expensive.



       egistered m



                                     1997/98     1998/99     1999/2000   2000/2001   2001/2002


All recommendations from the safety review were completed during this time.
Recreational boat owners and crews changed their safety culture and became
more compliant with the carriage of safety gear.

This time period saw significant changes to recreational boating in Tasmania and
despite concerns from some that boating would be affected because of “over
regulation” the registration of recreational boats rose 51.23% over the first five
years of MAST.

Recreational Boating 2003 – 2007

This time period has been taken as a “consolidation” period with recreational
boating. It was necessary for MAST to manage the changes made in the initial 5
year period responsibly and to gain the trust and confidence of boat owners and
those within the recreational boating industry.

Corporate strategies in relation to recreational boating continued to revolve
around the recommendations from the initial safety review however the survey
conducted in 2002 enabled MAST to plan and to introduce other initiatives to help
with safety and the improvement of the overall recreational boating experience.

The recreational boating department in 2003 became solely responsible for
recreational matters only as a new section was developed within the organisation
to manage MAST owned assets and navigation aids

With MAST recreational boating officers dealing with safety, RBF and Moorings
together with licensing and registrations the present mix of responsibilities is
considered most effective as there is a constant interaction with boat owners
talking safety, improvements to facilities and other recreational boating issues ,
also, the greater percentage of moorings are recreational.

During this time recreational boating licences became renewable every three
years from 2003. Concern from the public was shown however revenue received
was to be put back into recreational boating such as better facilities and improved

services. This was accepted well by boat owners and licence holders at various
public meetings around the state.

Initiatives and Actions 2003-2007

Boating Safety Awareness

   •   Recreational Power Boat Licence - It became more difficult for boaters
       to gain a licence over this period. Changes made ensured applicants were
       familiar with certain core competencies which were based on national
       standards for operating powered recreational vessels.

   •   Weather Station - An automatic weather station was placed at the Iron
       Pot, further stations may be deployed around the state at a later stage.

   •   Flare & Safety Displays – MAST conducted many of these displays both
       with clubs and the general public. The correct use of safety equipment
       was shown together with were the gear should be stored on the boat.

   •   EPIRBS – These were previously not required on vessels less than 6
       metres, legislation was changed to ensure smaller vessels had to carry
       EPIRBS and other safety equipment required on larger vessels when
       operating in coastal waters.

   •   Buoyancy – MAST considers boat owners should be aware of the
       buoyancy in their boats, consequently MAST has been pro active in
       displays and securing a model vessel from Quintrex to display the correct
       placement of buoyancy. Coronial records have indicated that the majority
       of incidents where fatalities occur is when a boat capsizes or is swamped.
       The ABP covers new boats but for older boats adequate buoyancy is a
       very important issue that has been perhaps lost by the NMSC.

Communication with Boat owners and Licence holders

   •   Boatwise continued to be well accepted by boaters with safety stories and
       other valuable information being made available.

  •   AGFEST has become a regular occurrence for MAST over the last 5
      years. This is an opportunity to speak to many boaters and to display
      safety measures.

  •   Boat Shows –MAST continues to be present at Boat Shows and other
      such displays.

  •   Client Survey – Another survey was conducted in April, 2007. This survey
      will help MAST develop strategies into the future. Regular surveys are
      considered vitally important in developing new strategies and measuring
      changes and attitudes of the boating public.

Water Usage / management

  •   Bridport – concerns were expressed by swimmers and a new 5 knot area
      prohibiting PWC and boats exceeding 5 knots east of old pier was

  •   Weymouth – A meeting was held with the local community and boat
      owners a management plan was devised for use of the Pipers River
      waterway to allow all users to benefit.

  •   Port Sorell – Representatives and users of the Rubicon waterway were
      invited to attend a meeting to devise ski and other areas, appropriate
      signage has now been installed.

  •   Anchorage Guides – a series was developed to compliment the Tamar
      River Guide. Another three were produced – South East, East Coast and
      North Coast. These have proved popular with boat owners with a reprint of
      both the South East and East guides.

Dealers & Clubs

  •   MAST continues to liaise with dealers and clubs to enable communication
      to be effective. MAST also sends emails to dealers and clubs advising of
      certain issues and Notices to Mariners. Regular emails are also sent to the
      Marine Division of Tasmania Police.


  •   MAST successfully negotiated sponsorship with RACT Insurances,
      Century Batteries and Zinifex.


  •   Improvements to the existing signage, erected previously, have been
      carried out at major facilities around the state. The new signs have a chart
      of the area and show operating waters and gear required.

                                 New signage

Recreational Boating Fund

   •   The RBF stayed at $200,000 until 2005/2006 financial year when it was
       increased to $240,000 per annum.

   •   Increases in registrations saw the fund grow to an amount of $400,000 per
       year. As at June 30, 2007 this was $15.76 per registration, in addition to
       this the $10.00 safety levy introduced in 2001 contributes to other services
       used by recreational boaters such as weather, school programs, education
       nights, waterway guides and other services.

   •   MAST continues to secure funding from local Councils and Hydro for RBF

Licence Fund Projects

   •   With the renewal of boating licences every three years MAST gave a
       commitment in 2003 that all revenue excluding administration costs would
       be returned to boaters via new and upgraded facilities and services.

   •   The construction of new facilities through the licence fund has seen larger
       projects being completed as additional funding has been accessed
       through a Commonwealth Government funding program to compliment
       MAST funds. MAST has successfully applied for Commonwealth funding
       in both Council and individual names.

There has been $5,042,281 spent on improvements to facilities, around the state
up to 30 June, 2007.

Of this $3,619,149 has been funded by MAST and the remaining $1,440,997 has
been negotiated by MAST from facility owners and other funding opportunities.

(see graph next page)

                             Total Spent

                   Total   Total MAST   MAST -       MAST -     Other
                                         RBF         Licence
                                    Funding source

  •   MAST has endeavored to ensure the balance of funding is relative to
      the percentage of boating carried out in each part of the state. The
      surveys carried out in 2002 and 2007 have given MAST accurate
      percentages of boating in the various regions. (see graph next page)

  •   There is a discrepancy in the NW&W and South however this is due to
      Port Sorell and Wynyard upgrades and the % shortfall in the South will
      change with the Pirates Bay upgrade scheduled in 2007/2008.



                                                                       % funding
                                                                       % of boating in
  10.00%                                                               region


              1         2       3        4       5        6

1 - Inland Lakes and Rivers
2 - NE (Tamar River - Swansea including Flinders Is)
3 - NW&W (Strahan - Port Sorell including King Is)
4 - SE (Swansea - Tasman Peninsula, including Dodges Ferry
5 - SOUTH (7 Mile Beach - Recherche Bay including Hobart region & Bruny
6 - SW (Statewide, ie Signage, Safe Boat Hand Book etc)

Fatalities since 1987

There have been 62 fatalities since January 1987. Sixty of the victims were male.
Twelve fatalities have occurred in non motorized vessels however these are
included in the figures.

From 1987 until 2001 when legislation was introduced for the wearing of PFD’s in
boats 6m and under there were 43 drownings from powered craft or an average
of 3.0 from such vessels.

Since legislation was introduced 8 people have drowned (to 31 August 07) from
powered vessels or an average of 1.1 per year.

There has been a significant change in boating habits since 2001 with owners
and crews much more aware of their responsibilities. Better safety gear such as
PFD’s are now on the market and owners are seeking more up to date weather
forecasts and equipping their boats with more safety gear.

It could perhaps be considered that the influence MAST has had with boating
safety education and awareness since 2001 and the introduction of
recommendations from the safety review that boat owners, crews, dealers and
others associated with boating have all been willing participants.

The graph illustrates how drownings are decreasing as registrations grow, trend
lines are very distinct. The solid line shows a decrease in death by drowning
compared to the increase in registration with the dotted trend line.

(Registrations for 1987 until 1998 are estimates based on 3% PA growth rate, worked back from

               14                                                                                      30000
               12                                                                                      25000

                                                                                                               Boats registered

                2                                                                                      5000
                0                                                                                      0






















Recreational Boating 2007 and beyond

The following 5 years will be challenging and exciting for the MAST Recreational
Boating department.

From a boating safety perspective the challenge is to maintain the balance
between enforcement and the beneficial and useful education practices for boat
owners, Licence holders and crews.

It is important the balance is maintained and that boat owners see they are
getting value for money from their registration and Licence fees.

Although the boating public have been accepting in attending education nights,
safety demonstrations and using other services such as the phone in weather
service the best way MAST can be seen as delivering value for money is through
the RBF and Licence fee projects, that is, hardware in the ground with new
ramps, walkways and other on water services.

Maintaining the level of commitment to improving facilities in the future enables
room to manourvre in respect to boating safety issues and it is considered boat
owners will accept changes in safety regulations if the “hardware” and services
MAST currently provides continues.

Keeping the correct balance is imperative for continued acceptance with the
boating public.

A plan has been devised (see following page) as a result of the most recent
survey which will help deliver MAST and its stakeholder’s success through
boating safety into the future.

            Marine and Tasmania – Recreational Boating Safety Plan

    What             When                   How                        Why                 Comments
Safety            Spring ,         •   Registration safety         •   56% of            We are hopeful
Education with    Summer               stickers                        boaters over      This years rego
emphasis on                        •   Boatwise                        50,               sticker will have
over 50’s                          •   Buoyancy Display            •   from survey       another sticker –
                                   •   Education nights                many boaters      this will be safety
                                   •   Regional Displays               consider they     gear requirements
                                   •   Boat Shows/Agfest               have
                                   •   Shopping centre displays        experience
                                   •   Dealers education
                                   •   Promotion of
                                   •   DPIW Fishing booklet
Buoyancy          Winter,          •   Shopping Centre displays    •   52% of
Promotion         Spring ,         •   Display Boat                    owners with
                  Summer           •   Website/adverts                 boats <6m
                                   •   Boat shows/Agfest/Club          think their
                                       nights                          boat will float
                                   •   School education                level if filled
                                   •   Education nights                with water
                                   •   Regional displays           •   46% of those
                                   •   Boatwise                        with boats
                                   •   Dealers Education               >6m think
                                                                       theirs will
                                                                       also float
                                                                   •   New boats
                                                                       being fitted
                                                                       with ABP,
                                                                       this leaves
                                                                       000’s without
                                                                       knowing what
                                                                       their boat has
Improve           Winter           •   Education nights            •   Previous
understanding     Spring           •   Boatwise                        displays has
usage of safety   Summer           •   Regional Displays/club          indicated
gear                                   visits                          compliance
                                   •   Boat shows                      with carriage
                                   •   Dealers Education               of safety gear
                                   •   Schools                         but limited
                                                                       on how it
Visit Regional    As    required   •   Education nights/Displays   •   Spread the
Areas for         and              •   Club requests                   word to local

displays                                                                        communities

Enhance             scheduled          •     Regional requests             •    Promote            Previous
MAST’s              (target 30)        •     Staff to visit dealers             MAST as a          staff training with
relationship with   Winter             •     Dealer staff education             knowledgabl        Maynes was
dealers,            Spring             •     Pie nights                         e, proactive       successful
Councils&           Summer             •     Communicate with                   and
external                                     Councils                           approachable
stakeholders                        Education nights / Boat shows /             organization
                                    Agfest etc
                                                                           •    Dealers can
                                                                                be promoting
                                                                                MAST direct
                                                                                with boating
Look at 15m and     Spring/Summer      •   Look at Queensland          To make                     Awaiting
PWC licenses                               Model                       recommendations to          info from MSQ
                                       •   MAST statistics/surveys     Board.
                                       •   Boatwise article

Increase            Winter             •   Boatwise/Education nights   Ensure boaters              Super impose
knowledge to        Spring             •   Web link to BOM             continue to obtain up       Weather number
access up to        Summer             •   Adverts                     to date weather             on rego stickers
date weather                           •   use phone stats to see      information prior to
                                           location of boating –       boating as per last
                                           promote areas not using     survey
                                       •   Rego sticker
                                       •   Look at survey results
                                       •   DPIW Fishing booklet
                                       •   Weather Stations
Speeding Boats      Spring             •   Signage                     Concerns from survey
                    Summer             •   Education                   results and complaints
                                       •   Boatwise                    last summer
                                       •   Infringement notices

406 EPIRBS –        Spring             •   Rego renewals-AMSA          Change from 121.5 in
carriage and        Summer                 flyer                       Feb 09. Reports
registration                           •   BOATWISE                    indicate:-
                                       •   Education nights                 1 Shortage of
                                       •   Dealers                               406 in Feb
                                                                            2 Survey
                                                                                 indicates lack
                                                                                 of registration

Deliver boaters     Spring             •   RBF and License projects    Survey advised some
value for money     Summer             •   Education nights            boaters consider they
                                       •   Boatwise-story on big       did not get value for

                                      boat spending                money
                                  •   Boat Shows/Displays
                                  •   Selling “our product” more
                                  •   Club talks (as per
                                  •   Personal email
Develop           Autumn 08       •   Boatwise                     Increase contact with
personal Email                    •   Web site                     boaters that wish to
contact                                                            have greater
                                                                   communication from
                                                                   Updates between
VHF – more        Autumn 08       •   Boatwise                     So boaters have
license holders                   •   Web site                     better understanding
                                  •   Accredited providers         of how their radio
                                  •   Simplified licence           works and to free up
                                                                   emergency channels.
                                  •   Boatwise
Canoes/Kayaks     Spring/summer   •   Tas Water Safety Council     So people are aware     Confusion exists
                                  •   Change definition in By      of wearing PFD

Communication with stakeholders

One of MAST’s greatest attributes is the ability and willingness to communicate
with stakeholders. MAST has been able to do this with education nights, safety
displays and BOATWISE and also there is a willingness to meet boat owners at
public meetings. The boating public is appreciative of this and MAST has to look
at ways of improving this and continue being “approachable” and sharing our

BOATWISE and the displays must continue and also the opportunity for public
meetings when issues arise.

MAST recreational boating department already communicate via email to group
email addresses for Southern and Northern dealers and also the police who work
within the marine division and others around the state who carry out marine
duties. This enables the latest information to go to dealers and the police.

MAST would also like to increase email contact with boat owners and others
between BOATWISE issues.

An email every two or three weeks with just a couple of paragraphs would again
increase our profile with boaters. To be able to advise when a facility is to
commence or when work is finished with a photo would be of great benefit to
boaters. This communication would not be used as an avenue to push, push,
push the safety issue but rather use the opportunity to update on matters of
interest. Some boat owners may even prefer to receive BOATWISE this way
which in turn may save MAST a considerable amount over a year.

Education for the future

Education to boat owners, Licence holders and crews will continue to play an
important role for MAST into the future. The latest survey shows 21% have
attended one of the 86 presentations since January, 2005.

Continuation of the education night and safety displays within regional boating
communities will continue together with visits to clubs and other associations.

MAST is currently assessing school education with a promotional work booklet
similar to the Tasmanian Fire Commission.

MAST has met the Education Department and it is anticipated the work booklet
will be incorporated in with the schools water safety program. The booklet will be
designed so students take it home to get their parents help which in turn will have
educational benefits for parents discussing boating safety issues with their

Such a publication will more than likely require some form of sponsorship.

MAST is also keen on educating dealer and chandlery staff and will be offering
these organizations “in house” training for staff to ensure the correct messages
are being relayed to their stakeholders, the boating public.

Education will be centered on the following:-

   •    School work booklet
   •    Education nights and safety displays in regional and city areas
   •    BOATWISE stories regarding safety
   •    Continue AGFEST and dealer boat shows
   •    Dealer and chandlery in house training for staff
   •    Bulkhead safety sticker showing location of safety gear

Increasing Revenue Base

The revenue base for recreational boating is derived from Licence fees and boat
registrations for vessels over 4HP and mooring fees.

These fees are now increased in line with the CPI however there are currently no
other means that additional revenue can be achieved.

Extra funds are of course derived for facility construction which is negotiated with
Councils and other organizations. This has been tremendously important as far
as the Recreational Boating Department is concerned has it has allowed facilities
to be years ahead of the construction schedule and also to some affect has
allowed the revenue stream from Recreational boaters continue to subsidise
other areas of MAST.

Additional ways of increasing the revenue base must be looked at in the future,
this could be achieved by looking at the following:-

   •    Registration Fees for vessels under 4HP (excluding tenders)-would bring
        others into “safety net” who receive BOATWISE
   •    Licence fees for operators of the above vessels
   •    Scale of fees for certain sized vessels on moorings
   •    Scale of fees for length of vessels


There are some risks that may be associated with Recreational Boating in
respect to registrations and licences continuing to grow at the same pace as in
previous years and has probably corresponded with a strong economy.

A slow in growth of registrations and licence fees could be linked to the following
in future which in turn will affect our revenue base.

    •   Slow down in general economic growth
    •   Increase in interest rates meaning “leisure” dollar may have to be used
        elsewhere to support the household
    •   Increase in petrol prices affecting usage of boats

Another risk MAST will need to be aware of in respect to facilities is that although
a tremendous amount has been achieved a new generation of boat owners will
expect first class facilities to be the norm. Currently we are lucky in respect that
the majority of those now boating have seen what has occurred since MAST was

It will be important that has the boating population ages that the “new generation”
is accepting of MAST and what we are endeavoring to do whether it be with
facilities or safety issues. Many have not experienced “previous administrations”.

The increasing numbers of PWC also form a risk for MAST and as included in the
safety plan a separate licence for these craft should be looked at in the near
future. Registrations for these craft have climbed 614% since 1998 and statistics
have shown that 87.5% of complaints received revolve around the craft.

RBF / Licence Fee Projects

MAST has been able to work closely with the majority facility owners over the
years and in total some 274 projects have been completed with $5,042,280 being
spent since 1998.

It is expected this financial year a further $1,330,000 will be spent on combined
RBF and Licence projects. Two years ago MAST staff completed a ramp and
facility audit which indicated a great many projects yet to be completed.

From the original ramp audit and looking at the top 30 projects there have been
10 projects completed and a further 8 have funding allocated for completion over
the next year or so.

This ramp audit has proved very beneficial in both managing and allocating funds
to projects and in regards to communicating with Councils and other owners in
respect to strategic planning with Marine facilities.

Projects are now designed and built to Australian Standards and MAST project
manage the majority of projects to ensure construction is to the plan and that the
facility will meet the needs of the users.

There are however concerns looking into the future with planning issues for
facility construction. There is no uniformity with Council planning schemes and
also Crown Land Services and Parks can slow the application process down

MAST will have to continue to work hard to access additional funding, a number
of Councils now have a marine facility line item included in annual budgets
following suggestions from MAST as well as writing a marine strategy for their

Tapping into Commonwealth programs will also be necessary if “major” projects
are to be undertaken. Commonwealth and other funding has allowed a number of
big projects to be undertaken such as Port Sorell, Wynyard and upcoming
projects like Rocky Cape, Pirates Bay and Bridport. Without this additional
funding MAST alone may have found it difficult to fund the entire project.


Moorings attract revenue of around $250,000 per annum with renewals and
transfers of ownership.

With boat registrations increasing dramatically over the last few years and boats
getting bigger the demand on moorings has grown considerably. Demand in
some areas such as Geilston Bay, Lindisfarne, Kettering and parts of the East
Coast like Coles Bay and Orford has seen bays closed for new applications.

The survey of moorings some years ago has given MAST a management tool
that is most useful and many new applications are issued from a desktop

The survey has also enabled many disputes to be managed between neighboring
owners however it is essential audits of all areas continue and that thought in
planning future budgets is given in respect to re surveying areas that mat require
such work.

The cost of the initial surveys was significant and considering the growing
numbers it is important information is updated continually. MAST has good
working relationships with a number of contractors who also help MAST update
information when inspecting or laying new moorings.

Management now is also done through a new GIS system instead of paper
charts; this has helped tremendously especially with desk top management.

Future Issues

As well as the risks a number of issues may well see MAST involved in debate
with the following:-

   •   A growing number of neglected recreational boats on moorings that may
       well be classed as un seaworthy
   •   Provision of holding tanks and pressure from environmentalists regarding
       the necessity for these tanks
   •   Smaller and smaller boats venturing off shore “sports” fishing, this was
       evident from last survey
   •   PWC issues – licences, speeding , complaints
   •   Lack of mooring/berthing spaces in popular areas may put pressure on
       areas not currently used
   •   Lack of supply of 406 EPIRBS in February, 2009
   •   Slipways and concerns meeting environmental guidelines
   •   If increase in interest rates some operators may elect not to register
   •   Public toilet facilities at boat ramps
   •   Siltation at end of ramps will become a bigger issue with people driving
       boats on trailers – environmental problems with approvals
   •   Barways, not only St Helens but popular recreational areas - Bridport,
       Orford, Little Swanport, Swanwick, Wynyard, Ulverstone


Recreational Boating is a big industry in the State. MAST is well positioned to
manage boating into the future and with further client surveys a continuation of
existing programs and the introduction of new projects the understanding and
relationship MAST has with its stakeholders are probably second to none in

It is imperative MAST continues with its open door philosophy of mixing with
boaters at ramps, pubic meetings and safety and flare displays. This enables the
public to ask MAST questions and helps the public embrace MAST as a useful
and contributing organization to our client’s leisure activity.

With MAST continuing to implement new initiatives and maintaining an educative
approach it is hoped in future that the numbers drowning will continue to decline
and that the boating public will continue to pursue a safety culture whilst boating.

With By Laws due to be re written in 2008 it will give MAST an opportunity to look
at changing by laws where necessary.

In conclusion the current structure of the Recreational Boating Department is
ideal however at times staff are working long hours, particularly when it is
considered the majority of the education and safety displays are held in the
evenings or at weekends.

Ideally more time will be spent with on water patrols in the coming summer
however this becomes difficult with our un-predictable weather.

Peter Hopkins
Manager – Recreational Boating
Marine and Safety Tasmania
October 2007


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