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Friday, 15 November 2013

Victorian boat launching facilities a joke!

We need your help!

BIA (Boating Industry of Victoria needs your help!
To improve Victorian Recreational Boating Infrastructure

Since 1961 successive State Governments have collected fees from Recreational Boaters for the purpose of funding boat ramps. This has reached the point that boaters are now being charged registration fees, licensing fees, Boating Safety and Facilities fee, launching / parking fees, taxes on outboard fuels and other general taxes. Contributing approximately $30 million to state coffers.
For too long not enough of these funds have been invested back in maintaining, developing and managing recreational trailer boat infrastructure.
The Boating Industry Association of Victoria has continually told Government that trailer boat ramps and parking facilities are not adequate to meet the existing demand let alone any future growth in boating.
We believe it is not good enough and boaters are fed up. We now need boaters themselves to give the Minister a very clear message that the Victorian Boating community needs better facilities.
A snap shot of the problem around Port Phillip and Western Port Bay.
Less than 3% of the recreational boaters can launch on any single day!

• 172,000 registered recreational vessels in Victoria (Sept 30th 2013)
• 98% of all registered vessels are trailer boats
• 68% of the registered trailer boats use Port Phillip and Westernport Bay
• 140,000 recreational vessels (registered/non registered) use Port Phillip & Western Port Bays
• Less than 3,000 car trailer unit spaces are provided at metropolitan boat ramps (i.e. WP & PP Bays)
• Therefore any more than 3% want to go boating and we have gridlock and mayhem.

How much is collected from boaters and how much is spent?
In 2011-12 the government collected approx. $30 million dollars in fees directly from boaters
• This includes $10 Million dollars for the Boating Safety and Facilities Program fee
• The State Government spent $2.64 Million dollars last year under the Infrastructure category of the Boating Safety &Facilities Program (BS&FP).
Section 312 Marine Safety Act directs that the BS&FP fee must be collected, must be spent by the Minister and MUST be spent on boat ramps. This is the same law that the State Coalition Government changed last year to give recreational boaters $700 penalty infringement fines. But they can ignore their own law!

Let the Minister know your views.

The Hon David Hodgett – Minister for Ports
Email Address:

Ministerial Office
Address 36/121 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone (03) 9653 9700
Fax (03) 9653 9850
Web Site:

To complete the 6 question survey on your experience follow the link below


  1. Time to create a 3 km traffic jam around parliament house I think?

  2. Nominate a specific day of the week or month and no one pay any fees to launch anywhere until they agree. No one pay any fines or fees on that day and then see how long it takes them to come to the table.

  3. I have sitting here in front of me a cabinet in confidence document, that was initiated by the previous Labor state government in 2009 and our current Liberal government has known about this since 2011.

    Under the Bays maritime initiative, that looked at what needs to be spent and how it should be spent to match return. This document looked at 23 PPB & WP boat ramps in detail, looking at what needs to be done, the cost and the return.
    In general it states that for $7.5 million a year over 10 years (out of OUR $10 million a year that has to be spent) would bring a 50% efficiency upgrade, in layman’s terms it would mean close to 12000 boats could launch at any one time as opposed to the current capacity of under 4000.

    The document also says that this would bring an increase of an extra 64,000 vessels being registered above the current projected growth. An extra 64,000 vessels bringing in more revenue.

    So just to be clear, last year our state government spent just over $2.5 million on us out of the $10 million raised by the Boating Safety and Facilities Program. If this was started in 2009 and they spent the reminder of the $10 million as they are required to do under the act, we would almost be half way through the 10 year program, and most importantly our current state government has seen this report in 2011.

    So we not only need to ask the current state government if they intend to address this issue, but we also need to ask the opposition if they plan on taking action as outlined in their report. So come election time we have a clear indication of which side of politics will best serve the interest of Victorian anglers and boaters!!

    So just to be clear! What needs to be done to increase the capacity from under 4000 vessels to over 11,000 has been identified and costed, and both sides of politics know about it!