Mid West Community urged to have their say on recreational safety vessel review

The State Government’s recently released Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Review Position Paper is now available for community comment and local skippers are urged to have their say.

Local Agricultural Region MLCs Darren West and Laurie Graham welcomed the paper which includes 12 proposals designed to simplify laws, making it easier for skippers to comply and save lives on the water.

Mr West said the paper, based on the first phase of consultation, has been formed with feedback from 1,239 responses to an initial online survey and with input from an external reference group representing industry and boating organisations.

It also addresses repeated recommendations from a series of coronial inquiries.

“This is a great opportunity for the local boating community to have input into the requirements governing recreational vessel safety equipment.

“We have a number of recreational boaters here in the Mid West and I encourage them to get involved in this consultation, share their experiences and have their say on the recommendations.”

Mr Graham said that recommended proposals include the compulsory wearing of lifejackets for children and by anyone on a vessel less than 4.8 metres in length, bringing WA into line with other States.

“The proposed changes also require a GPS enabled distress beacon, plus either flares or an electronic night signalling device. A marine radio will only be required when operating more than four nautical miles from shore.”

“Boating is part of community life here in Geraldton and the broader region and I know there will be members of our community who are keen to participate in this consultation.

“I strongly urge them to get involved.”

A public consultation session will be held in Geraldton on Wednesday 6 November from 5.30pm to 7pm at the Geraldton Yacht Club in Marine Terrace.

Interested community members are encouraged to attend but can also have their say online at www.transport.wa.gov.au/safetyequipmentreview before Friday 22nd November.