9 August 2019
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is encouraging residents to participate in the Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV) survey on a proposed rule change for the use of personal watercraft (PWC), such as jet skis, on Port Phillip Bay.
The rule is being proposed in response to concerns and risks arising from the operation of PWCs near other waterway users (particularly swimmers and bathers) within Shared Zones around Port Phillip Bay.
The proposed rule would prohibit irregular riding (such as wave jumping and freestyling) of PWCs in Shared Zones, and would require PWC operators to navigate the vessel in a direct line through Shared Zones. This is intended to help other waterway users predict the path of a PWC.
Shire Mayor Cr David Gill said the proposed rule only addresses a small component of beach safety which is a major issue for Peninsula residents and visitors.
“Council has been advocating for a raft of changes to improve beach safety including trial zones that separate swimming areas from jet ski riders and the provision of additional compliance resources.”
“This rule change doesn’t go far enough in addressing broader community concerns about jet skis”.
“This is a timid approach to a significant community issue and delays any potential safety reforms relating to the use of PWCs until the Summer of 2020/21 at the earliest.”
“We first asked MSV to undertake these measures last year which means we’re now looking at a minimum two year delay before anything happens”, said Mayor Gill.
Mayor Gill reiterated that this is our communities’ opportunity to raise their concerns to the state government who have complete control over the jet ski and PWC issue.
The survey asks questions specifically about the proposed new rule and also provides participants the opportunity to comment on other ideas and issues relating to the use of PWCs.
“Council is urging residents to share their concerns with the safety regulator MSV about the range of other issues relating to the use of personal watercraft on Peninsula beaches”, concluded Mayor Gill.
Council is calling on the Victorian Government to introduce a range of measures to address community and Council concerns regarding personal safety, amenity and threats to marine wildlife.
Greater physical separation of PWCs and swimmers
- Regulatory changes
- Licencing restrictions
- Greater education and enforcement
For more details on these measures visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/pwcadvocacy
The MSV survey is open now at engage.vic.gov.au/pwc-regulatory-reform until noon Wednesday 4 September.