02 November 2020

With Melbourne now out of stage 4 restrictions things are finally starting to look up for Victorians. The 5km travel limit increased to 25km means more of us can go boating. Of course we’re hoping that Covid numbers stay low so that the travel limit goes completely, meaning we’d all be able to go boating irrespective of how far we live from the water.
But there is another major concern that Victorian boaters should be concerned about. Boating infrastructure in Vic is sadly lacking and decades behind other states. For years the industry has been lobbying government to have boating fees reinvested in boating facilities and infrastructure.

In the lead up to the last election Premier Andrews pledged that every cent of boaters registration and licensing fees will be returned to boaters to be spent on boating safety and facilities. This has been re-affirmed on numerous occasions by the Premier and consecutive Ministers.
Well guess what, the bill, currently before Parliament, already passed by the Lower House and headed for the Upper House, states (among other things) that that Parliament and the Treasurer, at their absolute discretion, can decide the value of monies that flow into the ‘Better Boating Fund’.

So, while they’re creating this fund for money collected from boaters to be spent on boating, there’s no guarantee that all the money will get to the fund… Seriously? Seems to me the Premier and his government are not living up to their promise. Or is he saying to boaters, ‘trust me I’m a politician’… Yeah right!
The Boating Industry Association of Victoria has taken the issue up with the Minister and you can read the full details below. All that and more in this edition so sit back, browse through and enjoy the read.
Cheers, see you out on the water
John Zammit


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