WA government seeks feedback on safety equipment

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Boating safety equipment review now open for public comment.

The WA state government is carrying out a review of boating safety equipment requirements and has asked for feedback from local boaters. Among the issues to be considered is the mandatory wearing of life jackets on board vessels.

“Too many families have been impacted by tragedies on local waters and this is why we need to bring the safety regulations into the 21st century,” said Rita Saffioti, WA minister for transport.

“In an emergency, safety equipment can save a life so we must ensure the requirements meet the needs of the growing number of vessel types and also reflect the significant improvements in technology since the last review in 1992.

“The aim of the review is to enhance the safety of people on the water without reducing the participation rate or imposing unreasonable costs on those who enjoy boating.”

Safety equipment items which are under review include:

  • Lifesaving appliances (survival craft and buoyancy aids such as lifejackets)
  • Communication devices such as radios and distress signalling sheets
  • Navigation equipment (compasses and Global Positioning Systems)
  • Equipment to extinguish or control fire
  • Miscellaneous equipment such as first aid, lighting, paddles, bilge pumps and anchors; and
  • Distress signals such as emergency position indicating radio beacons, personal locator beacons and red hand held flares, red parachute rockets and orange smoke signals.

The Department of Transport (DoT) will conduct a two-stage consultation process following the release of the Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Discussion Paper - Summary which seeks to raise key issues about current and possible new safety equipment requirements.

Feedback received as part of the first phase of the review will be used to formulate changes to the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 which will then go through a second phase of consultation.

Comments on the discussion paper – available here - need to be made by close of business on 10 July, 2017.

There will also be two information days at which DoT officers will be on hand to explain and answer questions about the equipment and to record comments as part of the consultation. The information days are:

Tuesday 13 June 2017
3pm to 8pm
Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club
115 Breakwater Parade, Mandurah

Thursday 22 June 2017
3pm to 8pm
Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue Group
1 Boat Harbour Quays, Ocean Reef

People can register to attend by contacting DoT by email or by phone during business hours on 08 9435 7547.

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