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Marine Safety Act and Waterway Rules

Marine Safety Act

The Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) and Marine Safety Regulations 2012 (Vic) provide for safe marine operations in Victoria. The Act and Regulations commenced on 1 July 2012.

The Marine Safety Act 2010 replaced the Marine Act 1988 (Vic), which was reviewed to address the changing safety profile of the maritime industry and as part of a broader transport legislation review in Victoria. The Marine Safety Regulations 2012 replaced the Marine Regulations 2009 (Vic).

Access the legislation on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website:

Key Requirements

The Marine Safety Act and Regulations set out a range of requirements, including:

  • A framework to ensure recreational vessels are fit for purpose and those who operate them are properly skilled.
  • Safety duties for persons and parties responsible for marine safety.
  • Penalties and enforcement tools to address non-compliance with marine safety legislation and waterway rules.
Waterways

Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) is responsible for determining standards and procedures for navigation and maritime safety on state waters.

Victorian waters include all inland waters, rivers, creeks, canals, lakes and reservoirs, as well as coastal waters up to three nautical miles offshore.

Waterway Rules

There are general rules for all waterways in the state and local rules for specific waterways.

The rules are designed to:

  • Provide a safe operating environment.
  • Cater for the wide range of boating and water activities.
  • Separate different activities on the basis of safety and to reflect local conditions.
Guide to Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules

Waterway rules for Victorian waterways are detailed in the Guide to Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR). This guide is available to download in PDF below. Urgent amendments to this guide are published on the Emergency or urgent waterway rules page of the Transport Safety Victoria website.

Guide to Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (PDF, 1.9MB, 267 pp.)

Changes to Waterways Rules

From time to time there may be a need to amend vessel operating and zoning rules or restrict boating activity on specified waters.

These changes will be advertised for public comment prior to approval. Once approved the changes will be gazetted and published on the Transport Safety Victoria website (click on the link below):

More Information

Information about how the Act and Regulations affect waterway managers and recreational boaters is available on the Transport Safety Victoria website.

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WaterMatch - online trading

Watermatch is a free online service, designed to help people trade water.

Once you have registered, you can advertise to buy or sell water.

Depending on the water that you wish to trade, choose from the Groundwater, Surface Water (rivers and creeks) and Irrigation District forum.

Select a new topic to create your ad. Your ad can be to buy or sell water, and must describe the source of your water, quantity of water you want to buy or sell, how long you want to trade for and your contact details. If you are happy to put a buying or selling price, this can be included here too.

If you want to respond to an ad, you can use the email link or contact the advertiser direct.

It is an online trading forum, and can also be used by people who are not on the internet, with help from our staff.

Watermatch allows you to register your interest in either buying or selling water in southern Victoria.

  • the Macalister, Werribee and Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District
  • Groundwater systems in southern Victoria
  • Rivers and creek systems in southern Victoria (other than those managed by Melbourne Water around the Port Phillip region).

Who can use it?
Anyone can use watermatch. You may be an existing licence holder who wants to sell water, or buy more water.

You may not currently have a licence, but you want to buy water in the region.

How does it work?

  • click here to enter Watermatch
  • register as a user (a very simple process)
  • go to the system or district you are interested in and check current entries
  • add in any entry for any water you want to sell or buy

What information should I include in my ad?

  • If you are wanting to buy or sell
  • your name
  • phone number
  • name of river, creek, groundwater management area or irrigation district
  • how much water is to be traded
  • If the trade is temporary or permanent
  • term of the trade (Maximum term is 5 years)

Things you need to know
We are always looking for ways to improve our customer service. If you would like to provide feedack or suggested improvements please click here.

it's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Trading applications must be submitted to Southern Rural Water and approval granted before water is taken. A water transfer application form can be downloaded from our application page.

If you want to trade upstream, please speak with one of our Assessment Officers prior to submitting an application.

To check if a buyer or seller can trade with you, call us on 1300 139 510 and ask to speak to an Assessment Officer.

Not a water broker

It's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Click here to download our Fact Sheet

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