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Marine Safety Act and Waterway Rules

Marine safety – recreational facilities re-opened

In line with the Stage 3 restrictions, we initially closed the recreational facilities at our storages (including playgrounds and public BBQs).  Boat ramps located at our storages reopened on 13 May, following the easing of restrictions on recreational boating and fishing.

Recreational activities are now permitted at our storages, within physical distancing restrictions, and according to the usual activities allowed at those storages. Recreational boating and fishing are allowed, along with other forms of exercise and recreation on and around our storages.

From Tuesday 26 May, playgrounds have reopened with a limit of 10 people at a time and physical distancing rules will apply.

From midnight 31 May (Monday 1 June), this number increases to 20 people at a time. Public BBQs will also reopen on 1 June.

See the latest information on restrictions on the Victorian Government website.











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.
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.