Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    Skippers’ views sought on changes to safety equipment

    27/05/2017 11:00 AM
    • Mandatory wearing of lifejackets to be considered as part of recreational vessel safety equipment review
    • Boat owners encouraged to have their say in safety review and participate in online survey 

    The McGowan Government is launching the first major review of recreational boat safety equipment requirements in 25 years.


    The review will involve public consultation to examine what safety equipment will be required on recreational vessels in Western Australia.


    Since the last review in 1992 of the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958, there have been a number of changes to technology, the boating population and to national and international equipment standards.


    In recent years there have been a concerning amount of injuries and fatalities, with 25 lives lost due to recreational boating accidents in the past four years.


    Recreational boat owners now have the chance to participate in the review of safety equipment requirements for Western Australian waters.


    The Department of Transport will conduct a two-stage consultation process, with the release of the Recreational Vessel Safety Equipment Discussion Paper - Summary, which raises key issues impacting on current and possible new safety equipment requirements.


    Safety equipment is required for the 100,000 recreational vessels registered in WA and the growing number of different types of personal watercraft, sailboards, paddleboats and sail boats in specified areas of operation.


    Safety equipment items 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. 

    Feedback received as part of the first phase of the review will be used to formulate changes to the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 that will be the subject of the second phase of consultation.


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


    To view the discussion paper or participate in the online survey, visit http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/safetyequipmentreview


    Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "WA has some of the most stunning coastlines and waterways in the world but it is vital we use them safely.


    "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.


    "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."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500