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Ports Minister welcomes Recreational Maritime Safety report

Wednesday, 25 June 2014
The Minister for Ports David Hodgett today welcomed the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report on Recreational Maritime Safety.
The report, which assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of Victoria’s maritime safety regulatory framework made several recommendations to the Director of Transport Safety and the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI).
“I note that Transport Safety Victoria and the DTPLI have accepted the recommendations of the report,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The audit examined the marine safety framework which was established under the Marine Safety Act 2010, which was an ill-conceived piece of legislation introduced by the former Government and the then Minister for Ports Tim Pallas.
“The Shadow Minister for Ports at the time, Denis Napthine, raised concerns about the speed with which this legislation was rushed through parliament, stating that it did not give sufficient opportunity for industry to digest and comment on the legislation.”
‘When you have such a large piece of legislation being potentially rushed through the Parliament … there is the potential that we might have overlooked something, got something slightly wrong or perhaps not considered certain points of view that should be considered’ (Dr Denis Napthine, 12 August, 2010).
“The VAGO report on Recreational Maritime Safety suggests that there were indeed problems with the Marine Safety Act which Labor was intent on rushing through Parliament at the time,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government will continue to look at ways to improve access and safety for the recreational boating community, and indeed all waterway users across Victoria.
“While noting recommendation 5, which refers to the need for licencing to be better acquitted, we also note that this element of the Marine Safety Act 2010 is an exact copy of the Marine Safety Act 1988.
“In 11 years, Labor did not change this element of the Act. The Coalition Government has this year increased the Boating Safety and Facilities Program by $3 million per year to a record $8 million annual investment.
“The Coalition Government will continue to look for additional ways to improve access and safety for boaters and waterway users,” Mr Hodgett said.
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