Smoother Seas Ahead For Williamstown Waters

29 April 2024

Sailors in Williamstown are set for safer seas thanks to the Allan Labor Government’s expansion of the five-knot speed zone in waters around the local port, coming into effect at the end of April.

Situated adjacent to one of the nation's busiest ports, Hobson’s Bay is a beloved destination for water enthusiasts, but bustling maritime traffic has prompted safety concerns.

In response to safety concerns raised by the community, a wave, wash and surge study reviewed the effects of increased and often unexpected wake surges that are impacting local marinas and those on the water.

The four-month study used radar, water, boat motion and pressure sensors as well as cameras to collect data – the study’s key recommendation was to expand the five-knot zone.

By reducing the speed of boats in the area, waves will be reduced in size and intensity making it safer for everyone out on the water and at the marinas.

Safe Transport Victoria approved an application submitted by Parks Victoria to expand the speed restriction zone for boats in the area near the Port of Melbourne.

The speed restriction zone will soon apply to all vessels in the waters south-west of the Williamstown Channel, from the Warmies boat ramp to Gellibrand Pier.

Parks Victoria will install new signage and update existing guides to ensure waterway users are aware of the change and will work with the other agencies on further responses to the study.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“The safety of people on boats in Williamstown is paramount. That’s why it’s pleasing to see this new rule come into place to make sure that our boating community are protected from wave surges.”

Quote attributable to Port of Williamstown Action Group President, Michael Neumann

“Wake surges have been hitting marinas hard and hurting local businesses that rely on the Williamstown waters. We welcome the expansion of the five-knot rule and will continue to advocate for safer waters for all users.”

Reviewed 29 April 2024

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