The information below and in the attachment advises on the results and outcomes of the recent survey review of Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules for Bancroft Bay.
As you will see, there are varying viewpoints regarding the options presented, however a large majority of survey responses agree that there is a problem regarding excessive boat wake and that some form of restriction needs to be put in place to address the issue.
Many of the survey responses indicated that the major cause of the problem is large displacement vessels travelling at speeds that generate an unacceptably large wake. Many people also expressed concern that a blanket 5 knot restriction would unreasonably disadvantage the many recreational boating users of the bay.
Gippsland Ports has therefore arrived at a preferred option, which is to seek approval from Marine Safety Victoria for a 5 knot restriction to apply to vessels greater than 8 metres in length, from Shaving Point to Bell Point.
Vessels under sail will be exempt from the restriction and the existing 5 knot zones parallel to the shores will remain for all vessels. The attached map shows the proposed new arrangements.
Gippsland Ports has arrived at this position after considering the responses provided via the survey and the views of Gippsland Water Police.
e regard this as the most practical option for managing the risk without unreasonably restricting recreational boating activity.
If Marine Safety Victoria approval is granted, new buoyage and signage will be provided to notify vessel operators. Of course, a common-sense approach to enforcement will be applied while vessel operators adjust to the restrictions, however significant breaches of the rules will incur penalties.
Gippsland Ports will now seek the approval of Marine Safety Victoria to implement the change.
Thank you to those who have assisted in this review.