The Gippsland Lakes is a very popular boating destination, attracting numerous commercial and recreational vessels.

The confluence of the Entrance Channel, The Narrows, Reeve Channel, Hopetoun Channel and Cunningham Arm is a strategically important intersection of waterway channels and the busiest area for vessel traffic on the Gippsland Lakes.

Several navigation hazards and risks were identified in this area due to strong tidal flows, increasing and diverse vessel traffic and conflicting waterway usage that could lead to serious marine incidents, with potentially catastrophic consequences.  These risks were assessed by agencies including Gippsland Ports, Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV), Victorian Fisheries Authority and the Gippsland Water Police.

To control these risks and after a process of consultation with stakeholders, a proposed ‘Transit Only Zone’ (TOZ) was forwarded to Maritime Safety Victoria for consideration. The TOZ was approved by the Director Maritime Safety and on 14th December 2018 became a new Rule at Schedule 104 Clause 104.8 of the Victorian Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules

The Rule establishes a TOZ in the area as delineated on the attached Map. Vessel operators must not permit a vessel to be anchored in or allow the vessel to drift in or set fishing equipment in the TOZ. The Rule affects all vessels excluding Gippsland Ports vessels engaged in dredging operations, infrastructure construction and maintenance and hydrographic survey.

If you have questions regarding this Transit Only Zone, please contact Gippsland Ports during office hours ph. 0351 500 500.

2018-hm-directons-gl-attachment-toz-zone-hopetoun-channel
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