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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 22 February 2018) . . Page.. 589 ..


both for government in administering the permit scheme and for lake users who, let us be honest, are undertaking low-risk activities on the lake.

The permit scheme is a legacy of the current outdated legislative framework due to the lack of specific safety and navigation provisions in the legislation and the absence of associated regulations. Currently, these requirements are included as conditions of use for each individual permit holder.

To ensure that safety is maintained, consistent with the New South Wales laws, the bill contains offence provisions for boats that are not licensed to travel over 10 knots, or that exceed this speed, and the other associated rules governing the safe use of boats.

The introduction of a more streamlined and risk-based approval regime will reduce red tape and remove regulatory barriers for people wanting to enjoy the territory’s lakes. This will promote and facilitate greater use of this valuable resource for the benefit of all the community without compromising public safety outcomes.

I will now discuss in more detail the regulation-making power included in the bill. I first note that a draft of the regulations will be tabled for the information of members. This draft is indicative of the likely content of the proposed regulation should the bill be passed. The regulation-making power supports the operation of the bill and deals with technical and operational matters, including specifications and standards for safety equipment to be carried on a boat, navigation and general rules for the safe operation of boats.

For consistency, the regulations will be modelled on the corresponding New South Wales regulations. They will deal with matters such as the number and type of life jackets required for specific boats, the types of safety equipment required to be carried by specific boats and the lights required on specific boats.

The regulations will also contain offence provisions for lesser offences relating to safety and navigation. The regulations detail a number of safety requirements for operating a boat, including speed limits, distances to be maintained between boats, other lake users and designated areas such as swimming areas and requirements for the towing of people by boats, as well as the safe loading of boats.

The regulations will also address the conduct of people on boats, including passengers on boats and interference with navigation aids and safety equipment on boats. These provisions are particularly important due to the increasing use of our lakes and the variety of boats using our waterways. They range across commercial, sporting, community and recreational user groups. I think we are all aware of the new example we have seen on Lake Burley Griffin, which I understand has been incredibly successful.

In summary, this bill amends the territory’s safety laws for lakes to ensure that they are up to date, as well as facilitating the safe use of our lakes for the enjoyment of our entire community. It results from the consideration of contemporary marine legislation that regulates the use of surrounding waters in New South Wales and the


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