Page 4670 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

users regularly cross jurisdictions, it is important that the maritime laws of the ACT and New South Wales are consistent.

The Jervis Bay Territory Marine Safety Ordinance 2016 was recently enacted to address similar issues at the Jervis Bay Territory and served as a useful reference for amendments to the Lakes Act and ordinance as it is modelled on the New South Wales Marine Safety Regulation 2016 for safety and navigation provisions and the ACT Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977 for drug and alcohol provisions.

Currently the ACT’s drug and alcohol laws do not extend to lake users operating boats. The ACT water police have no legislative authority to regulate drug and alcohol use on ACT lakes. This makes it extremely difficult for the water police to enforce standards or current compliance practices for the use of drugs and/or alcohol while a person is operating a boat. The new drug and alcohol provisions will modernise the offence provisions and ensure consistency with the ACT road transport legislation framework and comparable maritime legislation in NSW.

The proposed amendments to the Lakes Act will insert and update contemporary safety, directions and offence provisions relating to the use of the territory’s lakes, consistent with surrounding New South Wales waters. These provisions cover actions relating to: the safe use of boats on the territory’s lakes, including speedboats, boat operation, navigation, signals and lighting, towing and loading, and safety devices. The more serious offences which could result in sufficient risk to public safety are contained within the act. Offence provisions of a lesser and technical nature are to be included in the new regulation-making provisions in the bill.

The new regulation-making power will allow for offence provisions for setting out the requirements for obstructions to navigation, safety equipment to be carried on a boat, qualifications of operators and safety and navigation rules. Minor anomalies also exist both within the Lakes Act itself and between the Lakes Act and the commonwealth’s ordinance. The proposed legislative amendments in the bill seek to correct these anomalies, which relate to areas declared as lakes under the respective legal statutes.

Currently areas of the Molonglo River upstream of Lake Burley Griffin are declared under the Lakes Ordinance as a lake and administered by the NCA. However, the management of the area is undertaken by the territory. The bill seeks to clarify the administrative and management responsibility for the Molonglo Reach from the confluence of Lake Burley Griffin and align it with the land management area responsibilities.

The bill introduces cross-jurisdictional arrangements where approvals issued under the respective territory and commonwealth laws also are recognised, subject to consultation between the regulating authorities. This will remove the current duplication for approvals for users of Lake Burley Griffin, administered by the commonwealth, and Kingston harbour and Molonglo Reach, administered by the territory, where boats operate throughout these waters.

It also seeks to harmonise the ACT regulation of boating use on our lakes, consistent with the surrounding New South Wales water, where for low-risk activities such as

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video