Anchors up, Lifejackets on for 50th Sydney International Boat Show
It’s in full swing! The 50th Sydney International Boat Show has sailed into Darling Harbour’s new International Convention Centre, with water safety a major focus.
Close to a thousand boats will line the exhibition halls and Cockle Bay over the coming days, injecting an estimated $20 million to the NSW visitor economy.
Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said the NSW Government had also announced the second phase of the Boating Now infrastructure package to deliver better boating facilities, with $17 million set aside in an initiative that has resulted in 192 projects funded across NSW.
“This is the latest instalment in a $70 million package, with applications from councils and community groups closing on 20 August.” Mrs Pavey said.
“We have a proud record of investment and are pleased to see the Boating Now program continue. These upgrades also enhance boating safety – a theme we will highlight with a dedicated boating safety zone at this year’s show. It will be your one stop safety shop.
“Although a single fatality is one too many, I am pleased to say we are heading towards the best boating safety result in at least 40 years with boating fatalities down 80 per cent as at the end of June,” Mrs Pavey said.
Regardless of how you use the waterways, our message is to throw a lifejacket on, especially in smaller craft, and you will have a greater chance of getting home safely.
Modern lifejackets are a lot less cumbersome than their predecessors were and we are actively demonstrating that, as we enter the final phase of travelling the state with our Old4New lifejacket program.
The Old4New van has made 525 site visits, covering 103,000 kilometres, and engaged with more than 60,000 people to offer upgraded modern and comfortable lifejackets.
To further boost waterway safety, we are establishing the Maritime Enhanced Enforcement Program (MEEP) for the upcoming boating season.
It will provide a significant increase in patrols to respond better to dangerous and anti-social behaviour, including the powers to drug test and act on the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, on our waterways.
Continuing on efforts from last year, rock fisher safety and education will also remain in the spotlight.