Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV), a branch of Transport Safety Victoria, is advising boat operators in south western Victoria that new waterway rules have been introduced at Taylors Bay west of Port Fairy.
Peter Corcoran, Director Maritime Safety, explained that MSV has established an exclusion zone and a transit only zone so that the BioPower wave energy generator can co-exist safely with boaters.
“The 300 m diameter exclusion zone ensures that no boat operators endanger themselves, or anyone else, by getting too close to the wave energy generator.
“The generator is located in the centre of the exclusion zone that is marked by north and south cardinal buoys.
“A transit only zone from the installation to shore has been created and boaters are advised that they are prohibited from anchoring, drifting or fishing by any means in this zone.
The transit only zone is marked by a line between the north cardinal buoy and a corresponding beacon on the shore and it extends 100 m either side of this line.
“The restrictions on boating activity in the exclusion and transit zones are for the safety of boat operators and BioPower staff working on the generator and its cables and to avoid interfering with its operation,” Mr Corcoran explained.
The bioWave unit is a 26m high steel structure that sways back and forth through an arc of up to 40 degrees, largely below the surface.
The exact locations of the exclusion and transit only zones are shown on information boards at the Port Fairy and Portland boat ramps. The information is also available in Notice to Mariners (#217) on transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety.
“The BioPower unit was deployed on Monday 14 December and the new rules will remain for the life of the pilot project – expected to be 18 months.
“MSV and Water Police will monitor compliance with the new exclusion and transit only zones rules as part of their normal Summer boating patrols in the area.”We will not hesitate to issue infringement notices – the safety of boat operators is too important to ignore,” Mr Corcoran said.