To increase its regulatory reach, Maritime Safety Victoria has appointed and trained external transport safety officers (TSOs) from 16 different waterway managers.
These external TSOs have varying levels of authorisation; reflective of the risk profile that their waterways present, and the competence and capacity of the organisation.
MSV has also improved communication and engagement with regional waterway managers.
This relationship and capability building has enabled us to further assist waterway managers in carrying out their functions and solving local waterway safety issues in areas including rule making, event management, risk awareness, auditing, vessel operations and aids to navigation.
We have an ongoing excellent working relationship with Victoria Water Police; where we partner in joint patrols, investigations, operations and safety initiatives.
Photo: Boating safety officers with the Water Police on patrol for our personal watercraft blitz
In 2016, we also trained and authorised 85 Fisheries personnel as TSOs, supporting the extension of MSV’s regulatory strategy.
These Fisheries officers, where it is complementary to their core duties, undertake compliance inspections on recreational vessels on Victorian State waters, provide information and take enforcement action (infringement notices and prosecutions) if there is unsafe activity, or people are not complying with the law.
MSV is currently in the process of elevating Parks Victoria and Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) to the same level as Fisheries.
Fisheries officers are operational all year around, constantly out on the water and on land conducting safety checks (in addition to their fisheries duties).
The new arrangement has proven to be a fantastic example of inter-agency cooperation, and there will be a significant increase in joint operations with MSV over the coming peak boating season.
There is now more potential to share intelligence and operational data, to improve safety for the Victorian boating community and assist in the allocation of appropriate resources to hot spots.
More about waterway rules, maps and managers at transportsafety.vic.gov.au/msv/waterways.