Boaters can enjoy a wide range of waterways in Victoria, including large and small coastal embayment’s, coastal waters, lakes and water storages, and rivers. Always check the operating rules of a waterway before you head out.
Safe Transport Victoria assists port and waterway managers to ensure safety on Victorian waters. We are also an appointed waterway manager for some of Victoria’s waterways, as well as having oversight for unmanaged waterways.
Unmanaged waterways do not have an appointed manager to ensure navigational safety. On these waters, the state waterway rules detailed at the start of the VOZR apply.
The role of waterway managers is to:
- Manage vessel activities on waters under their control
- Allocate and manage moorings and berths
- Provide and maintain navigation aids, appropriate signage of water levels, hazards and rules applying to the waters
- Control navigation and vessel movement
- Designate areas in which anchorage of vessels is, or is not, permitted
- Alter or dredge channels for navigation
- Remove or mark obstructions.
|Ararat Rural City Council
|Green Hill Lake
|Ballarat City Council
|Buloke Shire Council
|Central Goldfields Shire Council
Lake Victoria (in Maryborough)
|Colac Otway Shire Council
|Local Port of Apollo Bay
|Corangamite Shire Council
|East Gippsland Shire Council
|Bemm River within the Shire of East Gippsland
|Gannawarra Shire Council
Lake Meering ( also known as Meran)
|Greater Bendigo City Council
|Greater Shepparton City Council
The waters of the International Village
Victoria Park Lake
|Hindmarsh Shire Council
The Wimmera River within the Shire of Hindmarsh
|Horsham Rural City Council
|Green Lake (near Horsham)
The Wimmera River within the boundaries of Horsham Rural City
|Indigo Shire Council
|Latrobe City Council
|1300 367 700
|Loddon Shire Council
|Loddon River within the Shire of Loddon
Loddon River-at Bridgewater
Little Lake Boort
|Mildura Rural City Council
|Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
|1300 850 600
|Balcombe Creek within the Shire of Mornington Peninsula
|Moyne Shire Council
|Local Port of Port Fairy
|Northern Grampians Shire Council
|Pyrenees Shire Council
|Beaufort Park Lake
|Southern Grampians Shire Council
|Strathbogie Shire Council
|The Goulburn River from Hughes Creek to Goulburn Weir including Lake Nagambie
|Swan Hill Rural City Council
|Warrnambool City Council
|The Hopkins River between the seaward outlet and Tooram Stones
The Merri River between the seaward outlet and the Bromfield Street Weir
Local Port of Warrnambool
|West Wimmera Shire Council
|Whitehorse City Council
|Barwon Region Water Corporation
|1300 656 007
|Coliban Regional Water Corporation
|1300 363 200
|Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
|The Barwon River between the Lower Breakwater and Orana Road
|Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
(formerly Department of Sustainability and Environment)
|Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation
|Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation
|Director, Transport Safety
|1800 223 022 transportsafety.vic.gov.au/msv
|The Committee of Management of Allans Flat Recreation Reserve Inc.
|Allans Flat Lake
|Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc.
|Local Port of Barwon Heads
|The Lake Bolac Foreshore Committee Inc.
|The Lake Charlegrark Recreation Reserve Committee Inc.
|Lake Lascalles and Corrong Committee of Management Inc.
|Curdies Inlet and Recreation Reserve Committee of Management.
|Curdies River and Curdies Inlet between French’s Bridge and the Great Ocean Road Bridge at Peterborough
|Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.
|Nhill Lake Reserve Committee of Management.
|Lake Marma Public Park & Gardens Reserve Committee of Management
|The Lake Purrumbete Frontage Reserve Committee of Management Inc.
|Tchum Lake Aquatic Club Incorporated
|Tchum Lake South
|Winton Wetlands Committee of Management.
Resources for port and waterway managers
As a waterway manager, port management body or local port manager, you can apply for rules to be made for waterways under your control.
If you intent to make a permanent waterway rule or change please get in touch with us first at firstname.lastname@example.org
To propose or amend a permanent waterway rule, waterway managers must first complete the Notice of intention to request a waterway rule form.
Following acknowledgement from Safe Transport Victoria, the waterway manager will need to:
- Publish a notice of the proposal to request the making of the rule
- Conduct a minimum of four weeks’ public consultation, inviting comments from the public
- Consider every submission and provide a list and summary of submissions received during consultation
- Complete the Request to make a waterway rule form.
The waterway manager will need to explain:
- How the rule will minimise risks
- Any alternative ways to address the matter
- The expected benefits and costs of the proposed rule.
Requests for emergency or urgent waterway rules should be made to the Waterway Safety team: email@example.com
Waterway managers, port management bodies and local port managers prepare and publish their own boating activity exemption declarations in newspapers, and boating activity exclusion zone and works notices in the Victoria Government Gazette.
Before publishing, a draft declaration and/or notice must be provided to us for review. This must accompany one of the following application notice forms.
- Notification of boating activity exemptions and exclusions zones online form
- Notification of works notice online form
We will direct the waterway manager to publish or not publish the declaration or notice.
For waterways where we are the waterway manager, or where no waterway manager is appointed, organisations or clubs can apply to us for:
- temporary exemptions or exclusion zones for on-water events and boating activities
- temporary rules for vessel navigation or movement in the vicinity of works on, over or under water.
- Application for Boating Activity Exemptions and Exclusion Zones online form
- Works application online form
For us to be able to meet the requirements under the Marine Safety Act, including assessment, government gazette and newspaper notices, we recommend you submit your application six weeks before an event.