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.

Waterway managers

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.

Waterway manager >Contact >State waters
Ararat Rural City Council 5355 0200
Green Hill Lake
Ballarat City Council 5320 5500
Lake Burrumbeet

Lake Learmonth

Lake Wendouree

Buloke Shire Council 5478 0100
Wooroonook Lakes
Central Goldfields Shire Council 5461 0610
Goldfields Reservoir

Lake Victoria (in Maryborough)

Colac Otway Shire Council 5232 9400
Local Port of Apollo Bay
Corangamite Shire Council 5593 7100
Lake Tooliorook
East Gippsland Shire Council 5153 9500
Bemm River within the Shire of East Gippsland
Gannawarra Shire Council 5450 9333
Gunbower Creek

Kangaroo Lake

Lake Charm

Lake Meering ( also known as Meran)

Greater Bendigo City Council 5434 6000
Lake Weeroona
Greater Shepparton City Council 5832 9700
Kialla Lake

The waters of the International Village

Victoria Park Lake

Hindmarsh Shire Council 5391 4444
Lake Hindmarsh

The Wimmera River within the Shire of Hindmarsh

Horsham Rural City Council 5382 9777
Green Lake (near Horsham)

Lake Natimuk

Lake Toolondo

The Wimmera River within the boundaries of Horsham Rural City

Indigo Shire Council 5728 8000
Lake Sambell
Latrobe City Council 1300 367 700
Lake Narracan
Loddon Shire Council 5494 1200
Loddon River within the Shire of Loddon

Loddon River-at Bridgewater

Little Lake Boort

Mildura Rural City Council 5018 8100
Lake Cullulleraine
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council 1300 850 600
Balcombe Creek within the Shire of Mornington Peninsula
Moyne Shire Council 5568 0555
Local Port of Port Fairy
Northern Grampians Shire Council 5358 8700
Walkers Lake
Pyrenees Shire Council 5349 1100
Beaufort Park Lake
Southern Grampians Shire Council 5573 0444
Lake Hamilton
Swan Hill Rural City Council 5036 2333
Lake Boga
Warrnambool City Council 5559 4800
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 5585 9900
Lake Wallace
Whitehorse City Council 9262 6333
Blackburn Lake

Waterway managers Contact State waters
Barwon Region Water Corporation 1300 656 007
  • Bolwarra Weir
  • Bostock Reservoir
  • Korweinguboora Reservoir
  • Railway Weir
  • She Oaks Weir
  • Upper Stony Creek Reservoir
  • West Barwon Reservoir
  • Wurdee Boluc Reservoir
Coliban Regional Water Corporation 1300 363 200
  • Barkers Creek Reservoir
  • Lauriston Reservoir
  • Malmsbury Reservoir
  • Upper Coliban Reservoir
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority 5232 9100
The Barwon River between the Lower Breakwater and Orana Road
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

(formerly Department of Sustainability and Environment)

136 186
  • Aire River downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge
  • All the waters within the Lake Albacutya National Park
  • All the waters within the Barmah State Park
  • The waters of the Barwon River upstream of the Local Port of Barwon Heads to the Lower Breakwater, including all the waters within the Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve and Reedy Lake
  • Bridgewater Lakes (Discovery Bay Coastal Park)
  • Browns Swamp
  • Lake Carpull
  • Lake Catani (within Mount Buffalo National Park)
  • Lake Cooper
  • Lake Costin
  • Lake Craven
  • Fitzroy River
  • Gellibrand River downstream of the bridge at Princetown
  • The waters of the Glenelg River within Victoria between the mouth and the junction with the Crawford River at Dartmouth
  • All the waters within Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
  • Heywood Lake
  • Lake Hordern
  • All the waters within the Kings Billabong Wildlife Reserve
  • Lake Lysterfield
  • Malseeds Lake
  • Lake Mombeong
  • Mueller Inlet with the Croajingolong National Park
  • Lake Powell
  • Lake Reeve
  • Lake Surprise (within Mount Eccles National Park)
  • Pretty Valley Dam
  • Rocky Valley Dam
  • Surrey River (upstream of the Princes Highway Bridge)
  • Swan Lake
  • Teddington Reservoir Number One (Upper Kara Kara State Park)
  • All the waters within the Wathe Wildlife Reserve
  • All the waters within the Wilsons Promontory National Park
  • Wingham Inlet within the Croajingolong National Park
  • All the waters within Wyperfeld National Park
Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation 5139 3100
  • Blue Rock Lake
  • Cowwarr Weir
  • Lake Glenmaggie
  • Melton Reservoir
  • Pykes Creek Reservoir
Goulburn-Murray Water 5833 5500
  • Lake Banimboola (Dartmouth Pondage)
  • Lake Buffalo
  • Cairn Curran Reservoir
  • Lake Dartmouth
  • Lake Eildon and Eildon Pondage
  • Lake Eppalock
  • Greens Lake (near Corop)
  • Lake Hume
  • Laanecoorie Reservoir
  • Loch Garry
  • Middle and Reedy Lakes
  • Lake Nillahcootie
  • Waranga Basin
  • Lake William Hovell
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation 5382 4611
  • Lake Bellfield
  • Rocklands Reservoir
  • Taylors Lake
  • Lake Wartook
  • Moora Moora Reservoir
Parks Victoria 131 963
  • Local Port of Port Campbell
  • Port Campbell Bay, as detailed in Plan LEGL./09-201
  • Maribyrnong River upstream of Shepherds Bridge on Footscray Road
  • Patterson River upstream of Nepean Highway Bridge to Eumemmering Creek
  • The Local Port of Port Phillip
  • The Waters of Western Port Bay
  • Yarra River upstream of port waters of the Port of Melbourne
  • Lake Moodemere
  • Albert Park lake
  • Waters – ex HMAS Canberra, as detailed in Plan LEGL./09-208
Director, Transport Safety 1800 223 022
  • Bass Strait – Powlett River
  • Bass Strait – Anglesea -Point Roadknight
  • Bass Strait – South Barwon – Torquay
  • Bass Strait – South Gippsland – Cape Liptrap
  • Bass Strait – Urquarts Bluff
  • Bass Strait – Warrnambool – Lady Bay
  • Goulburn River upstream of the Goulburn Weir to the Eildon Pondage
  • Lake Bullen Merri
  • Lake Colac
  • Broken River within the boundaries of Benalla Rural City including Lake Benalla
  • Mitta Mitta River between the top water line of Lake Hume and the junction of the river with Callaghans Creek
  • St Georges Lake

Waterway managers State waters
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. Lake Bolac
The Lake Charlegrark Recreation Reserve Committee Inc. Lake Charlegrark
Lake Lascalles and Corrong Committee of Management Inc.
  • Lake Corrong
  • Lake Lascalles
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.
  • Local Port of Anderson Inlet
  • Local Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert
  • Local Port of Gippsland Lakes
  • Local Port of Snowy River
  • Local Port of Mallacoota
  • Shallow Inlet
  • Lake Tyers
  • Sydenham Inlet from the seaward outlet and all navigable waters with an opening to that inlet, excluding Bemm River
  • Tamboon Inlet and all navigable waters with an opening to that inlet
Nhill Lake Reserve Committee of Management. Nhill Lake
Lake Marma Public Park & Gardens Reserve Committee of Management Lake Marma
The Lake Purrumbete Frontage Reserve Committee of Management Inc. Lake Purrumbete
Tchum Lake Aquatic Club Incorporated Tchum Lake South
Winton Wetlands Committee of Management. Winton Wetlands

Waterway managers Contact State waters
AGL Hydro Partnership 5754 3220
Junction Dam at Bogong, Clover Dam, Mount Beauty Regulating Pondage, Rubicon Dam, Royston Dam and Rubicon Falls Dam

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 [email protected]

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:

  1. Publish a notice of the proposal to request the making of the rule
  2. Conduct a minimum of four weeks’ public consultation, inviting comments from the public
  3. Consider every submission and provide a list and summary of submissions received during consultation
  4. Complete the Request to make a waterway rule form.

The waterway manager will need to explain:

  1. How the rule will minimise risks
  2. Any alternative ways to address the matter
  3. 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 protected]

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.

Online forms:

Downloadable forms:

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.

Online forms:

Downloadable forms:

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.

Consultation for Lake Colac, Shire of Colac-Otway

Safe Transport Victoria (ST Vic) is proposing new waterway rules for the operation of vessels (boats and paddle craft) on Lake Colac.

The proposed new rules will remove the blanket 5-knot speed restriction at Lake Colac for when water levels are safe to enable a wider range of boating activities to safely take place on the lake now that water has returned to a sustainable level. The proposed rules aim to address specific safety concerns such as low water level operation and other hazards to enable boating and water-based activities to safely take place.

We would like to hear from waterway users about the application of the new rules, as required under the Marine Safety Act 2010.

Your feedback will be considered before determining any changes to the waterway rules for Lake Colac and once an outcome is reached, ST Vic will publish a Reasons for Decision summary on the ST Vic website and Engage Victoria.

To have your say on the proposed waterway rules, please review the Consultation Paper and complete the survey via the Engage Victoria website.

The proposed rule changes

The proposed waterway rule changes for vessel operators on Lake Colac would: 

  • Remove the existing 5-knot speed limit and General State Rule requiring a 5-knot speed limit for boaters within 50 metres of the water’s edge and implement a new local rule requiring a 5-knot speed limit for boaters within 200 metres of the water’s edge 
  • Prohibit towed water sports when water depth is below 1.5 metres 
  • Implement a 5-knot speed limit for the entire waterway when water levels drop below 1.2 metres 
  • Prohibit vessels from accessing the area adjacent to the Colac Rifle Club firing range – to minimise the risk to vessels from submerged and semi-submerged basalt reefs. 
  • Prohibit vessels from accessing two areas, adjacent to Regulator No.1 (in the northeast) and the reclamation plant (in the south east) – to minimise the risk to and from submerged infrastructure.