Calls For Jetski Controls For Marine Animal and Beachgoer Safety

A Jetskier off Little Beach heading towards the marine sanctuary at Fly Point. Photo: Marian Sampson.


JET SKIS around Port Stephens are causing angst, and it’s more than noise pollution that has residents riled.

Some riders are allegedly causing disruption to access to beaches and our marine life.

Geoff Washington spoke at a recent meeting of the Tomaree Residents and Ratepayers Association (TRRA) and he said, “We are not proposing to ban Jet Skis, we’re proposing to have better controls.”

The TRRA are calling for better controls including limiting the speed, particularly in manoeuvring to outside or deeper waters.

One of the biggest problems of restricting within the waterway is there is no safe place for our wildlife to go.

It is difficult to designate specific areas, although the commercial operator does operate within a specific area.

The key consideration is to keep speed down, and the TRRA would like to see clubs self-regulate.

TRRA has approached Council on the matter and felt that they “didn’t get much sympathy on this particular issue”.

While Council does not control the waterways they do have control of the beaches and boat ramps in some regions.
Councils have tackled the issue of Jet Skis by limiting the access points.

TRRA have resolved to make this a local government issue and see where the candidates for the upcoming election sit on this issue.

One of the big issues is regulations – there aren’t any.

Richard Davis, from the TRRA stated that the group, “Could pursue the breach (of regulations).”

There were also calls from the floor to write to the Department of Environment and Heritage and this organisation is responsible for monitoring jet skis and other vessels within certain distances of dolphins.

Davis believes that the monitoring is virtually non-existent.

It was noted that Maritime’s vessels may not be able to catch up with jet skis to enforce regulations.

For callers making complaints of jetski behaviour one of the difficulties is determining the vessel registration which is moving at high speed and getting a response prior to the vessel moving on.



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