Position Statement

Licence and Registration Fee Collection – Boating Safety & Facilities Program

Updated:  23 May 2018



  • The State Government collects circa. $27m per year from Boat Registrations and Marine Licences.

  • Consecutive Acts of Parliament, dating back to the Motor Boating Act of 1961, through to the Marine Safety Act of 2010, indicate that these funds are to be re-invested to support recreational boating through facilities, infrastructure, safety, promotion, master planning and aids to navigation.

  • This is not happening and our best estimates indicate only an annual $3m spend. As an example, from 2011-2016, the total collected was $132m and the total spend was $14m.

  • The spending model for these funds is through the Boating Safety and Facilities Program (BSFP), through Transport for Victoria (TforV), as part of DEDJTR, under the Ports Minister. Each year there is a significant over-subscription for these funds from the bodies that make applications to TforV.

  • There is overwhelming evidence that current facilities are inadequate in terms of quantity and quality, and in terms of the resources, space and efficiencies around them.

  • The facility shortcomings are having an adverse effect on participation, a negative effect on mind-sets, and a negative impact on demand/industry/jobs etc.

  • Independent research in 2018 indicated that a $7.5m annual spend over 10 years would result in 64,000 extra boat registrations. A major participation and industry upswing that didn’t happen!

  • NSW and Queensland by comparison spend upward of five times that of the Victorian government and the results indicate superior facilities, and as a result, more participation and higher satisfaction levels.

BIAV Position and Actions:

  • BIAV believes that at least $20m per year of these $27m should be spent annually as part of a strategic program to enhance access to water, destinations, as well as to the other listed areas above. The remaining $7m would be a suitable quantum for administration and consolidated revenue for government.

  • BIAV should play a lead part in the strategic planning group that develops the long term strategic plan for recreational boating facilities in Victoria, including destinations

  • BIAV is calling upon on all sides of parliament in Victoria to make a commitment to this for the four years of the 2018-2022 election cycle. Specific party responses are awaited and will be shared with the industry and wider boating community.

  • Legal opinion, as to the current and previous ‘non-spend’ of these funds, as required through the legislation, is being sought.

Further links and attachments: