In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boating Industry Association (BIA) has issued a statement supporting government countermeasures to protect Australians from the full impact of the outbreak. This includes wide-ranging and on-going restrictions designed to minimise harm and loss of life in our society while at the same time we are seeking clarity around permissible boating activities.
BIA President Darren Vaux said: “We are working with governments across Australia to keep businesses open, to retain jobs, to provide financial support wherever possible and to help keep industry viable for the certain recovery, however we must recognise that in the short term there are significant restrictions on boating activities in some States that must be complied with or risk even those activities being banned.
“We are also working with national and international partners to make boating part of the solution and recovery from the impact this disease is having on society. Afterall, boating is a healthy outdoor activity; an escape on the water in the fresh air and sunshine which has proven benefits to the body and mind.”
The BIA advised boaters to follow the public-health advice to contain this highly contagious disease. A guide to that advice follows:
Stay Home. Only go boating if you determine it meets the criteria of essential travel.
If you do, only go out boating by observing the Health advice and regulations in your State which may include:
o going out on your own or with one other person or with ‘people of the same household going out together’
o attending medical appointments or compassionate visits
o complying with your legal obligations that includes life safety, environmental protection and property protection associated with your boat.
If you are boating for a legitimate reason in your State, you must:
The rules around permissible activities are constantly changing and if you are unclear it is better to stay home than risk spreading or catching the disease or getting a fine.
“It is the individual’s responsibility to determine if they have a reasonable excuse to be out of their home and we are advised there will be Police and Boating Patrols out over the Easter weekend enforcing the rules,” Vaux said.
“We can get through this together and get back to the pastime we love, if we all do our part. For now, we must make the sacrifices required of us in the interests of the broader community.”