As Federal and State Governments deliver directives and continue to provide advice on recreational boating, the Boating Industry Association (BIA) has delivered a strong message to its members – stay safe, stay at home.
In a statement released by BIA President Darren Vaux, the organisation has declared that the “boating industry remains open for business”, but has advised boaters across the country that only essential use of vessels is being recommenced.
“The advice is clear, if you do not have to go boating for a defined essential reason, don’t. Our understanding is that examples of essential reasons for boating are where a boat is used for transport for people who live in residences with boat access only, people who work on boats and people whose boat is currently their principle place of residence.”
“Boating is a way of life for many people but now is the time to recognise our role as community leaders and support the government directives to contain this disease. With Easter school holidays rapidly approaching, our boating community would normally be thinking of getting out on the water in a boat or personal watercraft with family and friends.
In the face of this disease and to comply with government directives we must all holiday at home this year to help safeguard the nation. Recreational boating will have to wait. The safety and wellbeing of our members, their families and friends, and customers, who are critical to our recovery, is our absolute priority.”
The BIA stated that they will continue to advocate to governments at all levels to ensure that businesses in the marine industry remains operational.
“A number of our members have businesses that cannot be conducted from home. Examples include boat manufacture, service and repair work, some retail and wholesale sales and distribution, and the management and maintenance of maritime infrastructure such as marinas.
“These businesses must remain open to provide essential services to vessel owners to ensure that vessels remain safe and afloat at their berths; that urgent repairs can be made to vessels to keep them safe and secure; that craft can be hauled out in emergencies such as risk of sinking; that people living aboard – and who may now be jobless – can continue to access facilities such as clean toilets, showers, electricity, water and provisions.”
“We are working hard in advocating to governments at all levels to protect the maintenance of essential services to the boating community and to include boating in the recovery stages as soon as Health guidelines permit and ensure decision makers are aware of the benefits of getting out on the water in a boat as a valuable way to help people recover. We have a clearly defined plan to achieve this and in the face of our current restrictions we will be focusing on getting people to look forward and aspiring to boating in the lead up to Spring and Summer this year.”
State Governments are now releasing directions that capture boating: