Li­censees con­cerned about moor­ing re­view

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Statewide -

A STATEWIDE re­view of boat moor­ings has boat own­ers wor­ried, ac­cord­ing to a group of moor­ing li­censees.

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Trans­port (DoT), the re­view aims to make moor­ing ac­cess fairer, in­clud­ing in the Swan and Can­ning rivers.

How­ever, the con­cerned li­censees say the meet­ings they have at­tended have caused them to fear for their prop­erty and the fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment they had made in main­tain­ing a moor­ing.

Matilda Bay moor­ing li­censee John Holder, of Bull Creek, said the short-term lease sys­tem used at Rot­tnest Is­land was not ap­pro­pri­ate for the Swan and Can­ning rivers, where peo­ple used moor­ings to avoid join­ing lengthy wait­ing lists for yacht club pens.

He said there re­mained a ques­tion mark over in­come gen­er­ated from the lease of moor­ings and who was re­spon­si­ble for dam­aged or van­dalised moor­ings.

“You pay for the moor­ing, you main­tain it at your own ex­pense, but they can let it out to some­one else,” Mr Holder said.

“If 50 per cent of moor­ings aren’t be­ing used, why would ca­sual users pay the depart­ment for their use and not the per­son who owns the moor­ing.”

Mr Holder said there should be the abil­ity to trade or sell moor­ings, ac­cord­ing to sup­ply and de­mand.

A DoT spokes­woman said the moor­ing li­cences were not trade­able as­sets and to do so was il­le­gal.

She said about 49 per cent of moor­ings li­censed in the Swan and Can­ning rivers were not be­ing used.

“Un­der cur­rent reg­u­la­tions, that moor­ing is not avail­able to any­one else to use while it sits va­cant,” she said.

“Based on the num­ber of calls we re­ceive each week alone, there is a clear de­mand for ac­cess to moor­ings for short stays and for stor­age.

“That is why the cur­rent re­view is look­ing at the po­ten­tial for im­proved ac­cess through the pro­posed ca­sual use sys­tem, which could as­sist through al­low­ing short-term use of va­cant moor­ings.”

She said the fees as­so­ci­ated with ca­sual use would be used for ad­min­is­tra­tion of the sys­tem.

The first stage of public con­sul­ta­tion runs un­til May 1 and a sec­ond stage will be held be­tween June and Au­gust.

It is ex­pected the re­view will con­clude at the end of the year.

The newly formed WA Moor­ing As­so­ci­a­tion in­tends to rep­re­sent boat own­ers dur­ing the re­view pe­riod.

Email wamooringas­soc@ gmail.com for more in­for­ma­tion or to join.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Ex­ist­ing moor­ing li­censees are wor­ried about the prospect of short-term leases be­ing in­tro­duced.

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