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Personal Watercraft Use on the Peninsula - It's time to have your say!

Dear <<First Name>>,
 
The MP Shire is concerned about the use of Personal Watercrafts ( PWC’s) at locations around the Peninsula.  To learn more about the initiative see the link to MP Shire site below. 
https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Home
Please reply directly to this email or to Rob Campbell - rcbb982@bigpond.net.au - with any additional suggestions - other than those outlined from last weeks meeting below - about how to better regulate, monitor or police PWC usage around the club environs.
Much of what we witness can only be described as indiscriminate and often unsafe use of PWC's by some users, often on race-days. 
We have just had a State Election so timing may never be better to influence policy moving forward. The more feedback the better!

 
The Council's framework is:
“The current enforcement and patrolling is not satisfactory or effective in addressing public safety concerns and managing the use of PWC’S” 
“Council is advocating to Maritime Safety Victoria, Parks Victoria and Water Policy Victoria for increased surveillance, patrolling and enforcement of personal watercraft along the Mornington Peninsula coastline” and:
“Whilst council is unable to enforce compliance within the boating and swimming zones, we are determined to ensure the appropriate stakeholders hear the Shire’s and community’s concerns” Cr. Payne concluded.
 
At last week’s meeting at SBSC, a number of parties presented and fielded questions from Councillors. All presented for 3 minutes and the councillor’s made notes and responded to each presenter. 
Key meeting take outs were:
 
  1. All parties including Jet Ski Victoria team admit jet skis are purpose built for speed and they understand that the behavior of some users could be construed a nuisance at best, dangerous at worst.
  2. Jet Ski Victoria President also admitted the noise level of some Jet skis were illegal. He then went on to detail in some length how these craft can be modified and acknowledged the effect of those modifications on noise levels. The same group also acknowledged that there are many craft operators who have no connection with any formal Jet Ski group or club and acknowledged this is problematic.
  3. More than one Councillor probed this element and all parties agreed such modifications need to better regulated / enforced.
  4. Licensing requirements for boating in general ( including PWC’s) remains at odds with other vehicle licensing. Users of a jet ski can sit ( and for all intents and purposes) control a jet ski from the age of 12 as long as a licensed operator was “holding the craft handles"…………all at speeds up to 100 KLMS. This does not happen with cars, trucks , buses, motor bikes or any other vehicle classification. All parties were unanimous that this needs to be changed.
  5. All parties, Councillor’s, Jet ski Victoria Club SBSC representative and the general public, were in agreement that whilst better education and greater enforcement would help with the problem longer term, other remedies such as speed restriction and or “ NO PWC” zones in and around designated beach areas around the Peninsula including the Safety Beach area would be a viable option to consider in the shorter term.
  6. I positioned Jet Ski use,  using the smoking debate analogy. Smoking is legal and in spite of the fact many people find smoking ( particularly around any food areas) to be quite intrusive and dangerous, the fact remains the act of smoking remains legal.  Governments appear to agree with the consensus of the broader public and have since developed and enforce much stricter smoking regulations.
We would like regulatory authorities to adapt a similar approach with the use of Jet Skis on our waterways.
  1. SBSC are advocating the setting up of a “No ski” zone around a designated area near the club on both Friday night and Sunday race day. This area might be 1 kilometer to the left of the Safety Beach boat ramp down to towards Dromana pier.
 
Please respond to the club with any further ideas and suggestions about how to make the waterways a better and a safer place for all users.
 
We welcome suggestions and encourage them to be submitted by December 4th. I will collate all feedback and present on behalf of the club at the final council planning meeting to be held at Rye on December 10th.
 
Don’t hesitate to email or call me directly with any matter you would like to discuss further.


Warm Regards
 
Rob Campbell
Rcbb982@bigpond.net.au
0498208007
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