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Boaties in dark about new laws

Keen fisherman Darryl Lindeman agrees with the new boat laws but says they need to be better publicised.
Keen fisherman Darryl Lindeman agrees with the new boat laws but says they need to be better publicised. Scottie Simmonds

RECREATIONAL fishers have attacked the State Government about a lack of public notification about new lifejacket laws.

Boaties planning to hit the water would do well to brush up on new Maritime Safety Queensland regulations introduced on January 1.

Bundaberg fisherman and Bundaberg Sportfishing Club member Darryl Lindeman said waterway users faced heavy fines if they did not make themselves aware of the new rules.

"The laws themselves are great initiatives and are aimed at the safety of boat and marine craft users," he said.

"But the general public is simply not aware of these changes and face being slapped with fines for a whole raft of things they simply don't know about."

Under the legislation, boat owners are required to clearly label where life jackets are stored with special signs and stickers.

Also, Roundhill Creek, near Agnes Water, has been designated as a coastal bar, meaning people in boats under 4.8m will now have to wear life jackets when crossing.

Sit-down jet skis operating outside of smooth water are now required to carry safety equipment such as flares, torches, V-sheets and anchorage equipment.

And it is now mandatory for EPIRB equipment to be registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Mr Lindeman said most fishermen were unaware of the changes.

"Unless they actively check the Marine Safety Queensland website, they are probably none the wiser," he said.

Topics:  fishermen, laws, lifejackets, state government



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