BIAV call to action

BIAV call to action

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria has called on the Minister for Fishing and Boating, the Honourable Jaala Pulford to use her influence with Victoria’s Premier and Chief Medical Officer, at the first possible opportunity to –

  1. Re-instate boating and fishing during Stage 3 (when done with the correct and specific social distancing and gathering rules)

In a statement, the BIAV has indicated that there is a long list of reasons to support this however, the most compelling are,

  • To bring Victoria in line with the rest of Australia
  • To give the industry a fighting chance of survival and to not unnecessarily cripple the boating industry, jeopardising thousands more jobs
  • To provide a huge number of people their exercise including, most importantly, their mental wellness remedy.

With regard to the pursuit of national consistency, it is a compelling case that the other seven premiers and territory leaders, and the other seven chief health officers, see boating/fishing, when done correctly, as acceptable.

2. Provide clarity that boats, trailers and equipment can be taken for service during Stage 3.

It has already been acknowledged that servicing can still take place under the present rules however, owners are frightened of being fined, and frowned upon, if they are caught/seen towing a boat to their service centre. The BIAV’s understanding of the Non-essential Activities Notices and the Stay at Home Directions, is that this activity is currently allowable.

This is an important aspect of the boating/fishing industry and a necessity to help keep the industry alive during this crisis. It’s also an extremely important safety tool for when boats do go back on the water. A clear statement to the public, as well as to the Police Minister and police, that this is allowed, is urgently required.

3. Ensure that boat dealers and manufacturers have the same access to boating infrastructure, including boat ramps, as do commercial fishing operations.

Boating businesses and service centres rely on on-water engine and equipment testing as part of build and maintenance requirements. This can and will be done in strict compliance of social distancing and related requirements. Boat testing likewise, is an essential business aspect and must be maintained if business is to continue.

The Prime Minister has clearly stated that any work that can be done is essential, and should continue. Boat delivery, boat servicing, on-water engine testing, general boat testing and other industry activity can, and is currently being done, within social distancing and all other COVID-19 requirements. The BIAV has asked the Minister to communicate without delay that these practices are acceptable and must continue.

The BIAV has urged the Minister on behalf of the industry and the wider boating/fishing community, to campaign to the Premier and Chief Medical Officer in Victoria for an immediate and escalated review of this situation.

Photo credit; Nils Versemann / Shutterstock.com