Waterway rules

The Guide to Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR) details the general and local rules in place for Victorian waterways.

Our waterway maps page has interactive and printable maps of the operating rules of Victoria's waterways. Please note that these are intended as general information only, and should not be relied on for navigation, nor considered a substitute for the VOZR.

Any queries regarding the rules should be directed to MSV or the relevant waterway manager.

Boaters can enjoy a wide range of waterways in Victoria, including large and small coastal embayments, coastal waters, lakes and water storages, and rivers. Always check the operating rules of a particular waterway before you head out.

Introduction

There are general State Rules that apply for all waters in the State and local Scheduled operating and zoning rules for specific waterways.

These rules are approved by Maritime Safety Victoria under Part 5.1 of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) and preceding legislation.

The rules are designed to provide a safe operating environment, to cater for the wide range of boating and water activities, to separate different activities where needed on the basis of safety, and to reflect local conditions.

This document is a reproduction of official Notices made under the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) or preceding Marine Act 1988 (Vic) for Notices prior to 1 July 2010.

Readers should be aware that the rules are subject to change. References in the State Rules section to the Marine Act 1988 or Marine Regulations 2009 should be references to the Marine Safety Act 2010 or the Marine Safety Regulations 2012.

Any queries regarding the rules should be directed to MSV or the relevant waterway manager.

State rules

Interpretation

1. In this Notice:

  • 'Access lane' means an area of water specified in a Schedule which is set aside to permit access to or from the shore at speed:
    • (a) for a vessel which is towing a water-skier
    • (b) for launching or retrieving a vessel at a boat ramp when the ramp is located in the   area specified as an access lane.
  • 'Coastal waters' has the same meaning as in the Marine Regulations 2009.
  • 'Competition or training' means an activity:
    • (a) undertaken as part of a competition or training organised in accordance with the rules of a Victorian sporting organisation; and
    • (b) approved in writing by the Director, Transport Safety as competition or training.
  • 'Dive flag' means the Code Flag "A" shown in Chapter 11 and Appendix 2 of the International Code of Signals.
  • 'Enclosed waters' has the same meaning as in the Marine Regulations 2009.
  • 'Hire and drive Vessel' has the same meaning as in the Marine Act 1988.
  • 'Houseboat' means any boat, vessel or pontoon having a fixed house above the deck with accommodation which may be used by persons residing on board for an overnight period or longer.
  • 'Inland waters' has the same meaning as in the Marine Regulations 2009.
  • 'Local port manager' has the same meaning as in the Marine Act 1988.
  • 'No wash zone' means an area of water specified in a Schedule through which a vessel must only pass at a speed which creates minimal wash or no wash.
  • 'Operate' means to facilitate or control the movement or navigation of a vessel (or a thing connected to a vessel) that is not:
    • (a) at anchor; or
    • (b) made fast to the shore; or
    • (c) aground; or
    • (d) ashore.
  • 'Personal watercraft' means any recreational vessel that is of a kind that is required to be registered and that:
    • (a) has an engine that is used for propulsion; and
    • (b) has a fully enclosed hull; and
    • (c) does not retain water on it if it capsizes; and
    • (d) is designed to be operated by a person standing, sitting astride or kneeling on the vessel but not seated within the vessel.
  • 'Port management body' has the same meaning as in the Marine Act 1988.
  • 'Recreational vessel' has the same meaning as in the Marine Act 1988.
  • 'Rescue' means an operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs and deliver them to a place of safety and includes any on-water activities that may be preliminary or incidental to that operation.
  • 'Schedule' means a Schedule to this Notice.
  • 'Search' means an operation, normally coordinated by a rescue coordination centre, using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress and overdue vessels.
  • 'Speed restriction zone' means an area of water specified in a Schedule within which a master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in excess of the speed designated in the Schedule.
  • 'Sporting organisation' includes an organisation that:
    • (a) has control in Australia, a foreign country or internationally of one or more sports or sporting events; or
    • (b) organises or administers one or more sports or sporting events; or
    • (c) accredits people to take part in sporting competition; or
    • (d) provides teams to compete in sporting competition; or
    • (e) trains, or provides finance for, people to take part in sporting competition.
  • 'State waters' mean:
    • (a) the territorial sea adjacent to the State; and
    • (b) the sea on the landward side of the territorial sea adjacent to the State that is not within the limits of the State
    • (c) waters within the limits of the State.
  • 'Search and rescue operation' includes:
    • (a) a search;
    • (b) a rescue; and
    • (c) any activity designed to train personnel to undertake –
      • (i) a search;
      • (ii) a rescue; and
    • (d) any function incidental to a search or a rescue
      conducted on State waters.
  • 'Vessel' has the same meaning as in the Marine Act 1988.
  • 'Victorian sporting organisation' means a sporting organisation recognised by the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation as the sporting organisation for a sport in Victoria.
  • 'Water-skier' means a person being towed by a vessel which has an engine that is used for propulsion whether or not the person is wearing water-skis or:
    • (a) is being towed bare-footed; or
    • (b) is being towed on any thing; or
    • (c) is engaging in para-sailing or in a similar activity.
  • Works includes:
    • (a) the construction, maintenance or decommissioning of a facility or infrastructure; and
    • (b) the dredging of a channel and related activities; and
    • (c) the construction or maintenance or exterior alteration or decoration of a building or other structure; and
    • (d) the demolition or removal of a building or other structure; and
    • (e) the erection, maintenance and removal of signs or hoardings; and
    • (f) the removal, destruction or lopping of vegetation.

Speed limits and safety distances

All State Waters

2. A master of a vessel must not cause or allow the a vessel to be operated on any State waters at a speed exceeding 5 knots:

  • (a) within 50 metres of a person in the water; or
  • (b) within 100 metres of a vessel or buoy on which a dive flag is displayed, or a rigid replica of that dive flag; or
  • (c) within 50 metres of another vessel except where both vessels are either:
    • (a) engaged in competition or training; or
    • (b) within an exclusive use or special purpose area prescribed in a Schedule to this Notice which is set aside for a specific activity under Clause 13 in which the width of water prevents the keeping of that distance.

Inland Waters

3. Unless otherwise specified in a Schedule, the master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated on any inland waters at a speed exceeding 5 knots:

  • (a) within 50 metres of the waters' edge; or
  • (b) within 50 metres of a fixed or floating structure in or on the water (including a wharf, jetty, slipway or boat launching ramp); except in an access lane.

Coastal Waters and Enclosed Waters

4. Unless otherwise specified in a Schedule, the master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in coastal waters or in enclosed waters at a speed exceeding 5 knots:

  • (a) within 200 metres of the waters' edge except in an access lane
  • (b) within 50 metres of a wharf, jetty, slipway, diving platform or boat ramp except in an access lane
  • (c) when passing through a recognised anchorage for small craft.

Categorisation of waters

Establishment of Access Lanes

5. An area of water specified in a Schedule as an access lane for the purposes of this clause is an access lane.

Use of Access Lanes

6.

  • (1) The master of a vessel which is towing a water skier at a speed exceeding 5 knots must ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner such that it departs from and returns to the shore only through an access lane.
  • (2) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in an access lane except for the purposes of-
    • dropping off or picking up a water-skier; or
    • launching or retrieving the vessel at a boat launching ramp when the ramp is located within an access lane.
  • (3) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in an access lane unless the purpose for which he or she entered the access lane necessitates unrestricted speed departure from and approach to the shore.
  • (4) The master of a vessel which is being operated in an access lane:
    • must not
      • if dropping off or picking up a water skier, cause or allow the vessel to be operated at a speed greater than that reasonably required to drop off or pick up the water skier; or
      • if operating the vessel for the purposes of seeking access to or from a boat launching ramp within the access lane, cause or allow the vessel to be operated at a speed greater than that reasonably required to maintain control of the vessel; and
    • must remove or beach the vessel and secure all equipment as soon as practicable after accomplishing the purpose for which he or she entered the access lane; and
    • must ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner so as to keep:
      • (i) as far to the right as practicable when entering or leaving the access lane; or
      • (ii) as far to the left as possible when entering or leaving the access lane where a Schedule prescribes that vessels must be operated in a clockwise direction in relation to the approximate centre of the waterway; and
    • must ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner so as to give right of way:
      • (i) to any vessel proceeding past the access lane; or
      • (ii) to any vessel about to enter or which is already in the access lane for the purpose of dropping off a water skier; or
      • (iii) to a vessel which is about to enter or is already in the access lane for the purpose of gaining access to a boat launching ramp located in the access lane.

Speed Restriction Zones

7.

  • (1) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated at a speed exceeding the speed specified in a Schedule for an area of water specified in the Schedule.
  • (2) Despite sub-clause (1), a speed restriction specified in a Schedule for an area of water may be expressed so as not to apply on particular days or at particular times specified in the Schedule.

Areas where Water-skiers are Prohibited

8.

  • (1) The master of a vessel towing a water-skier must not cause or allow the vessel to enter an area of water specified in a Schedule as an area where water skiers are prohibited.
  • (2) A water-skier must not enter an area of water specified in a Schedule as an area where water skiers are prohibited.

Areas where Vessels are Prohibited

9.

  • (1) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in an area of water specified in a Schedule as being prohibited to vessels.
  • (2) Despite sub-clause (1), a prohibition on vessels specified in a Schedule may be expressed so as not to apply on particular days, or at particular times, or to particular vessels, or to particular vessels travelling at designated speeds.

Prohibition on Vessels with Engines

10.

  • (1) The master of a vessel which has an engine that is used for propulsion must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in an area of water specified in a Schedule as being prohibited to vessels which have an engine that is used for propulsion.
  • (2) Despite sub-clause (1), a prohibition on vessels with engines used for propulsion specified in a Schedule may be expressed to apply to vessels with engines of a particular type or capacity.

No Wash Zones

11. The master of a vessel must ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner which creates minimal wash or no wash in an area of water specified in a Schedule as a no wash zone.

Prohibition of Specific Activities

12.

  • (1) A person must not engage in an activity in an area of water specified in a Schedule when such activity is prohibited in that area of water specified in that Schedule.
  • (2) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in an area of water specified in a Schedule when such operation is prohibited in that area of water specified in that Schedule.

Exclusive Use and Special Purpose Areas

13.

  • (1) Where an activity in an area of water specified in a Schedule is subject to a condition or conditions governing the use of that area of water as prescribed in that Schedule, a person must not engage in that activity in that area of water in contravention of the prescribed condition or conditions of use.
  • (2) Where operation of a vessel in an area of water specified in a Schedule is subject to a condition or conditions governing the use of that area of water as prescribed in that Schedule, the master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated in that area of water in contravention of the prescribed condition or conditions of use.

Direction of Travel on Inland Waters

14.

  • The master of a vessel with an engine used for propulsion on inland waters must ensure that the vessel is operated:
    • (a) in an anti-clockwise direction in relation to the approximate centre of the waterway; or
    • (b) in a clockwise direction where a Schedule prescribes that such a vessel must be operated in that direction in relation to the approximate centre of the waterway,
  • except when the vessel is operating in a speed restriction zone or an access lane or is being operated at a speed of less than five (5) knots.

Giving Way

15. When departing from the shore at any location the master of a vessel with an engine used for propulsion must ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner such that it gives way to all other vessels.

Operation of vessels

15A. The master of a vessel on any State waters must not cause or allow the vessel to impede the progress of a tug or other vessel assisting the movement, berthing or unberthing of a vessel.

Use of waters

Bathers

16. A person must not bathe:

  • (a) within 50 metres of any boat launching ramp that is being used or is about to be used for the launching or recovery of any vessel; or
  • (b) within an access lane.

Sailboards

17. A person operating a sailboard, kiteboard or similar vessel on any State waters must not approach within 200 metres of any berth used for the purposes of commercial shipping.

18. *** Revoked ***

Towing a Person

19. The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated on any State waters:

  • (a) when towing a person unless, in addition to the operator, there is in the vessel a person aged 12 years old or more who is in a position to observe and communicate to the operator of the vessel the progress of the person being towed;
  • (b) when towing more than 3 persons;
  • (c) when towing a person between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Excessive Noise

20. *** Revoked ***

Noise

21. The master of a vessel with an engine used for propulsion must not cause or allow the vessel to be operated unless the vessel has a silencing device:

  • (a) securely fixed to its engine so that all the exhaust gases from the engine pass through the silencing device in such a manner as to prevent unreasonable noise; and
  • (b) which does not have attached to it a cut out or a device capable of producing an open exhaust.

Divers

Diving Operations

22. The master of any recreational vessel or hire and drive vessel engaged in diving operations on any State waters must ensure that there is exhibited on that vessel where it can clearly be seen a dive flag or a rigid replica of that dive flag, and:

  • (a) in the case of a vessel of 10 metres or more in length, the height of such dive flag or replica must not be less than 1 metre; and
  • (b) in the case of a vessel of less than 10 metres in length, the minimum size of such dive flag or replica must be 750 millimetres by 600 millimetres.
Divers' Personal Flags

23.

  • (1) Subject to sub-clause (2) any person engaged in diving in any State waters must use a buoy attached to himself or herself by a length of rope, such buoy having attached to it a dive flag or a rigid replica of that flag, the dimensions of such dive flag or replica being not less than 300 millimetres by 200 millimetres.
  • (2) Sub-clause (1) does not apply to a person who:
    • (a) is operating from a recreational vessel or hire and drive vessel which complies with the requirements of clause 22 (Diving Operations); or
    • (b) is within an area in which the operation of vessels is prohibited or in which vessels are not permitted to exceed a speed of 5 knots; or
    • (c) is engaged in diving solely for recreation and is not equipped with any breathing apparatus designed to facilitate diving.

Mooring, Anchoring or Berthing of Vessels

Vessel not to be moored etc. to navigation marker or buoy

23A.

  • (1) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be secured to or in any other way made fast to any navigation marker, beacon, buoy, pole or post fixed in or on any State waters.
  • (2) The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be moored, berthed, or anchored in any area of water specified in a Schedule as being prohibited or regulated for that purpose.
Vessels not to be Anchored in Channels

23B. The master of a vessel must not cause or allow the vessel to be anchored in a channel that is marked with beacons or buoys.

Obstructing Channels

Boats, Persons or Equipment Obstructing Channels

23C. Where a channel or waterway has been obstructed by a vessel or its equipment, occupants or persons, the owner or master of that vessel and equipment must remove the obstruction from the channel or waterway without undue delay.

General

Search and rescue and enforcement vessels exempted

24. The provisions of this Notice do not apply to:

  • (a) the master of a search and rescue vessel engaged in search and rescue operations;
  • (b) the master of a vessel being operated for the purpose of the enforcement of the Marine Act 1988 and any Regulations and notices made under the Act; or
  • (c) the master of a vessel engaged in works and authorised by a waterway manager, local port manager or port management body.

25. *** Revoked ***

Table showing details of notice(s) published in Government Gazette in relation to State Rules

Gazette number/date

Waterway rule made

Relevant legislation

S221 28/06/2012

State rules

MA 1988 s15

S437 14/12/2012

Clause 23B amendment

MSA 2010 s184

Local rules

Schedules

Schedules for waterways detailed in this document are a reproduction of official notices published in the Victoria Government Gazette and cannot be used for legal purposes.  Each Schedule as reproduced is referenced with the relevant Gazette number(s) in a table at the end of the Schedule.  Official Gazette Notices can be viewed at gazette.vic.gov.au.

Waterway rules are designed to provide a safe operating environment, to cater for the wide range of boating and water activities, to separate different activities where needed on the basis of safety, and to reflect local conditions.

The Schedules reproduced in this section are Notices made under either the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) (MSA) or the preceding Marine Act 1988 (Vic) (MA).  The table at the end of each Schedule also details the legislation that the waterway rule has been made under.

Index to Schedules

The table provides an alphabetical list of Victorian waterways, the name of the associated waterway manager and the schedule number in the schedule document.

Waters

Waterway Manager

Sch

Aire River downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge

Department of Sustainability and Environment

118

Albert Park Lake

Parks Victoria

151

Allans Flat Lake

The Committee of Management of Allans Flat Recreation Reserve Inc.

100

Anglesea River, from Bass Strait to Coal Mine Road, Anglesea

Surf Coast Shire Council

13

Balcombe Creek within the Shire of Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

127

Barmah State Park (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

120

Barwon River between the Lower Breakwater and Orana Road

Corangamite Catchment Management Authority

7

Barwon River upstream of the Local Port of Barwon Heads to the Lower Breakwater

Department of Sustainability and Environment

131

Bass Strait – Anglesea – Point Roadknight

Director, Transport Safety

136

Bass Strait – South Gippsland – Cape Liptrap

Director, Transport Safety

138

Bass Strait – South Barwon – Torquay

Director, Transport Safety

11

Bass Strait – Urquharts Bluff

Director, Transport Safety

15

Bass Strait – Warrnambool – Lady Bay

Director, Transport Safety

148

Beaufort Park Lake

Pyrenees Shire Council

128

Blackburn Lake

Whitehorse City Council

12

Blue Rock Lake

Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation

113

Bolwarra Weir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Bostock Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Bridgewater Lakes (Discovery Bay Coastal Park)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

134

Broken River within the boundaries of Benalla Rural City including Lake Benalla

Director, Transport Safety

93

Browns Swamp

Department of Sustainability and Environment

119

Cairn Curran Reservoir

Goulburn-Murray Water

52

Cherry Lake, Altona

Melbourne Water

121

Clover Dam

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Curdies River and Curdies Inlet between French's Bridge and the Great Ocean Road Bridge at Peterborough

Curdies Inlet and Recreation Reserve Committee of Management

24

Deep Lake

Unmanaged

37

Dock Lake

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

141

Ex – HMAS Canberra Reserve

Parks Victoria

153

Fitzroy River

Department of Sustainability and Environment

25

Fletcher's Dam

Indigo Shire Council

101

Gellibrand River (downstream of the bridge at Princetown)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

21

Glenelg River within Victoria between the mouth and the junction with the Crawford River at Dartmoor

Department of Sustainability and Environment

31

Goldfields Reservoir

Central Goldfields Shire Council

50

Goulburn River from Hughes Creek to Goulburn Weir including Lake Nagambie

Strathbogie Shire Council

91

Goulburn River upstream of the Goulburn Weir  to the Eildon Pondage

Director, Transport Safety

88

Green Hill Lake

Ararat Rural City Council

54

Green Lake (within Green Lake Regional Park)

Buloke Shire Council

72

Green Lake (near Horsham)

Horsham Rural City Council

78

Greens Lake (near Corop)

Goulburn-Murray Water

60

Gunbower Creek

Gannawarra Shire Council

73

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

80

Hazelwood Cooling Pond

Latrobe City Council

110

Heywood Lake

Department of Sustainability and Environment

81

Hollands Lake

Northern Grampians Shire Council

157

Hopkins River between the seaward outlet and Tooram Stones

Warrnambool City Council

22

Junction Dam at Bogong

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Kangaroo Lake

Gannawarra Shire Council

140

Kiewa and Rubicon Hydro Electric Scheme waters

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Kings Billabong Wildlife Reserve (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

84

Korweinguboora Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Laanecoorie Reservoir

Goulburn-Murray Water

65

Lake Albacutya National Park (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

75

Lake Banimboola (Dartmouth Pondage)

Goulburn-Murray Water

115

Lake Batyo Catyo

Northern Grampians Shire Council

86

Lake Bellfield

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

45

Lake Benalla

Director, Transport Safety

93

Lake Boga

Swan Hill Rural City Council

74

Lake Bolac

The Lake Bolac Foreshore Committee of Management Inc.

40

Lake Buffalo

Goulburn-Murray Water

96

Lake Bullen Merri

Director, Transport Safety

116

Lake Burrumbeet

Ballarat City Council

43

Lake Carpull

Department of Sustainability and Environment

82

Lake Catani (within Mount Buffalo National Park)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

89

Lake Charlegrark

The Lake Charlegrark Recreation Reserve Committee Inc.

145

Lake Charm

Gannawarra Shire Council

139

Lake Colac

Director, Transport Safety

146

Lake Connewarre

Department of Sustainability and Environment

131

Lake Cormorant

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Costin

Department of Sustainability and Environment

17

Lake Craven

Department of Sustainability and Environment

16

Lake Cullulleraine

Mildura Rural City Council

79

Lake Dartmouth

Goulburn-Murray Water

99

Lake Eildon and Eildon Pondage

Goulburn-Murray Water

90

Lake Eppalock

Goulburn-Murray Water

49

Lake Fyans

Northern Grampians Shire Council

70

Lake Glenmaggie

Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation

111

Lake Hamilton

Southern Grampians Shire Council

38

Lake Heron

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Hindmarsh

Hindmarsh Shire Council

61

Lake Hordern

Department of Sustainability and Environment

18

Lake Hume

Goulburn-Murray Water

95

Lake Ibis

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Kerferd

Indigo Shire Council

102

Lake Kingfish

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Learmonth

Ballarat City Council

64

Lake Linlithgow and Bullrush Swamp

Southern Grampians Shire Council

36

Lake Lonsdale

Northern Grampians Shire Council

71

Lake Lysterfield

Department of Sustainability and Environment

6

Lake Meering (Meran)

Gannawarra Shire Council

137

Lake Mombeong

Department of Sustainability and Environment

28

Lake Moodemere

Parks Victoria

129

Lake Nagambie

Strathbogie Shire Council

91

Lake Narracan

Latrobe City Council

130

Lake Nillahcootie

Goulburn-Murray Water

97

Lake Powell

Department of Sustainability and Environment

83

Lake Purrumbete

The Lake Purrumbete Frontage Reserve Committee of Management Inc.

35

Lake Reedy

Department of Sustainability and Environment

131

Lake Reeve

Department of Sustainability and Environment

106

Lake Sambell

Indigo Shire Council

149

Lake Shelduck

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Spoonbill

Melbourne Water

122

Lake Surprise (within Mount Eccles National Park)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

39

Lake Tooliorook

Corangamite Shire Council

34

Lake Toolondo

Horsham Rural City Council

144

Lake Tyers

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

105

Lake Victoria

Central Goldfields Shire Council

51

Lake Wallace

West Wimmera Shire Council

66

Lake Wartook

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

47

Lake Weeroona

Greater Bendigo City Council

48

Lake Wendouree

Ballarat City Council

42

Lake William Hovell

Goulburn-Murray Water

92

Laverton Creek, upstream of the outlet to Port Phillip Bay to Queen Street, Altona

Melbourne Water

124

Little Lake Boort

Loddon Shire Council

53

Local Port of Anderson Inlet

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

114

Local Port of Barwon Heads

Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc.

10

Local Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

132

Local Port of Gippsland Lakes

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

104

Local Port of Mallacoota

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

109

Local Port of Port Fairy

Moyne Shire Council

20

Local Port of Port Phillip

Parks Victoria

1

Local Port of Snowy River

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

107

Loch Garry

Goulburn-Murray Water

94

Loddon River (at Bridgewater between Flour Mill Weir and Sweeneys Lane)

Loddon Shire Council

62

Loddon River, within the Shire of Loddon

Loddon Shire Council

63

Lower Stoney Creek Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Malseeds Lake

Department of Sustainability and Environment

29

Maribyrnong River upstream of Shepherd Bridge on Footscray Road

Parks Victoria

4

Melton Reservoir

Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation

150

Merri River between the seaward outlet and the Bromfield Street Weir

Warrnambool City Council

23

Middle and Reedy Lakes

Goulburn-Murray Water

46

Mitta Mitta River between the top water line of Lake Hume and the junction of the river with Callaghans Creek

Director, Transport Safety

117

Moora Moora Reservoir

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

154

Mount Beauty Regulating Pondage

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Nhill Lake

Nhill Lake Reserve Committee of Management

147

Northern Grampians Shire – All rivers and streams within the Shire

Northern Grampians Shire Council

59

Painkalac Creek, from Bass Strait to Boundary Road, Aireys Inlet

Surf Coast Shire Council

14

Pine Lake

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

142

Port Campbell Bay

Parks Victoria

152

Port waters of the Port of Melbourne

Port of Melbourne Corporation (as the appointed Port Management Body)

2

Pretty Valley Dam

Department of Sustainability and Environment

156

Pykes Creek Reservoir

Gippsland and Southern Rural Water Corporation

41

Railway Weir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Rocklands Reservoir

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

44

Rocky Valley Dam

Department of Sustainability and Environment

156

Royston Dam

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Rubicon Dam

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Rubicon Falls Dam

AGL Hydro Partnership

98

Shallow Inlet

Gippsland Ports Committee of Management Inc.

103

She Oaks Weir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Skeleton Creek upstream of the outlet to Port Phillip to Point Cook Road, Altona and Werribee

Melbourne Water

123

St. Arnaud Reservoir

Northern Grampians Shire Council

56

St. George's Lake

Director, Transport Safety

125

Surrey River (between the seaward outlet and the Princes Highway Bridge)

The Committee of Management of Narrawong Camping and Recreation Reserve Corporation

26

Surrey River (upstream of the Princes Highway Bridge)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

27

Swan Lake

Department of Sustainability and Environment

30

Tamboon Inlet and all navigable waters with an opening to that inlet

Department of Sustainability and Environment

108

Taylors Creek

Unmanaged

19

Taylors Lake (Horsham)

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation

143

Taylors Lake – Keilor

Melbourne Water

122

Tchum Lake South

Tchum Lake Aquatic Club Incorporated

155

Teddington Reservoir No. 1 (Upper Kara Kara State Park)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

57

Teddington Reservoir No. 2

Northern Grampians Shire Council

58

Upper Stony Creek Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton

Greater Shepparton City Council

126

Volcano Storage

Northern Grampians Shire Council

55

Waranga Basin

Goulburn-Murray Water

85

Wathe Wildlife Reserve (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

76

West Barwon Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Western Port Bay

Parks Victoria

5

Wilsons Promontory National Park (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

112

Wimmera River (within the boundaries of Horsham Rural City)

Horsham Rural City Council

69

Wimmera River (within the Shire of Hindmarsh)

Hindmarsh Shire Council

68

Winton Wetlands

Winton Wetlands Committee of Management

87

Wooroonook Lakes

Buloke Shire Council

133

Wurdee Boluc Reservoir

Barwon Region Water Corporation

8

Wyperfeld National Park (all waters)

Department of Sustainability and Environment

77

Yarra River upstream of the port waters of the Port of Melbourne

Parks Victoria

3

Yarriambiack Creek (within the Shire of Yarriambiack)

Yarriambiack Shire Council

67

Download the VOZR to read the Schedules.

Waterway managers

Contact details

For information about the persons or bodies appointed to be waterway managers, click here.

Exemptions

Exemption Notice 1

Notice of exemptions from carriage of safety equipment and wearing of personal flotation device requirements for recreational vessels

Notice is hereby given under Regulation 231 of the Marine Regulations 1999 made under the provisions of the Marine Act 1988 of exemptions as described in this Notice from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 and/or the Personal Flotation Device (PFD) wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232 of the Marine Regulations 1999.

1. Revocations
This notice revokes and replaces the Notice under regulation 603(4) of the Marine Vessels Regulations 1988 as published in the Government Gazette on 19 September 1990.

2. Definitions
In this Notice:

  • 'PFD Type 1' means an approved Personal Flotation Device type 1 defined in Schedule 2 under Regulation 103 of the Marine Regulations 1999.
  • 'PFD Type 2' means an approved Personal Flotation Device type 2 defined in Schedule 2 under Regulation 103 of the Marine Regulations 1999.
  • 'PFD Type 3' means an approved Personal Flotation Device type 3 defined in Schedule 2 under Regulation 103 of the Marine Regulations 1999.
  • 'Personal Watercraft' includes a power ski, aqua-scooter, jet bike, jet ski, wave runner, wave jammer, ski-free, motorised surfboard and any similar vessel that has an engine used for propulsion.
  • 'Formal Training or Competition' means training or competition conducted under the direction of an incorporated club, organisation or association that is affiliated with the respective peak body where supervision of participants and appropriate rescue services are provided, or under a Safety Management Plan approved by Marine Safety Victoria.
  • 'Lifesaving Appliance' means a lifebuoy or life raft or buoyant appliance in accordance with Section 10 of the Uniform Shipping Laws Code or a rescue tube in accordance with the standards specified by Surf Life Saving Australia.

3. Exemptions for rowing boats, canoes (excluding Dragon Boats) and kayaks

  • (a) Carriage of safety equipment:
    • (i) persons operating a rowing boat or canoe or kayak engaged in Formal Training or Competition on inland waters, not being formal training or competition of which any part is conducted on water forming rapids, are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230.
    • (ii) persons operating a rowing boat or canoe or kayak engaged in Formal Training or Competition on the Yarra River between the Bolte Bridge and the mouth of the Yarra River are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing:
      • (1) communications have been established with Harbour Control prior to entering the area defined above
      • (2) each occupant wears a PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 at all times or,
      • (3) are accompanied by an inshore rescue boat or powered rescue craft in accordance with the specifications of Surf Life Saving Australia or,
      • (4) are accompanied by an appropriate powered rescue craft carrying the following equipment:
        • a. lifesaving appliances sufficient to support all persons that may be required to be to rescued or,
        • b. PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 sufficient to support all persons that may be required to be rescued
  • (b) Wearing of PFDs:
    • (i) all operators and occupants of a rowing boat or canoe or kayak engaged in Formal Training or Competition on inland waters, not being formal training or competition of which any part is conducted on water forming rapids, are exempt from PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232
    • (ii) all operators and occupants of a rowing boat or canoe or kayak engaged in Formal Training or Competition on the Yarra River between the Bolte Bridge and the mouth of the Yarra River are exempt from PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232 providing :
      • (1) communications have been established with Harbour Control prior to entering the area defined above and
      • (2) each occupant wears a PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 at all times or,
      • (3) are accompanied by an inshore rescue boat or powered rescue craft in accordance with the specifications of Surf Life Saving Australia or,
      • (4) are accompanied by an appropriate powered rescue craft carrying the following equipment:
        • a. lifesaving appliances sufficient to support all persons that may be required to be to rescued or,
        • b. PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 sufficient to support all persons that may be required to be rescued.

4. Exemptions for yachts, off the beach sailing yachts, and their mechanically powered support vessels

  • (a) Carriage of safety equipment:
    • (i) a yacht or off the beach sailing yacht engaged in Formal Training or Competition during daylight hours is exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing that the safety equipment specified by the Yachting Australia Inc. Racing Rules of Sailing is carried
    • (ii) all mechanically powered vessels (other than personal watercraft), operated by a club or training centre affiliated with Yachting Victoria Inc. and engaged in formal sail training activities for off the beach sailing yachts are exempt from the PFD carriage requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing that all occupants wear a PFD Type 1 or 2 at all times
  • (b) Wearing of PFDs:
    • (i) all operators and occupants of mechanically powered vessels (other than personal watercraft), operated by a club or training centre affiliated with Yachting Victoria Inc. and engaged in formal sail training activities for off the beach sailing yachts are exempt from the PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232 providing that all occupants wear a PFD Type 1 or 2 at all times.

5. Exemptions for Life Saving Victoria vessels

  • (a) Carriage of safety equipment:
    • (i) all mechanically powered vessels (other than personal watercraft), operated by Life Saving Victoria, up to and including 4.8 metres in length whilst operating within visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230
    • (ii) all mechanically powered vessels up to and including 4.8 metres in length (other than personal watercraft), operated by Life Saving Victoria outside visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing a Life Saving Victoria approved communications radio is carried on board and occupants wear a PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 at all times
    • (iii) all vessels propelled by paddle or oar operated by Life Saving Victoria whilst engaged in Formal Training or Competition or operated within visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230
  • (b) Wearing of PFDs:
    • (i) all operators and occupants of mechanically powered vessels (other than personal watercraft), operated by Life Saving Victoria, up to and including 4.8 metres in length whilst operating within visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232
    • (ii) all operators and occupants of mechanically powered vessels up to and including 4.8 metres in length (other than personal watercraft), operated by Life Saving Victoria outside visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232 providing a Life Saving Victoria approved communications radio is carried on board and occupants wear a PFD Type 1, 2 or 3 at all times
    • (iii) all operators and occupants of vessels propelled by paddle or oar operated by Life Saving Victoria whilst engaged in Formal Training or Competition operating within visual range of a staffed lifesaving facility or flagged area are exempt from PFD wearing requirements specified in Regulation 232.

6. Exemptions for Australian Power Boat Association vessels

  • (a) Carriage of safety equipment:
    • (i) all vessels engaged in competing in a power boat race on inland or enclosed waters when under the supervision of the Australian Power Boat Association and the race is conducted in accordance with the Racing and Safety Rules of that Association are exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing the operator of the vessel and any occupant being carried wears a PFD Type 1
    • (ii) all vessels fitted with a reinforced cockpit approved by the Australian Power Boat Association and engaged in competing in a power boat race on inland or enclosed waters when under the supervision of the Association and the race is conducted in accordance with the Racing and Safety Rules of that Association are exempt from the carriage of equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 providing the operator of the vessel and any occupant being carried wears a PFD Type 1.

7. Exemptions for interstate vessels

  • (a) Carriage of safety equipment:
    • (i) a person operating a vessel on State waters that is normally domiciled outside Victoria is exempt from the carriage of safety equipment requirements specified in Regulation 230 of the Marine Regulations 1999 for a period of up to three (3) months providing the vessel conforms with the carriage of safety equipment requirements of their home State or Territory

This Notice was made by the Director of Marine Safety on 2 December 2005 under Regulation 231 of the Marine Regulations 1999.

Table showing details of notice(s) published in Government Gazette in relation to this exemption notice

Gazette number/date

Exemptions

Relevant legislation

S248 02/12/2005

Safety Equipment & PFD

MR 1999 r231

Exemption Notice 2

Victoria Water Police and Search & Rescue Squads

Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) Section 260(1) notice

1. Application

This notice of exemption applies to members of the Victoria Police personnel as defined under the Victoria Police Act 2013 (Vic) whilst attached permanently or temporarily to the Water Police and Search & Rescue Squads ("Water Police Squad members"), and whilst undertaking duties in Victoria Police vessels.

2. Exemption

The Water Police Squad members are exempt from the requirements of:

  • (i) The Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules for Victorian waters made under section 184 of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) when:
    • (a) The Water Police Squad members are performing their operational duties;
    • (b) The Water Police Squad members are undertaking training for the purposes of performing their operational duties;
      in accordance with this notice.

3. Duration

This notice of exemption:

  • (i) commences on 17 June 2015; and
  • (ii) is granted for three years from commencement.

Gazette number/date

Exemptions

Relevant legislation

S155 17/06/2015

VOZR MSA s184

MSA 2010 s260

Exemption Notice 3

Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic)
Section 260(1) notice
Port Phillip Ferries

1. Application

This notice of exemption applies to the following Masters and Mates (as detailed in Table 1) of the MV Capricornian Dancer ferry when operating on the waters of the Yarra River between beacons 23 and 24 and the southern dripline of the West Gate Bridge.

Table 1

Craig Ballinger

Master

David Le Roy

Master

Matt Wardley

Master

Laurie Chapman

Lookout and Mate

Jacques Kint

Lookout and Mate

Jay Marriott

Lookout and Mate

2. Exemption

Masters of the MV Capricornian Dancer are exempt from the requirements of: Clause 2.7.2 of Schedule 2 of the Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules for Victorian waters made under section 184 of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic).

2.7.2  Eight (8) knot speed restriction for the purposes of Clause 7

All vessels less than 35 metres in length, on the waters of the Yarra River within the port waters of the Port of Melbourne, between the southern drip line of the West Gate Bridge and a line joining beacons 23 and 24 are subject to a speed limit of 8 knots.

3. Conditions

The exemption is subject to the following conditions:

1. Operational Requirements:

  • (i) The vessel does not exceed 15 knots between the southern drip line of the Westgate Bridge and a line joining beacons 23 and 24.
  • (ii) The vessel may only exceed 8 knots when visibility is equal to or greater than 100 metres.
  • (iii) The master of the MV Capricornian Dancer will slow to 8 knots or less when visibility is 100 metres or less.
  • (iv) The MV Capricornian Dancer will display an amber flashing light at all times.

2. A promulgated passage plan including operational times is developed and made available to appropriate regulatory authorities and published on the Port Phillip Ferries web site.

3. Situational awareness tools including radar and electronic chart plotter with AIS is to be used.

4. A lookout is placed on the bridge in addition to the Master of the MV Capricornian Dancer.

5. The exemption under Section 260 will only apply to nominated masters and mates/lookouts who have undertaken additional training to the satisfaction of the Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne Harbour Master and the Director Maritime Safety Victoria.

6.  An agreed communications plan is developed and implemented by Port Phillip Ferries and distributed to stakeholders and waterway users affected by the operations of the MV Capricornian Dancer.

7.  Monthly workshops will be held with regulatory authorities and major stakeholders, where appropriate, to review the trial and any operational and general waterway vessel activity and conditions issues.

8. An Addendum to the current Safety Management System for MV Capricornian Dancer is developed to reflect the operational requirements for operations on Victorian waters and the Yarra River transit, with a new Safety Management System to be finalised at the end of the trial. The Addendum to include;

  • Passage plan and operations Portarlington to Docklands
  • Speed during transit from Portarlington to beacons 23/24 in relation to general operations and operations in heavy traffic and reduced visibility
  • Qualifications of crew
  • Training requirements for masters and mates
  • Docking and entering/ departure Portarlington
  • Details of vessel operations
  • Specific duties of lookout
  • Emergency contact details
  • Procedures for reporting Reportable Marine Incidents as per Marine Safety Act 2010
  • Specific details of reporting locations for Melbourne VTS and details to be provided to VTS
  • Requirement to display amber light

9. The Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne Harbour Master and, or the Director Maritime Safety Victoria reserves the right to cancel or suspend the trial should unforeseen risks be identified and to impose additional conditions or vary current conditions.

3. Duration

This notice of exemption:

  1. commences on 16 December 2017; and
  2. is granted for three months from commencement.

Changes to the VOZR

From time to time, these rules may need to be amended due to local conditions and boating activity or works. The following pages provide more information about current changes to waterway rules:

  • Permanent waterway rule changes - new or amended permanent waterway rules, proposed waterway rules and decisions made by the Safety Director about waterway rules.

Photo of a 5 knots sign