by Neil Patchett 23 May
The Boating Industry Association (BIA) welcomes the move by the NSW Government to permit intrastate travel and overnighting from 1 June.
BIA President Darren Vaux said the move by NSW would reinvigorate the boating sector which shares much common ground with tourism.
“NSW with this move will join with South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory to enable people to travel and say overnight,” Vaux said. “From rivers, bays, lakes, estuaries, harbours and coastal waters, NSW has a smorgasbord of fabulous waterways on which to enjoy all manner of boating from paddle, power and sail.
“The ability to get out in the fresh air and sunshine with your own boat or to hire one, whether it be a paddle, power or sail, will be possible across NSW. You will also be able to relax and stay overnight on a boat which can only help deliver social benefits all round.”
“The combination of fires, floods and now pandemic has all taken its toll and no more so than regional NSW, so this will help deliver a much-needed boost to activity, business and jobs.
“This winter could be a great time to get into boating or to take a holiday on a houseboat on the Hawkesbury or the Murray.”
Head of the Charter Vessel Association (NSW) Andrew Stirzaker said intrastate travel is good news for regional areas which are suffering from the lack of interstate and international visitation at this time.
“The charter sector is ready to assist and be part of the recovery,” Stirzaker said. “People will be able to enjoy experiences like whale watching, fishing charters and sightseeing cruises in regional areas such as Batemans Bay or Port Stephens to name just a couple of locations, whilst also helping to support local economies.”
This is an important step in recovery of boating and tourism in NSW. In 2018-19 the boating industry in Australia had a turnover of $8.65 billion, directly employed more than 28,000 people with more than 14,500 contractors. Meanwhile Australia generated $60.8 billion in direct tourism gross domestic product.
The boating industry will continue to support governments in disease control measures and that includes the need to promote COVID Safe physical distancing and hygiene practice across recreational and commercial vessels which is an important part of containment and recovery. More information at bia.org.au