In NSW, we have some of the finest navigable waterways in Australia. Each year more than 2 million people head out on the water, on boats or other watercraft to enjoy the sun, catch a few fish or to spend time with family and friends.
This relationship to our waterways makes NSW a wonderful place to live. Additionally, the maritime industry continues to grow and is an important employer that provides significant benefit to the NSW economy.
Over the past five years, the NSW Government has invested more than $500 million in delivering services and infrastructure to the NSW maritime community. Great results have been achieved over the past few years which have increased safety on the water. This includes raising the lifejacket wear rate from 9 per cent in 2007 to 45 per cent in 2015-16.
The recreational boating fatality rate is trending downward, driven by a strong reduction in drowning related fatalities. In 2017 we are heading towards the best safety result in at least 40 years. However, despite the great results water activity is not without its risks.
One life lost on NSW waterways is one too many. That is why the NSW Government is committed to increasing safety on our waterways.
As a priority, the NSW Government is working to reduce trauma on our waterways across the State. The Maritime Safety Plan forms a key part of this important Government objective. While NSW has made significant progress in reducing drowning fatalities on boats, more needs to be done on issues such as lifejackets, alcohol and helping people make informed decisions about weather conditions.
Greater focus is now also on non-drowning fatalities - which sadly we are still seeing no reduction in and the associated issues of speed, keeping a proper lookout and judgement. Finally, this plan sets out a comprehensive list of initiatives which aim to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 30 per cent and lay the foundation for the drive towards the long term target of zero fatalities on the water.
The Maritime Safety Plan (PDF, 2.86 MB) is only available in WCAG compliant downloadable PDF format.