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Boating cost sting in NSW

 

The NSW Government is set to hit the boating public and industry with the highest taxes in the nation from 1st July, according to the Boating Industry Association (BIA).

 

 

BIA represents hundreds of marine businesses and thousands of workers in NSW, supporting the more than two million people who go boating each year in the State.

BIA says Transport for NSW had seemingly constructed the plan, behind closed doors, to raise taxes on boating well beyond CPI, to raise millions of dollars in new revenue.

“Just a couple of years ago, boating proved itself during a global pandemic, as a standout option in recreation,”  said BIA spokesperson Neil Patchett.

“Now, despite reaping the revenue rewards of increased participation through extra licences and registrations over the past few years, Transport for NSW wants to make what are already the highest boating fees in the nation, even higher.”

BIA says the massive disparity in boating licence fees in NSW compared to the neighbouring States of Queensland and Victoria is alarming.

For example, a 10-year licence fee for a personal watercraft in NSW already exceeds $1000 and the new proposal aims to increase that to almost $2000.

This compares to $124 for a lifetime licence for a personal watercraft in Queensland and $45 for an annual licence in Victoria.

As well, given the current cost of living crisis in Australia, Queensland and Victoria have chosen to hold fees at current levels and not to apply even CPI increases.

A licence in Queensland is $124 for either a boat or a PWC, and that is a one-off fee for life. In NSW a licence is set to range from $77 to $245 every year.

Transport for NSW says it needs the extra revenue in part to pay for more patrol effectiveness. However, Queensland has more than one million marine licences, compared with 540,000 in NSW and Queensland manages with almost half the number of patrol craft and fewer maritime compliance personnel than NSW.

“Boating is a way of life for many in NSW and Transport for NSW is set to make it even more expensive,”  Patchett said.

“This runs the risk of disenfranchising young people and families from participation in what is a healthy outdoor activity, with proved social benefits.

“We remain hopeful the Transport Minister will intervene and force Transport for NSW to reset the schedule of fees impacting licences, registrations and moorings to no more than CPI-adjusted.”

BIA is awaiting a response from the State Government on its concerns, including the lack of appropriate consultation.

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