Canberra lake users face new rules

LEGISLATION has been changed this morning, February 22, to the “Lakes Act 1976” following the introduction of electronic powered boats on Canberra’s lakes. 

Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman says the amendments will encourage greater safety for Canberrans using the lakes for recreation at Lake Ginninderra, Lake Tuggeranong, Molonglo Reach and Kingston Harbour. 

The new rules include:

  • allowing electric powered boats to operate without a permit if they travel at less than 10 knots
  • introducing new drug and alcohol laws consistent with road transport legislation and enforceable by the ACT Water Police
  • mandating the use of lifejackets for small boat users
  • modernising rules relating to navigation, signals, lighting, towing and loading for boats
  • introducing cross-jurisdictional arrangements for users of Lake Burley Griffin, Kingston Harbour and Molonglo Reach which currently crossover between the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority, who regulate Lake Burley Griffin.

Mr Gentleman says the changes to the Act will not change the activities currently permitted on ACT waterways, other than allowing for electric powered boats that travel at less than 10 knots to operate without a permit. 

“The new legislation will introduce fines of up to $7500 and/or up to one year in prison for individuals committing offences that pose a risk to public safety, such as the inappropriate use of drug and alcohol,” he says.

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