Record vessel numbers expected for Australia Day Skyworks

News for the Department of Transport


Growth in boat ownership in WA during the past two years could see a record number of vessels to take to the water to enjoy this year’s Australia Day Skyworks.

The Department of Transport (DoT) is reminding skippers to check their navigation lights and complete a safety check of their vessel and equipment before the event.

Marine Officers also recommend that lifejackets be worn on the night, and vessels carry flares and a suitable anchor to avoid drift.

DoT A/Director Waterways Safety Management Peter Beattie said the event was traditionally the busiest time of the year on the river and skippers needed to be patient and be aware of the restrictions and closures in place on the night and in the days prior.

DoT recorded significant increases in boat transfers and new boat registrations during the past two years with the number of registered recreational vessels in WA increasing to 101,000 and new vessel registrations increasing by up to 33.5 per cent during the period (July 2020 to July 2021). 

Mr Beattie said the new vessel registrations had also seen more first-time skippers heading out on the water this summer with a 50 per cent increase in the number of Recreational Skipper’s Tickets issued from July 2020 to July 2021.

“For some skippers it will be their first time attending a major on water event and we strongly recommend they take the time to prepare their vessel and become familiar with the special arrangements for the night,” Mr Beattie said

“As the skipper they are responsible for the safety of their passengers at all times while on the water.”
Information about the on-water restrictions and closures in place for Australia Day is available by visiting our website.

See the Planning your trip for information and tips on checking your vessel and safety equipment. 

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Page last updated: Fri Jan 21 2022 5:14:09 PM