The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) today expressed surprise and disappointment in significant boating fee increases announced late on Friday by Transport for NSW.  

BIA spokesperson Neil Patchett said the increases include an extraordinary $900 more for a 10-year personal watercraft which would now cost $1961.  

“BIA has supported Transport for NSW over many years to promote safe boating and it is disappointing this announcement was made late on a Friday and without appropriate consultation with industry,” Patchett said.  

“We are now seeking a meeting with the Department and the Minister to hear the justification for increases well beyond CPI. 

“We will also be asking why now at a time of significant cost-of-living pressures on all Australians, because these government charges will be impacting a significant number of people.” 

BIA is also liaising with the national personal watercraft distributor association who were blindsided by the increases and supports calls to meet with the Department and Minister.   

In NSW it is estimated that almost 1 in 5 households has a boat or some form of watercraft, and that more than 2 million people go boating each year. The vast majority are families and everyday Australians.  

BIA says there is a common perception that boating is reserved for the rich, often associated with large white luxury motor cruisers. However, the reality contradicts this notion. Of the almost 238,600 registered vessels in NSW, approximately 220,000 are small family power craft (mostly runabouts) up to 6m in length. The number of registered power luxury motor cruisers in NSW is less than 4 per cent of the total.  

The BIA represents the marine industry which has a national turnover of $9.64 billion and employs more than 32,000 people in a sector with an estimated 5 million people who go boating each year.