25 September 2023

New rules floated for lake safety

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New rules aimed at improving the safety of Territory lakes managed by the ACT Government have been announced by the Minister for Police, Mick Gentleman.

Mr Gentleman said he wanted more Canberrans to use the lakes and he wanted them to be safe.

“These new rules are now in effect and will help keep boat users safe and help prevent injury to other lake users,” Mr Gentleman said.

He said the updated Lakes Act and new Regulations introduced offences including on-the-spot fines for behaviour and actions that represented a risk to lake users.

“The ACT Water Police and Access Canberra will enforce the legislation.”

The Minister said some of the offences that would attract fines included operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; not wearing or carrying a life jacket where required; not carrying required safety equipment on a boat; and operating an unregistered boat.

Excessive speed would also be punished as well as operating power boats near swimming areas, he said.

“People who pose a risk to public safety, such as through drug and alcohol offences, may be fined up to $7,500 and or receive up to one year in prison,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Other offences such as not wearing or carrying a life jacket when required can result in an on-the-spot fine of $300.”

He said the nhe new rules apply to Lake Ginninderra and Lake Tuggeranong and the parts of Lake Burley Griffin managed by the ACT Government, which includes Kingston Harbour and Molonglo River above Lake Burley Griffin.

Mr Gentleman said the National Capital Authority regulates Lake Burley Griffin and was in the process of reviewing its legislation to ensure consistency with the new ACT laws.

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