A MORNINGTON Peninsula councillor wants municipalities around Port Phillip to ban jet skis.
Nepean ward councillor Hugh Fraser will try to drum up support for a jet ski ban from the 10-member Association of Bayside Municipalities.
If they agree, the state government would then be asked to implement the ban.
“This [ban] has been successfully accomplished on Sydney Harbour and I simply ask the question, as to whether that is a matter of interest to the association,” Cr Fraser said.
He raised the jet ski ban at the 15 March council meeting, asking Cr Bev Colomb – Mornington Peninsula Shire’s delegate to the Association of Bayside Municipalities and its current president – if she would take it up at the association’s next meeting.
Cr Colomb suggested that Cr Fraser talk to the shire’s coastal planners “and put a paper together” detailing his proposal.
“I’m sure that the assembly of the 10 councils around the bay will look at that, as they do other things that are put forward to the ABM, [which will then] decide if it’s appropriate for them to put that forward. We do get a lot of requests along lines like that,” she said.
The association was very busy, Cr Colomb said, with “several projects that we’ve got steerage of”.
“There is a process where, if you put some things together – and you could bring that … along to the ABM and put that forward as other delegates do; and it’s actually around the table that makes that decision.”
Cr Colomb was reporting to councillors on dealings with the state government on the recently concluded Port of Melbourne lease and its impact on Port Phillip.
The ABM had put a set of principles to the government, which it believes “would ensure the health of the bay for many years to come. We will be seeking a response this week especially the monitoring of the bay and the shoreline as this is fundamental [to having] a benchmark for future monitoring of the bay,” Cr Colomb said.
“We’ll be going back to the Treasurer this week to try and get some of those principles in place.”
Jet skis, regarded by many beachgoers as a dangerous, noisy nuisance, are strictly controlled by legislation.
Operators must sit a test, be licensed and their craft must be registered. They and their passengers must wear lifejackets. A waterproof torch must be carried.
Jet ski drivers are subject to hoon legislation if engaged in dangerous activity that could hurt another water user and police issue fines or seize a craft used in a dangerous way.
Hoon behaviour includes performing “doughnuts” within 50 metres of swimmers or other water users and exceeding 8kph within 50 metres of other water users or closer than 200 metres to the shore.
Beachgoers seeing such behaviour can ring 000 and report it to police.