MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire officers can now get tough on jet ski hoons but, instead of issuing fines for bad behaviour, will still only be “speaking to and educating the public, surveillance and gathering evidence”.
Instead of issuing infringement notices, officers will use cameras to gather evidence and act as witnesses to inform Marine Safety Victoria of dangerous and unlawful behaviour by jet ski riders.
Acting manager environment protection Katie McKenzie said officers would enforce compliance within the five-knot zone – usually within 200-metres of shore – or 500-metres from shore along the coastline from Safety Beach to Portsea.
These are the areas where jet ski riders come into most contact with swimmers and paddle boarders.
“Our officers will focus on hoon behaviour in the five-knot zone, which includes enforcing speed limits, in an effort to protect swimmers and other water users,” she said. “Hoon behaviour outside the five-knot zone can only be enforced by the Water Police.”
Ms McKenzie said as well as shire officers “patrolling beaches watching out for speeding and erratic operation of jet skis, they will also be encouraging good behaviour on our heavily used beaches: after all, summer is for everyone”.
The shire is the third largest coastal municipality in the state with 10 per cent of the coastline.
“We hope visitors have a fantastic time this summer at peninsula beaches. Be sure to treat our precious environment with care and show respect for those enjoying it around you,” the mayor Cr Sam Hearn said.
The council has called on the state government to introduce a range of measures to address community and council concerns regarding personal safety, amenity and threats to marine wildlife. To learn more visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/pwc