Boat seizures warning

GIPPSLAND Ports is warning boat owners it will remove unauthorised moorings and seize vessels if they are not removed within 10 days.

It says there has been a growing number of unauthorised swing moorings which have been installed in various locations, with a particular proliferation along the Loch Sport foreshore.

In a statement, Gippsland Ports said many of the illicitly installed swing moorings did not comply with environmental, structural integrity and maintenance standards, and posed a safety risk to vessels on the moorings and other vessels, in addition to creating a potential seabed hazard to boaters and swimmers.

“Further, the non-compliant floatation buoys used on the moorings are many different shapes and sizes, and prove very difficult to see at night, which creates a navigation risk for vessels using the area,” it read.

Standards set by waterways manager Gippsland Ports require that swing moorings can only be established in designated grounds, subject to meeting environmental and structural integrity standards.

Gippsland Ports said under Regulation 29(1) of the Port Management (Local Ports) Regulations 2015, it was an offence to install or use an unauthorised mooring.

The offence carries a fine of 10 penalty units (about $1550).

People responsible for installing or making use of unauthorised moorings are being encouraged to remove them, including ground tackle, by July 15.

After this date, Gippsland Ports will begin a program of removing unauthorised moorings and taking temporary possession vessels at the moorings.

Vessel operators needing information about swing moorings on the Gippsland Lakes can phone Gippsland Ports on 5150 0500, or apply online for a swing mooring permit by completing a berthing and mooring application form available at gippslandports.vic.gov.au