Mooring audits and the Moorings Reforms Program help Transport for NSW manage the 23,000 private and commercial mooring sites throughout NSW. Find out about the audit process and the Moorings Reform Program.
Why moorings are audited
Transport for NSW conducts a state-wide audit of moorings. Mooring audits take place each year between March and September.
The audit program aims to:
- reduce salvage costs of vessels that sink
- safeguard the marine environment
- increase mooring compliance and remove mooring minders
- improve water safety and access, and potentially reduce wait list times for moorings in some areas
- protect customers from purchasing non-compliant vessels on the secondary resale market
- register non-compliant vessels and alert potential buyers to any outstanding mooring issues when transferring ownership.
A mooring apparatus failure can result in a vessel coming adrift and damaging:
- other moored vessels
- maritime infrastructure
- the environment
- other boating users.
A poorly maintained vessel can sink, polluting the waterways and the environment and become a hazard to navigation.
Before an audit is conducted, a letter will be sent to the registered mooring licence holder advising them that an audit of their mooring and vessel has been scheduled for the following month.
The letter contains information on what needs to be done to make the vessel and mooring apparatus compliant with the mooring licence conditions, along with details of the mooring licence conditions.
The audit will be conducted by a Boating Safety Officer, and a follow-up letter will be sent with the result of the audit.
If your mooring and vessel are fully compliant, and Proof of Service was provided as requested, you will receive a thank you letter, and no further action is required.
Download the mooring audit factsheet for details on how the audits work.
If your mooring or vessel are non-compliant, a letter will be issued listing the defect/s that you must rectify. This may include an official caution or a penalty notice.
Mooring licence holders will be given time to fix the non-compliances or remove the vessel and give up the mooring.
If you receive a non-compliant letter, you may contact the Boating Safety Officer to develop a 'plan of action' if you can’t complete the repairs in the time required. It may be because you cannot book a contractor to complete the works in the timeframe required as they have no available appointments.
The plan of action outlines what needs to be repaired and when. The plan will take into account the number of slipways and resources in your local area.
You will have to begin repairs within 14 days of agreeing to the plan. When the repair works are completed, the mooring licence holder needs to provide proof of service from either the qualified contractor who did the work or the slipway owner. This can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you refuse all requests to carry out the repair works on your mooring or vessel and it has been identified as unseaworthy, you will be fined for non-compliance and receive a notice to remove your vessel.
It is a condition of your private mooring licence that the mooring apparatus must be kept in good condition and serviced every 12 months, with proof of mooring service produced on request. It is a requirement to provide a proof of service by the date notified in the pre-audit letter. Email the proof of service to email@example.com
If you have had your mooring serviced by a mooring contractor, you must provide an invoice or receipt from the contractor showing:
- the contractor’s name and ABN/ACN
- the mooring ID
- the date the mooring was serviced.
If you have serviced your mooring yourself, you must complete and provide a proof of service statutory declaration.
Moorings Reform Program
As part of the NSW Government’s Maritime Policy Agenda, the Maritime Management Centre in Transport is undertaking a review of the policy and regulatory framework governing the administration of moorings in NSW.
The moorings review issues paper prepared by Transport for New South Wales received public feedback on a number of mooring management policy initiatives to:
- reduce the administrative burden on industry and the community
- improve consistency and transparency
- ensure the policy and regulatory framework is modern and flexible to respond to growing demand for boat storage.
Feedback confirmed that rather than pursuing significant increases in mooring numbers to meet demand, the focus should be on:
- better use of existing capacity through improved regulation and administration
- exploring new technologies and delivery mechanisms
- obtaining insurance for vessels on moorings, given the risk of damage from other vessels that have broken free from poorly maintained mooring apparatuses
- moored vessels which are not being kept in a seaworthy condition and are at a high risk of breaking free of their mooring
- multiple mooring systems to increase capacity of mooring fields and/or reduce the mooring footprint
- phasing in the use of Environmentally Friendly Moorings, particularly in seagrass and other environmentally sensitive areas
- updating the regulations governing moorings in NSW, particularly to modernise penalties for non-compliance.
The Moorings Reform Program outlines a number of actions that have been developed in consultation with the Maritime Advisory Council to respond to this feedback and the issues identified in the moorings review issues paper.
Key actions identified in the Moorings Reform Program include:
- introducing mooring apparatus standards and compulsory certification as a condition of mooring licence renewal
- reviewing and modernising mooring management, administration, regulations and standards
- trialling ‘multiple mooring’ designs to increase capacity
- phasing-in environmentally friendly moorings to protect seagrass areas
- piloting a program to encourage voluntary removal of end of life boats from private moorings.
Options to introduce compulsory insurance for moored vessels have also been explored.
This work found that a compulsory insurance requirement would place additional cost burdens on responsible boat owners and increase the complexity of the mooring licence system.
The Program will initially focus on refining existing mooring management processes, whilst factoring in feedback received from boat owners.
Compulsory insurance requirements will be re-investigated if problems continue after the new mooring management processes and compliance mechanisms are implemented.
Transport will deliver the Moorings Reform Program. Boat owners and stakeholders will be consulted as we implement these actions.
Further information about the program will be made available on this website as planning progresses.