BETTER BOATING FACILITIES - ENSURING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE FUTURE

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure more money collected under the boating facilities levy is spent on boating facilities.

Boating Infrastructure Levy Sits Unspent

South Australia is home to fantastic metropolitan and regional boating destinations but we need to ensure that facilities are first-class for future generations to enjoy.

The State Government collects a boating facilities levy paid on top of every registration, inspection or survey of vessels for more than 55,000 recreational boating vessels, utilising the approximate 300 boat launching facilities in South Australia.

The Facilities Fund is used for establishing and improving boating facilities in South Australia’s
coastal and inland waters, including boat ramps, temporary mooring facilities or wharves, channel improvements, aids to navigation; or 24/7 emergency VHF marine radio services. The facilities also contribute to the 277,000 recreational fishers in this state, many who fish from jetties and boats.

Local councils and large community organisations can apply for funding contributions from the Fund towards eligible projects, provided a commitment is given to accept on-going ownership, operation and maintenance of the facility.

Funding assistance is usually provided at 50 per cent of the total project cost.

The State Government has a history of leaving the collected levy unspent in government coffers. More than $3 million in levy funds were collected in 2014/15. A staggering $6.4m was sitting unspent and uncommitted in a state government account at the end of the 2014-15 year.

This increased with the 2016 Auditor-General’s report revealing $8.6 million was sitting unspent in the Weatherill Labor Government’s coffers at the end of the 2015-16 financial year, clearly highlighting the need for increased expenditure.

The State Liberals Plan

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure more money collected under the boating facilities levy is spent on boating facilities. 

The SA Liberals will reduce the co-contribution needed by communities to apply for access to the fund. As a result, councils or local organisations will need to deliver a maximum of 20 per cent of the total cost of the project, rather than the current maximum of 50 per cent.

Reducing the co-contribution to apply for this funding will assist communities in accessing more money for establishing and improving boating facilities in South Australia’s coastal and inland waters.

It is unacceptable that $8.6 million of the levy sat unspent in a State Government account at the end of 2015-16. The DPTI website states that there were just three projects funded by the levy completed in 2015-16. The SA Liberals are committed to spending more of the money that is paid by boat owners on facilities and initiatives to beneft boat users and the 277,000 recreational fishers in South Australia.

South Australian boat users pay the levy every year and deserve better facilities. It is important the boating and fshing community is better consulted on how to spend the fund which they have contributed to.

The SA Liberals no longer want to see boating infrastructure projects put on hold due to financial pressures, not only impacting upon potential local jobs but important facilities for the community

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