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... Letter to the Minister and the Response ........... (this is good!)

Clubs and Boating Organisations, Were you consulted regarding the 15 metre insurance requirements? MSQ says you were. See how you can help your members.

 This page is due for expansion very soon to included letters and information from TCP # 36. Working now.

 Beware of Queensland!

So you are sailing to Queensland .. in your 15 metre+ boat.. LOOK OUT!

Our thanks to William Shorter for putting so much work into organising this material. Knowing our government, it would not have been easy.

Do you want to visit Queensland? Be aware, the Marine Safety Queensland (msq) terrorists are at large again!
Msq have just increased the compulsory registration fees for private craft. See the table below.

 How does this make you feel? For a comparison, see the NT where the annual registration fee for all private vessels is $0.00. Or, compare this with WA where, typically, the annual fee for a private vessel 16 m LOA is $261.

msq may claim all sorts of reasons for these outrageous increases, but you would have to be nuts to believe anything they have done or intend to do could possibly justify this patently obvious grab for cash. This, one suspects, has much to do with some mandarins trying to create an administration pyramid at our expense.

But wait! There's more!!
msq also insist that private vessels between 15 and 35 m must carry pollution clean up and wreck removal insurance cover ($250 000 and $10 000 000 respectively).

Now if your vessel is in this size category, you would need to contact a local insurer who will inform you that these two extras can be included in a pre-existing comprehensive policy. In fact, that is the only way you can get these two extras. OK you say? Not really. What if you don't want to buy a comprehensive policy for your boat? It is not a legal requirement anywhere in Australia to have a comprehensive policy. (Some vessels such as ferro and some older boats can't get comprehensive cover in Australia anyway.)
I would suggest that what msq have done borders on the illegal. Due to their rules, you may be obliged to purchase a policy that you have no real need or wish for.
Suppose you are a Queensland local and decide to pen your 15 m vessel for a year and the marina requires only third party property cover. If you adjust your policy then, technically speaking, msq can, even in the confines of the marina, charge you with not possessing the required insurance cover. Would they? Why not?
If you can't get a comprehensive policy to attach the two extra insurance components to, you can try to obtain an "exemption". See the msq site. You must get a "seaworthy" statement from a surveyor and an acceptable "risk management plan" must also be established. Msq clearly have no idea what these are as they cannot supply any information on either. They leave it to you to get these from a surveyor (costing about $1600). Then, after you have submitted the documentation, it then takes a minimum of 12 weeks to process it! (No guarantees here. How can they assess something they know nothing about?)
It is an annual event. Are they serious? What a welcome to visitors!

Note that if you actually behave responsibly and want to obtain the two insurance components, it is still impossible to get them even if you get the exemption. The exemption does not absolve you from clean up or wreck removal claims by msq should your vessel come to grief. This makes a mockery of the msq claim to responsible management of the environment. It certainly opens doubt about the intellectual veracity of the msq management team.

So!! There you are sailing your 15m dream boat from Europe through the Pacific, heading to Queensland. You have scoured the websites and are up on the Aussie Customs nightmare (or maybe you are an interstate sailor on a holiday). You wish to visit or transit Queensland waters and on arrival you are fined for not complying with these two local requirements. (You must have all this done before entering Queensland waters. Check the msq website).
If the reef protection issue is as essential as msq implies, then why not include it in the current outrageous registration fees for all vessels? An 8m vessel is as capable as a 15m vessel of causing pollution. A fully submerged 8m vessel is probably more expensive to remove from a distant reef as a 30m yacht blown onto a beach. All vessels are capable of inflicting pollution and removal costs. When a cyclone blows a dozen yachts onto a breakwater, the ones over 15 m, except ferro, are insured for pollution and wreck removal and the smaller ones are not! Does this make any sense to you?

There has to be a better way of managing the issues than the msq model.

Send a bullet to the ministers' office. After all, he is ultimately responsible.

Hon John Mickel MP
Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations. tteir@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Or try your local member. Don't worry about msq as they can't wriggle out of the legislation and have nothing to add to the matter.
The smart state? Ho, ho ho! What a joke.

Bill Shorter
Yacht "Myambla"
PO Box 2890
Darwin 0801