With the Australia Day weekend fast approaching, we’re reminding people to be aware of speed limits, anchoring restrictions and potential hazards on the water so that everyone enjoys a safe break.

‘This is traditionally one of the busiest periods on our waterways and our operations team will be on stand-by to manage issues relating to anchoring restrictions, maintaining navigation aids and responding to any hazards such as oil spills from vessels, should they occur,’ CEO Hal Morris said.

‘We’ll also be working closely with agencies such as Maritime Safety Queensland, the Gold Coast Water Police and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol to ensure the waterways remain safe and accessible over the long weekend.

‘The waterways are a shared asset, so everyone has a responsibility to be aware and consider other water users so that your day out on the waterways is enjoyable and safe. ‘

Mr Morris said GCWA was supporting accessibility by focusing enforcement action on people overstaying their welcome in anchoring zones.

In the three months to December, the GCWA responded to 40 complaints about people not complying with anchoring restrictions and monitored 165 water craft to ensure people were playing by the rules. As a result of the monitoring program, 31 removal notices were issued.

‘The majority of owners did the right thing and removed their vessels after being reminded that they needed to do so. There were two who didn’t comply with our notices, so we had no alternative but to enforce the notices, remove the vessels.

‘There are time limits on anchoring in the waterways to ensure everyone gets a fair go, particularly in sought after locations. This operates like parking restrictions for vehicles in city centres or camping restrictions in national parks.

‘Anchoring and mooring boats is restricted to 24 hours on most rivers, creeks and canals and to seven days in most parts of the Broadwater.

‘The time limits do not apply to boats using an approved buoy mooring, jetty or pontoon. If you’re not sure about the rules applying to the spot you’re planning to anchor in, please check our website.’

Mr Morris said over the same period, the GCWA’s operations team had also provided first-strike pollution response to 9 reports of marine pollution caused by oil from vessels and carried out 80 unplanned repairs to navigation aids.

‘There are almost 2000 beacons, buoys and signs on our waterways that help keep everyone safer.

‘GCWA maintains these navigation aids however, we can’t be everywhere, so if you see a navigation aid that requires attention call our Waterways Operations team on 07 5539 7373. ‘