We’ve extended a 6 knot speed zone in parts of the Paradise Point Channel near the Sovereign Islands, increasing the area suitable for more passive recreational pursuits such as kayaking, small boat sailing, stand-up paddle boarding and temporarily anchoring vessels.

The expansion follows a 12-month trial that has shown that reduced speeds enhanced safety through safer interactions between powered vessels, anchored vessels and people using passive watercraft like kayaks.

The speed limit before the trial began in March last year was 40 knots for all vessels.

CEO Hal Morris said the change aligns with the Speed Limits and Behaviour Management Strategy 2018-2020 approved by the our Board, which makes it clear that speed limit changes will only be made in locations where there’s evidence of improved outcomes.

‘Our waterways are a community asset to be shared by everyone in a safe and sustainable way and this speed limit helps to better balance the needs of different waterways users.

‘These areas are popular with families using them for activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and boats temporarily anchoring there. By setting a lower speed limit for all vessels we’re managing the different needs of people using this waterway.

‘Powered boats will still be able to use this area while keeping to lower speeds.

‘The lower speed limit will also help address community concerns about personal water craft such as jet skis not observing speed limits, and the problem of damaging wash caused by larger vessels.’

Mr Morris said the evidence used to support setting the speed limit permanently at 6 knots included;

  • the trial being conducted safely
  • feedback from waterways users supporting the trial, including the local sailing club, commercial operators, water skiers and jet skiers
  • general support from residents and
  • support from Volunteer Marine Rescue, the Coast Guard, Maritime Safety Queensland, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Gold Coast Water Police, who issued several infringement notices to people for speeding during the trial period.

‘The increase in passive recreational activities we’ve observed in these waters since the trial commenced, and the lack of marine incidents pointing to safer interactions, reinforces the need for the speed limit to be permanently set at 6 knots,’ Mr Morris said.

The expanded 6 knot speed zone for the Paradise Point Channel now incorporates:

  1. An area bounded by the Sovereign Islands bridge, the Ephraim Island bridge, and a line from the northern tip of Ephraim Island to the southern tip of Sovereign Islands near King Arthurs Court and
  2. An area bounded by a line from the northern tip of Paradise Point to the north-western shore of the Sovereign Islands near Knightsbridge Parade, and a line from the western shore of Sovereign Islands near Queen Anne Court across to Paradise Point.

The fixed speed limit applies permanently from today. You can see a map showing the extended zone here https://gcwa.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/S8sp-48-3-6kt-speed-limit-All-ships-Paradise-Point-Channel-002.pdf

This is the second successful speed limit trial we’ve undertaken since the Speed Limits and Behaviour Management Strategy 2018-2020 was approved by our Board.