Alarm bells at mooring study

A statewide review of boat moorings has boat owners worried. Picture: Martin Kennealey           d433132
A statewide review of boat moorings has boat owners worried. Picture: Martin Kennealey        d433132

According to the Department of Transport the review aims to make mooring access fairer around the State, including in the Swan and Canning rivers.

But a group of mooring licensees say the meetings they had attended made them fear for their property and the financial investment they had made in maintaining a mooring.

Mooring licensee John Holder said the short-term lease system used at Rottnest Island was not appropriate for the Swan and Canning rivers where people were using a mooring to avoid joining lengthy waiting lists for yacht club pens.

He said there remained a question mark over the income generated from the lease of the moorings and who was responsible for damaged or vandalised moorings.

�You pay for the mooring, you maintain it at your own expense, but they can let it out to someone else.�

�If 50 per cent of moorings aren�t being used why would casual users pay the Department for their use and not the person who owns the mooring?� he said.

Mr Holder said there should be the ability to trade or sell moorings according to supply and demand.

But a department spokeswoman said the mooring licences were not tradeable assets and attempt to do so was illegal.

She said about 49 per cent of moorings licensed in the Swan and Canning rivers were not being used.

�Under current regulations that mooring is not available to anyone else to use while it sits vacant,� she said.

�Based on the number of calls we receive each week alone, there is a clear demand for access to moorings for short stays and for storage.

�That is why the current review is looking at the potential for improved access through the proposed casual use system which could assist through allowing short term use of vacant moorings.�

A department spokeswoman said the fees associated with casual use would be used for administration of the system.

The first stage of public consultation runs until May 1 and a second stage will be held between June and August.

It is expected the review will conclude at the end of 2015.

The newly formed WA Mooring Association intends to represent boat owners during the review period.

To join email wamooring