Boat safety paramount for Australia Day Skyworks revellers

Department of Transport staffer Laurence Adams (front) and Water police want skippers to put safety first on the water during Australia Day.
Department of Transport staffer Laurence Adams (front) and Water police want skippers to put safety first on the water during Australia Day.

SAFTEY on the water and easier public transport across land are being promoted for the Australia Day Skyworks near the Perth CBD on Friday.

“Skippers planning to take in the Australia Day Skyworks from the water are encouraged to complete a full safety check of their vessel and equipment before leaving home,” Department of Transport director of waterways safety Chris Mather said.

Australia Day is the busiest on the Swan River, and Mr Mather wants boat users to use the department’s multi-point BEST check to ensure boats, equipment, safety equipment and trailers are working.

“It is vital that all vessels have working navigation lights, lifejackets, flares and a suitable anchor, so they don’t drift, and skippers are responsible for their passengers at all times and should be familiar with the restrictions and closures and aware of all possible dangers,” he said.

Fire works barges will have exclusion zones, no commercial raft-ups that moor vessels together are allowed, and skippers’ tickets must be held by those with in charge of a vessel with a motor of more than 6hp.

On land, Transperth has scheduled more buses and trains for the event beside the river.

“We are directing Joondalup line passengers to Perth Underground, Mandurah line passengers to Elizabeth Quay Station, and Midland, Armadale/Thornlie and Fremantle passengers to Perth Station,” spokesman David Hynes said.

North-bound Joondalup Line trains will not stop at Elizabeth Quay, and south-bound Mandurah Line trains will not stop at Perth Underground.

Buses’ public holiday timetables will apply, and ferries will operate on a Sunday timetable from 7.15am but stop at noon.

Mr Hynes said a $12.60 FamilyRider ticket allowed two adults and up to five children to travel all day, but there were are only available as a cash ticket and were in demand.