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General News, Transport Automotive

QLD Highlights NSW Disparity in Boating Taxes

Boating Industry Association Ltd 3 mins read
More than 2 million people go boating each year in NSW and 90% are families and people in boats under 6m.

The NSW Government is set to hit the boating public and industry with the highest taxes in the nation from 1 July, according to the Boating Industry Association (BIA).

BIA represents hundreds of marine businesses and thousands of workers in NSW supporting the more than 2 million people who go boating each year in the State.

BIA says Transport for NSW had seemingly constructed the plan behind closed doors to significantly raise taxes on boating well beyond CPI to raise millions of dollars in new revenue.

BIA spokesperson Neil Patchett said, “Just a couple of years ago boating proved itself during a global pandemic as a standout option in recreation for people to experience the great outdoors and the social benefits of getting out on the water with families and friends.

“Now despite reaping the revenue rewards of increased participation through extra licences and registrations over the past few years, Transport wants to make what are already the highest boating fees in the nation, even higher.”  

BIA says the massive disparity in boating licence fees in NSW compared to the neighbouring States of Queensland and Victoria is alarming.

For example, a 10-year licence fee for a personal watercraft in NSW already eclipses $1000 and the new proposal aims to increase that to almost $2000. 

This compares to $124 for a lifetime licence for a personal watercraft in Queensland, and $45 for an annual licence in Victoria. In addition, Queensland and Victoria have chosen to hold fees as they are and to not apply CPI.

Meanwhile a licence in Queensland is $124 for either a boat or a PWC, and that is a one-off fee for life. In NSW a licence will range from $77 to $245 a year.

Transport for NSW says it needs the extra revenue in part to pay for more patrol effectiveness and yet Queensland also has more than 1 million marine licences compared with 540,000 in NSW, and Queensland manages that with almost half the number of patrol craft and fewer maritime compliance personnel than NSW.

“Boating is a way of life for many in NSW and Transport is set to make it even more expensive which runs the risk of disenfranchising young people and families from participation in what is a healthy outdoor activity with proven social benefits,” Patchett said.

“We remain hopeful the Transport Minister will intervene and force Transport for NSW to reset the full schedule of fees impacting licences, registrations and moorings to be no more than CPI adjusted.”

BIA meanwhile continues to wait for a response from the State Government on its concerns which includes a lack of appropriate consultation.

About us:

The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) is the peak industry body in Australia that represents the interests of boating which includes designers, manufacturers, importers, brokers, insurers, retailers, charters, yacht and boat clubs, marinas, events, surveyors and trades from boat builders to riggers, and more. BIA is an advocate for boaters and the boating lifestyle and supports safe, responsible, and enjoyable boating. BIA has members in all States and Territories.


The boating economy generates significant benefits. The BIA last year reported industry national turnover of $9.64 billion, directly employed more than 25,000 people with more than 7000 contractors. Seventy-five per cent are in small family businesses, employing local workers and supporting local communities.


In Australia, more than 85 per cent of the population live within 50km of the coast, so it is little wonder that almost 1 in 5 households can have a boat or watercraft and that approximately 5 million go boating each year. People of all ages, gender and ability participate in boating across paddle, sail and power for leisure and sport.

Contact details:; m. 0418 279 465


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