Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Conflicting messaging has resulted in Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, asking the government to urgently clarify if kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing and off the beach sailing are allowable (or not), under the Coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Bull said as recently as Tuesday, he was told by government representatives that no boating in any shape or form was allowed.
He said it was a message he has relayed on to large numbers on constituents over the past fortnight.
However, without any new directives being released, Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton yesterday stated on radio that these activities were not illegal at all.
“It’s confusing to get such conflicting advice and the community loses confidence when what seemed hard and fast rules are contradicted and changed without any publicity,” said Mr Bull.
“It is the very reason that earlier this week I called for a review of all rules and some clarity and reasoning put in around them.
“Even now the Better Boating Victoria website (see link) still says that no form of recreational boating is allowed and specifically mentions kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing. It says you will be fined if you partake.”
“Over the past fortnight I have been contacted by a large number of people asking about kayaking and paddle boarding specifically and have told them it is banned - as that is what we have been clearly told.
“It seems another case of the left hand not knowing what the right one is doing. People are genuinely trying to do the right thing they just want accurate information.
“I am also hearing via social media that off the beach yachts (not powered) are ok as well.
“That is a big movement if true as there are several thousand of those in Victoria.
“If that has been changed as well, someone needs to let the Victorian community know and explain how long it has been the case,” he said.
Image of kayaking on Bottom Lake at Mallacoota courtesy of Visit Victoria Content Hub