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Draft guidelines to improve environmental management of slipways in Tasmania

A six-week public comment period is a chance to comment on new draft guidlines providing advice to operators and boat owners on how to ensure slipway activities are environmentally sustainable.

Copies of the Revised Draft Guidelines and Review of Sediment Sampling Program can be downloaded from:

www.environment.tas.gov.au/em

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, said pollution near boat repair and maintenance facilities was a serious issue.

There are an estimated 2500 vessels permanently moored in Tasmanian waters and approximately 70 boat repair and maintenance facilities in the State.

A review of recent marine sediment sampling in the vicinity of boat repair and maintenance facilities has shown that this issue warrants improved environmental management.

Ms O’Byrne said the review report concluded that marine sediments near all 26 sites contained elevated levels of heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc, as well as tributyltin, an antifouling agent.

This suggests that boat repair and maintenance activities are impacting on the quality of the State’s coastal marine environment.

The upgrading of slipway facilities and improvement of waste management practices by industry and boat owners would be better encouraged and assisted through the clearly written, practical guidelines.

Boating traffic is increasing in our coastal waters and there is continued demand for the services offered and the activities undertaken at boat repair and maintenance facilities.

Everyone involved in boat repair and maintenance is urged to contribute to reviewing the Revised Draft Guidelines so that they can be completed and issued as soon as possible.

The six-week public comment period ends on Friday 25 April.