27th April 2018
AUSTRALIAN CANOEING WELCOMES LEVY EXEMPTION
Australian Canoeing has welcomed the announcement, made yesterday by the Department of Infrastructure, that the original proposal to exempt unpowered Class 4 hire-and-drive vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, has been reinstated.
During the consultation in 2016 regarding cost recovery for services under the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety, Australian Canoeing and its Member State Associations made representations to AMSA that canoes and kayaks should be exempt. These proposals were accepted.
On 20th April 2018, the Department of Infrastructure announced via email that it now proposed to include canoes and kayaks in the levy system, requiring submissions on the issue by 30th April.
‘As far as we were concerned, the exemption had long been agreed. It is a great relief that common sense has prevailed,’ explained Phil Jones, CEO of Australian Canoeing. ‘The recent decision to include canoes and kayaks was made with no consultation.’
‘We have previously made the case that the implications for our commercial operators would be devastating. The whole basis of the levy was flawed. The charge per vessel proposed would have put many of our operators out of business. To differentiate between a kayak, which was proposed to be included and a surf ski, that was to be exempt, is clearly ridiculous.’
‘The effect of canoes and kayaks being included in the levy having to be paid by the operators would have been a reduction in the amount of proper training and organised activity on offer. This in turn would have seen more people on the water without the appropriate skills or support. Paradoxically, this would have had a negative impact on the safety outcome.’
‘At a time when the Federal Government is about to release the National Sports Plan, which will have a focus on increased participation in sport and recreation, the inclusion of canoes and kayaks in this legislation would have had the opposite effect.’
‘Australian Canoeing and our Member State Associations acknowledge the great work done by many of our operators in putting together submissions at such short notice and lobbying to have the exemption reinstated. We also welcome the support of the state outdoor organisations such as Outdoor Victoria and the QORF.’
Australian Canoeing will continue to work to ensure best practice standards across an industry that has an exemplary safety record.
For further information contact:
Phil Jones – Australian Canoeing CEO
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 02 9763 0670