by Bob Wonders
NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said the arrangement cam about through an arrangement between NSW Maritime, the state’s boating regulator, and the Marine Teachers’ Association of NSW.
'This will build upon efforts to raise water safety standards across our waterways, building partnerships in the school system that encourages safe and responsible behaviour,' the Minister explained. 'It will reap rewards in the future for all waterways users,' he added.
Earlier in the year, NSW Maritime began the provision of a free ‘Water Safety Activity’ booklet to primary schools State-wide and is now focusing on water safety attention on secondary schools.
'The Marine Teachers’ Association of NSW has developed a suitable marine studies course, has appropriate licence test questions in the assessment phase and includes a practical component,' Mr Tripodi said.
'Within the high school course, a NSW Maritime Safe Boating Course, compulsory for all those wish to sit for a boat driving licence test, is included,' he added.
Under the agreement between the two bodies, more than 120 NSW high schools can now offer the marine studies course to students from years 7 to 12.
It is estimated that up to 8000 students will take the course each year.
'The more people on our waterways who are armed with a sound understanding of the water traffic rules, marine regulations and safety requirements, the better, 'Mr Tripodi declared.
NSW Maritime will accept a certificate of completion of the course as satisfying both the compulsory Boating Safety Course requirement and the general boat licence test.
A general boat licence (or young adult licence for those under 16-years) will be provided to successful students upon presentation of the certificate and payment of the boat licence fee.
For further information contact the office of NSW Ports and Waterways, telephone (02) 9228-5451.