High Tech Movable Cameras to Bust Boatie Hoons

Dodgy boaties are getting busted on the Gold Coast, with authorities employing a range of surveillance techniques to keep law abiding seafarers safe.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said a decision by the Gold Coast Waterways Authority to use relocatable closed-circuit cameras would give them a greater ability to target problems on local waterways and to react in real time.

“The authority has allocated $100,000 to purchase five high definition, low light cameras to hugely enhance their ability to identify boating congestion, reckless behaviour and rapidly identify emerging situations,” Mr Bailey said

“Compliance agencies such as Maritime Safety Queensland, Water Police and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrols currently use several fixed cameras at strategic locations.

“While these have been extremely effective, there are still gaps in coverage and unavoidable delays in responding to public complaints.

“Common offences relate to waterskiing, freestyling, surfing and wave jumping and last financial year, 16 marine infringement notices and 59 formal warnings were issued.”

Gold Coast Waterways Authority Chief Executive Officer Hal Morris said discussions with commercial camera suppliers had identified the necessary technology, how it would be deployed in waterways and the level of resolution delivered.

“The relocatable cameras have the advantage of being able to target individual hot spots at short notice giving compliance officers immediate feedback,” Mr Morris said.

In a parallel move, Maritime Safety Queensland had also turned to hi-definition cameras to snare tow-in Jet Ski hoons.

“Reckless jet ski operators who endanger others on the Gold Coast’s big waves are being caught on camera,” Mr Bailey said.

“Some of these riders who have been ignoring speed limits and safe distance rules in the surf believed they were untouchable because they couldn’t be identified or pursued but that has changed.

“Hooning behaviour of any kind, be it on the road or water, is unacceptable and we are putting a stop to this reckless and dangerous behaviour.

“Maritime Safety Queensland is now using a state-of-art camera capable of fast-image capture over very long distances which identifies offenders and provides sufficient evidence for legal action.”

“So far marine officers using the images have issued 12 infringement notices to alleged offenders and they will continue watch out for reckless behaviour in the surf zone.”

Mr Bailey said paddle surfers and others enjoying big swells off beaches at Currumbin and Coolangatta points had expressed fear for their safety with the increasing risk of collision with tow-in jet skis operating outside the law.

“An ongoing and well-supported education program has promoted a code of conduct developed in consultation with Maritime Safety Queensland, Gold Coast City Council and Surfing Queensland to encourage safe tow-in surfing operations.

“However it has become increasingly obvious some jet ski riders simply do not feel the need to obey rules requiring them to keep to six knots within 60 metres of a swimmer or surfer or ceasing operation completely when paddlers are in the water.

“Thanks to innovative thinking by Maritime Safety Queensland these irresponsible individuals are now being hauled in.

“Of course we still encourage residents and boaties who witness dangerous activities to report incidents to the police Hoon Hotline on 134666.”

For information on the tow-in surfing code of conduct go to https://www.msq.qld.gov.au/Waterways/Tow-in-surfing-code-of-conduct

Background:

So far this financial year there have been:

Two marine infringement notices issued for environmental breaches relating to waste discharge

Eighty-six anchoring, mooring and grounding restriction removal notices issued

Two marine infringement notices issued for contraventions of anchoring, mooring and grounding restrictions

Eighty-one marine infringement notices and 451 formal warnings issued for speeding offences

Five marine infringement notices and 31 formal warnings issued for offences relating to waterskiing, surfing and wave jumping

 ENDS

Media contact: Dominic Geiger, 0447355565

Originally published here: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2018/4/10/high-tech-movable-cameras-to-bust-boatie-hoons