What are Buoy Moorings?
Buoy moorings are used to secure vessels and provide an alternative to anchoring and other methods of storage. A buoy mooring is attached to the seabed, through a system of ropes, cables or chains with a float or buoy on the surface to mark the location of the vessel.
A key part of our role is to responsibly manage our buoy mooring areas to accommodate the Gold Coast’s rapidly increasing population and growth in vessel registrations, while embracing new technology to reduce the impact of buoy moorings on the marine environment and to provide safer moorings that are less prone to dragging in inclement weather.
You’ll need a buoy mooring authority to establish a buoy mooring for use by a recreational or commercial vessel. We may grant the authorities for vessels that are of a size that generally can’t be transported by trailer. We carefully consider all mooring areas with special attention to depth, maximum vessel size, proximity to navigation channels, private pontoons and jetties (as well as other moorings) and locations in the Moreton Bay Marine Park (where additional requirements apply).
BUOY MOORING MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Our Buoy Mooring Management Strategy is a guiding framework for responsibly managing buoy moorings in Gold Coast waterways into the future. This strategy was approved by the GCWA Board in August 2017.
It’s the next stage in a long-term consultation process which examines the way buoy moorings are established, used and managed on the Gold Coast.
The Buoy Mooring Management Strategy will guide GCWA’s approach to policy, information provision, operations and consultation. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to keep up to date on the Strategy’s implementation.
- July 2014: Buoy Mooring Review – Consultation Outcomes & Recommendations, GCWA
- July 2014: Buoy Moorings – of Mooring Infrastructure Technology, RPS APASA Pty Ltd
Buoy Mooring Areas
There are three types of buoy mooring areas:
- Category 1 areas are managed and controlled by mooring managers, through agreements with GCWA. The Southern Broadwater mooring area near Sundale Bridge is a declared Category 1 area.
- Category 2 areas are considered to be a higher risk for marine safety, environmental or navigational reasons. There are currently no defined Category 2 areas in the Gold Coast waterway.
- Category 3 areas are all other mooring areas in Gold Coast waterways.
Buoy Mooring Maps
There are 13 buoy mooring areas in regions of Gold Coast waters.
Mooring Areas in the Moreton Bay Marine Park
All moorings that are established in the Moreton Bay Marine Park must be an environmentally friendly mooring (EFM), in accordance with the requirements of Marine Parks legislation.
Further, the establishment of buoy moorings within the Moreton Bay Marine Park is strictly monitored and controlled and all moorings must be installed within Designated Mooring Area (DMAs) approved by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.
Mooring Areas in the Broadwater and other locations
Buoy Mooring Types
There are 2 types of buoy mooring authorities for Category 2 & 3 buoy mooring areas:
- Restricted moorings, which are limited to one vessel that is greater than 6 metres in length and registered or owned by the authority holder. This type of mooring is for use by one nominated vessel only.
- Unrestricted moorings, which are only available for genuine commercial use; for example, government agencies, marine industry, commercial fleet operations, or for those who own more than one commercial vessel. No more than one nominated vessel may use the buoy mooring at any one time.
Buoy Mooring Uses
The holder of a buoy mooring authority must not carry on a business activity from the approved buoy mooring. The buoy mooring must only be used for the storage of the nominated vessel.
How do I get a buoy mooring?
For all buoy mooring enquiries, please contact the Gold Coast Waterways Authority on 07 5539 7350.
I’ve seen a buoy mooring advertised for rent, is this allowed?
Buoy moorings can only be used by the authority holder and their nominated vessel/s. On-the-spot fines can be issued by shipping inspectors for unlawful use of a buoy mooring.
On-going management and renewal of buoy mooring authorities
If you’re the holder of a buoy mooring authority issued by GCWA, you will have seen the words “First and Final” on the last renewal notice that we’ve sent you. With the implementation of our new Buoy Mooring Management Strategy, we’re aiming to send all renewal notices at least 4 weeks before the expiry date of the buoy mooring authority.
To renew your buoy mooring authority, you must do ALL of the following:
- Inspect the buoy mooring, either by engaging the services of a competent person who can produce a ‘Mooring Inspection Report’; or if you can inspect the buoy mooring yourself, properly make the ‘Mooring Inspection Report’ statutory declaration that we send you about the condition of the buoy mooring; and
- Sign the renewal letter, making any necessary changes to your contact details, if necessary; and
- Pay the required fee; and
- Send the Mooring Inspection Report, the signed renewal letter and a cheque for the fee all in the one envelope or present to our office counter with ALL of the required material and make payment of the fee in person.
Further, if any amendments are needed to the authority, GCWA requires a request in writing with reasons for the change.
If you submit only part of the required material, or the application is incomplete in anyway (for example, missing any one of the documents, or your statutory declaration is not complete, signed and properly witnessed, we will return your documents to you. If this happens, you may miss the expiry date of the buoy mooring authority and thereby miss the opportunity to renew the authority.
Timing of your renewal
You must apply to renew your buoy mooring authority before its expiry date. Once the expiry date has passed, the authority cannot be renewed.
Contacting GCWA – by phone on 5539 7350 – by email at email@example.com
You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions about your renewal. However, please remember that to renew your buoy mooring authority, you must make the application for renewal as set out above, before the authority expires.
Use electronic reminders – don’t let your buoy mooring authority expire if you wish to renew it
We strongly recommend that you put a reminder in your calendar or smart phone to make sure you arrange the inspection of the buoy mooring each year well ahead of the expiry date.
Coordinate with other buoy mooring authority holders
There may be benefit in speaking to neighbouring buoy mooring authority holders to arrange multiple mooring inspections at one time. Please plan ahead.
Replacing your mooring block
If your buoy mooring is within the Moreton Bay Marine Park and you need to replace your mooring block (whether it’s a concrete block or some other kind of device), the buoy mooring will need to be replaced with a new type of buoy mooring called an Environmentally Friendly Mooring (EFM) buoy mooring. You can find out more details about EFMs by following this link: http://hlw.org.au/initiatives/environmentally-friendly-moorings-sad-14646
It is unlawful to replace a buoy mooring with traditional block and tackle with a similar buoy mooring in the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Please contact us to let us know if you establish an EFM because this will help to inform our planning for transition to EFMs.
Can I sell or transfer my buoy mooring?
If you sell or otherwise dispose of the nominated vessel for your mooring you can either nominate a suitable replacement vessel* for that mooring within 90 days of the date of disposal of the original nominated vessel (you must provide proof of registration in the buoy mooring authority holder’s name) or you may surrender the authority. Following an assessment process, GCWA may be able to offer the location for the buoy mooring to the next person on the waiting list for that buoy mooring area. The buoy mooring authority does not “own” the location of the sea bed for the buoy mooring and the buoy mooring authority does not hold any value. The buoy mooring authority is an approval to do something – i.e. establish a buoy mooring.
*suitable replacement vessel means a vessel greater than 6 metres and/or non-trailerable, which in the view of GCWA is suitable to use the buoy mooring. The buoy mooring authority holder must notify GCWA if they intend to change the nominated vessel, to allow an assessment of space requirements (depth and swing) for the location of the buoy mooring. Please make enquiries with GCWA before purchasing a replacement vessel.
For all buoy mooring information, please contact the Gold Coast Waterways Authority on 07 5539 7350.