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Old 27-04-2010, 23:10   #1
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Stupid, Stupid Laws

Another example of silly laws.

So a bloke has a 30 metre ex navy boat which he bought after it was decommissioned. It lives on a pile mooring in Queensland Australia.

The law in QLD requires any boat over 15 metres to be comprehensively insured to provide for, amongst other things, an ability to cover damage to the environment that may be caused by, for example the boat sinking.

Said old bloke didnt have the ex navy boat insured and was cahrged and fined $10,000. Cant afford that and cant afford to restore the boat. All a bit sad but strictly speaking pretty straight forward.

The MSQ (the govt authority) has suggested that maybe they could sinkl the boat on an artificial reef for him to overcome his problem.

So he is fined because he wasnt covered if his boat sank, but they will sink the boat for him. Anyone else get the irony here?
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Old 28-04-2010, 02:17   #2
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The QLD government has managed to get itself massively in debt during the biggest resources boom in history.

Now Annie Blah thinks she can fine her way out of it. We have some of the most ridiculous, draconian fines here - ie $85,000 for not displaying a sticker.

Boat registration fees have gone up close to 200% in the last couple of years.

You're not allowed to have automatic bilge pumps any more, in case they should pump some oil out. So how much oil will be spilled when boats start sinking?

But imagine how big the fines will be.

A real biggie is going to be the increase in lease costs for the sea bed under marinas. They look to be increasing by around 1200%!
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Old 28-04-2010, 03:50   #3
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I knew there was a reason I left Qld.
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Old 28-04-2010, 03:57   #4
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You're not allowed to have automatic bilge pumps any more, in case they should pump some oil out.
Wow. I had no idea. Where can I find this online?

I've got to say, Australia is generally pretty bad when it comes to fines, fees, paperwork, rules, etc. It's not just QLD. Take boat rego through AMSA as an example: $800AUD vs something like $50CAD for the same type of Canadian registration for a <11m vessel.

The only downside to living here is the government and associated agencies. I hate them all.
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Old 28-04-2010, 04:37   #5
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Nice to see complaints for somewhere other than the US for a change.
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Old 28-04-2010, 04:44   #6
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I work with the Tas State Marine Authority - our boat registration in TAS is around $65 per year (all lengths) and a licence to operate a vessel is around $10.00 per year. From that nearly all of it goes back into providing facilities & services to boat owners (I know this because I count all the beans...) e.g. Navigation Aids (excluding AMSA major lights and aids in commercial ports), VHF/HF Radio Services, telephone weather forecasts, Launching Ramps, Public Jetties etc etc...

Our guys also put in a lot of effort with safety demonstrations and education in schools.

This level of facilities and services does not come cheaply - someone has to pay for it, and our government is adamant that recreational pursuits such as boating should not be funded from general revenue (i.e. self funding). Not that I necessarily agree with that view, as the value of recreational boating to the general economy is vastly underestimated.

We have derelict vessel legislation where vessels over 15m are deemed to be commercial vessels (and therefore have to be in survey) unless they are specifically approved to be recreational (this is for new registrations only - existing vessels are grandfathered unless they fail to re register...). This is to combat the dumping of old commercial vessels that someone purchases cheaply with a dream of converting to a pleasure boat - some do it successfully and some do not. Only have to look at the ex navy minesweeper tied up to a wharf down here for many years.. Owner can't afford to repair the specialised engineering systems, let alone pay for fuel & pilotage that is required (due to its length).

With most of our staff having practical boating backgrounds (rec & commercial) we try to promote and maintain realistic and workable legislation - the same can't be said with our counterparts looking after environmental legislation!!!

Hope your hate does not extend to us TrevC.....

Cheers
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Old 28-04-2010, 05:04   #7
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Nice to see complaints for somewhere other than the US for a change.
MAaaate. Yanks got nuthin on us for stupid stupid boat laws.
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Old 28-04-2010, 05:11   #8
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Nice to see complaints for somewhere other than the US for a change.
No we are real good at making life harder hear to
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Old 28-04-2010, 08:43   #9
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Considering there's a Chinese tanker stuck on the Great Barrier Reef oozing oil into one of the world's most sensitive marine sanctuaries, perhaps such laws aren't so silly.
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Old 28-04-2010, 09:27   #10
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that's NOT a tanker

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Considering there's a Chinese tanker stuck on the Great Barrier Reef oozing oil into one of the world's most sensitive marine sanctuaries, perhaps such laws aren't so silly.
That boat leaking oil--fuel oil--is not a tanker. It's a coal freighter. Austrailia's major export is coal sold to China.

There's an interesting moral here, if you have a sense of karma.

By the way, Australia exported 261,000,000 metric tons of coal last year, 226,000,000 of which went to China. That's A LOT of shipping traffic. This compares to USA's total export of coal at 53,000,000 metric tons, 41,000,000 of which went to Europe.
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Old 28-04-2010, 09:55   #11
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Two days ago the basin where I moor was covered with a diesel slick. I called the environment folks and they said reports were also coming in from the harbour outside the basin. I suspect a boat that had sunk during the last storm but the enviro phone person guessed a bilge pump. In any event I salute those who work to protect the marine environment (and others) that is so central to my life and heart.
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Old 28-04-2010, 10:30   #12
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Actualy, there might be some sense to the goverments suggestion. As much as I hate to admit it.

Before being allowed to be sunk as an artifical reef, all hazmat will be required to be removed from the ship. Thus when the boat sinks, it's not a threat to the enviroment. However, with all hazmat removed from the boat, it wouldn't be much good as a boat. (what good is a boat with no fuel, oil, batteries?)

Thus that would end all potential threats from the boat to the enviroment. Since I'd argue that the goverment owns the water, and the sea bed under the water, they're simply trying to protect their property.
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Old 28-04-2010, 14:45   #13
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Considering there's a Chinese tanker stuck on the Great Barrier Reef oozing oil into one of the world's most sensitive marine sanctuaries, perhaps such laws aren't so silly.
The bulk coal carrier was refloated a couple of weeks ago.

But this incident illustrates what the Qld government is all about - there will be massive fines imposed for that incident, (and they will be substantialy increased) but these ships are not required to have a pilot on board when negotiating the channels inside the GBR.

The government isnt serious aren't about protecting the environment, they are more interested in collecting the fines when the accidents happen.
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Old 28-04-2010, 15:00   #14
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Wow No Pilot

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
The bulk coal carrier was refloated a couple of weeks ago.

But this incident illustrates what the Qld government is all about - there will be massive fines imposed for that incident, (and they will be substantialy increased) but these ships are not required to have a pilot on board when negotiating the channels inside the GBR.

The government isnt serious aren't about protecting the environment, they are more interested in collecting the fines when the accidents happen.
I cannot believe that no pilot is abroad to cross the GBF. That is truly insane. I have to agree that maybe the government is more interest in in the fines than environmental safety or just plain sea safety.
Alas, Here in Hawaii we have always had to pay fee's for darn near everything but rarely got anything in return. Now the State want to increase fee's enormously and we will still probably get nothing in return.

Aloha,
Sea
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Old 28-04-2010, 15:38   #15
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Considering there's a Chinese tanker stuck on the Great Barrier Reef oozing oil into one of the world's most sensitive marine sanctuaries, perhaps such laws aren't so silly.
No - you are absolutely correct, a large scale commercial ship carrying thosands of tiones of fuel oil is absolutely identical to a 30 metre unused boat that is moored in a river.

Silly me.
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