Jet Ski Controls Press Release

Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc.

TRRA Calls on Authorities to Review Jet Ski Controls

The Tomaree Residents and Ratepayers Association has noted the significant number of articles and letters in the local press expressing concerns relating to the increasing jet ski activity on Port Stephens. It has resolved to request action on this by the controlling authorities.

At its April general meeting, TRRA heard reports on the increasing impacts of jet skis on marine animals including dolphins, whales, turtles and little penguins.  These animals find it difficult to take evasive action due to the low underwater noise emitted by approaching jet skis.  There are also threats to swimmers on the many heavily used beaches around the Bay, and noise pollution affecting both residents and visitors.

Association President, Ben van der Wijngaart said that “TRRA recognises that most jet skiers are responsible members of their communities and that to obtain a license, operators must be aware of restrictions and responsibilities which apply to their craft. However, some users fail to observe the rules and more resources are needed to guard against erratic and high-speed manoeuvring and inappropriate operation in proximity to other water users”.

“At this stage we are not calling for an outright ban on jet skis, but there needs to be a greater consideration of the residents and ratepayers and the impact on our huge water-based tourist and recreation industry focussed on marine life” said Mr van der Wijngaart.

TRAA has written to the NSW Premier, the Port Stephens Mayor and the local member of Port Stephens Ms Kate Washington MP, advising of these community concerns and calling for a review of jet ski operations on Port Stephens together with an examination of the existing rules and the effectiveness of their enforcement.

 Media Contact:

Geoff Washington – TRRA Media Officer Phone: 4981 3916                                                                      


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5 Responses to Jet Ski Controls Press Release

  1. Ben says:

    There is already regulations in regards to how a jet ski can be used, regulation is not your issue, it’s the few that decide not to follow the regulations that need to be addressed. Using a blanket approach of restrictions is like putting a breathalyser on every car because some people decide not to follow the rules.
    I am a local and I ride a jet ski, along with many other activities. I would hate to have my rights to enjoy the bay taken away because of a few irritated locals.
    Learn to co-exist and don’t make a blanket change because of a select few, that in my opinion is just as irresponsible as someone not following the rules.

  2. Virginia Evans says:

    Since the Sponge Garden disaster -New Beach – ( extra sand around Nelson Head /Halifax area ) has become a popular walk /swim/ meditation spot for locals and visitors
    The New Beach area closest to the boat ramp popular with jet ski users. I was surprised at the size and weight of the machine ( jet ski )
    and how it can appear to be firmly beached on the sand but then as you then walk between skis to enter the water for a swim the action of the waves / bay , as gentle as it usually is there , is enough to move the ski machines Luckily . I wasn’t injured by my first up close experience with the jet skis and now when I see a crowd of jet ski enthusiasts I go else where

  3. Shane Morgan says:

    I read with concern that a minority of residents obviously dont like Jet Skis, which is fine and their right, but it also the right of law abiding jet ski riders to ride their crafts in the Port Stephens area and enjoy the Bay as it is a haven to all water sports users not just rate payers and select groups. It would interest me greatly to see any evidence or studies conducted to prove that Jet skis have a negative affect on marine life, whales, dolphins etc which are not affected by normal marine craft using the water ways. I am all for punishment and enforcement of any water ways users abusing the laws and the right to water ski, fish, sight see and dolphin watch but not to target Jet skis because they annoy some. There are many ways to enforce the rules of the water in this day and age just by looking at what local governments do with speeding cameras, red light cameras etc on our roads with great financial gains for their coffers. My approach is similar, use the same technology to catch out the idiots and dangerous riders and bring them before the courts with heavy financial penalties and cancellations of license and forfeiting of water craft for constant offenders that put others at risk. Better Policing of our water ways by Police and Marine law enforcement, it appears too easy these days to just ban something rather than stop the problem at the source. Better and smarter enforcement is the key to stop these idiots that make it bad for all waterway users and not to just blanket ban to satisfy small groups of people. There are a lot of Jet ski users that do the right thing and pay extra costs in relation to their chosen water craft that should not be trashed for the sake of local government failing to do their job.

    • TRRA says:

      “TRRA’s action has been in response to a number of concerns raised by members of our community relating to the use of jet skis on the Bay and in the vicinity of beaches. Our press release does not propose a ban at this time, but calls for a review by the responsible authorities with a view to improving the applicable regulations and their enforcement. It is also relevant to note that the regulation and control of these craft is the primary responsibility of NSW State Authorities rather than Local Government.”

      • M Dwayne says:

        TRRA – please supply your sources for the evidence of Jet skis doing harm to Marine life – as i am sure the letter your group wrote to local government and now NSW parliament should have had a justification attached to back up these “concerns”.
        It seems certain people have a problem with jetskis – but do not / cannot justify their claims with actual proof.
        Boats do more damage to wildlife than a Jetski! As was shown in a post from a local photographer this week – in this link:
        Look at the propeller damage! 3 rotating blades . A Jetski has an impeller inside a grate that you can’t even get your full hand in to!
        A Jetski has nothing under it that can cut or damage an animal. When it is moving at a reasonable speed there would be less than 40 cm of the hull in the water!
        People are so misinformed when it comes to what a Jetski does to animals. Way less than any boat! If anything at all.
        Yes there are issues , BUT this arises from a very small minority – yet you want to cause issues with a recreational activity where the majority of Jet ski riders are very responsible!
        Limiting use in certain areas is already in place at little beach. The area where skis can anchor is a dangerous swimming spot due to the very strong rip! People should not be swimming in an area with a rip like this.
        I am sure any of the local jet ski riders will be more than willing to give the concerned members a close look at a Jet ski to prove they are quiet if not quieter than a lot of boats as well as having conform to strict emission standards
        In reality if you want to reduce injuries etc to marine life – look at banning boat use and Fishing . These 2 activities alone create more pollution, and injuries than any other water activity .

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