Boating Zone Review

Parks Victoria is implementing changes to selected boating and swimming zones to improve safety of users on the near shore zones within Port Phillip and Western Port. These changes have arisen from emerging issues since the 2009 Boating Zone Review and stakeholder consultation conducted in 2016-17.

Maritime Safety Victoria have now completed the review and the Safety Director has made the decision to approve several of the recommendations. Parks Victoria is now implementing the approved changes. Aids to Navigation and signage will be updated throughout June 2020. 

What are the approved changes?

Parks Victoria submitted the final report and its recommendations for waterway rule changes to Maritime Safety Victoria in 2017. In January 2019, Maritime Safety Victoria released the decision to make a waterway rule report. The Safety Director has decided to:

  • Make minor realignments to the borders of existing Kiteboarding, 5 Knot and Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Elwood; Figure 1.1
  • Realign the border of existing Kiteboarding, Shared 5 Knot and Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones at Hampton; Figure 2.1
  • Expand the Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zones to commence at Showers Avenue, Chelsea; Figure 3.1 Create a new Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zone at Coleman Road, Aspendale; Figure 4.1 Expand the Vessels Prohibited - Swimming Only Zone south of the Patterson River at Carrum; Figure 5.1
  • Create a New Vessels Prohibited – Swimming Only Zones near the Point Leo Life Saving Club that is activated by the presence of lifesaving flags; Figure 8.1
  • Remove the existing No Personal Water Craft Zone and replace with a new Vessel Prohibited – Swimming Only Zone at Portarlington Harbour; Figure 9.1
  • Rename all Port Phillip and Western Port Kiteboarding Zones to Shared Windsports Zones; Figure 10.1

In addition, the Safety Director has agreed that the following rules will remain in place for a period of two years, pending further review and trialing of additional waterway zones:

  • The No Personal Water Craft Zones (NPWCZs) immediately north and south of the Patterson River; Figure 6.1
  • The No Personal Water Craft Zone at Shoreham; Figure 7.1


View a map of the approved changes.

A full copy of the “reasons for decision for making a waterway rule” report can be downloaded here: Permanent waterway rule changes 

Why do Recreational Boating and Swimming Zones need to be reviewed?

Boating and swimming zones are prepared under the Marine Safety Act 2010 with the primary aim of providing a safe environment for water users. They apply conditions of operation and prohibit incompatible uses for safety reasons.

Parks Victoria, as the Local Port Manager of Port Phillip and Western Port, periodically reassess Boating Zones to ensure they reflect on-water and beach recreational pursuits in the local ports of Port Phillip and Western Port.

What happens next?

Parks Victoria is now working to implement the approved changes to Boating and Swimming Zones in Port Philip and Western Port. Throughout June, Elstone Diving Services will install new special mark piles and remove redundant piles to reflect the updated zones.

Works will commence at Carrum, progressing north to Chelsea, Aspendale, Hampton and Elwood. 

Until new Aids to Navigation and signage are installed to indicate the boundaries of the new zones, the current boating and swimming zones are enforceable and remain in place. 

Parks Victoria will also continue discussions with MSV with regard to trialing specific zones to manage congestion and the associated waterway safety risks linked to increased Personal Watercraft use at some locations.

What were the recommended changes?


Download the Full Report

Download Appendices

Appendix B – Consultation Support Material including Fact Sheet and Location Maps

Appendix E – Engagement Summary Report

Further Information

Download the current Boating and Swimming zones brochure

For further information and to keep updated of the boating and swimming zones review, please contact the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or email



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