Declaration of boating activity exemption - Head of the Yarra



Parks Victoria as the declared waterway manager for the Yarra River upstream of the port waters of the Port of Melbourne, makes the following declaration under section 203(3) of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic).

For the purposes of boating activity conducted by Hawthorn Rowing Club and Head of the Yarra, persons and vessels involved in the Head of the Yarra are exempt from the following requirements:

State Rules made under the Marine Act 1988

  1. 1. Clause 2(a) – 5 knots within 50 metres of a person in the water;
  2. 2. Clause 2(c) – 5 knots within 50 metres of another vessel;
  3. 3. Clause 3(a) – 5 knots within 50 metres of the water’s edge;
  4. 4. Clause 3(b) – 5 knots within 50 metres of a fixed or floating structure.

Waterway Rules made under the Marine Safety Act 2010 / Marine Act 1988

  1. 5. Clause 3.1 of Schedule 3 – 5 knot speed restriction on waters of the Yarra River;
  2. 6. Clause 3.3(b) of Schedule 3 – waters of the Yarra River prohibited to personal water craft;
  3. 7. Clause 3.4(a) of Schedule 3 – vessels berthing at the boathouses upstream of the Princes Bridge must approach from the berthing area from downstream and after passing through the southern arch of the Princes Bridge.


Subject to the conditions detailed below:

  • Masters of competing vessels are only exempt from 2-5 and 7 in the above list when competing in the event.
  • Masters of rescue vessels are only exempt from 1 to 5 in the above list when undertaking a rescue operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs and deliver them to a place of safety and must adhere to speed and distance rules at all other times.
  • Masters of official vessels are only exempt from 1 in the above list in the event of an emergency.
  • The event is operating under the auspices of Rowing Victoria, including the Rowing Victoria Safety Management Plan, which meets the criteria of Clause 3 of the exemption notice made under the Marine Regulations 1999 in respect of the exemption for rowing vessels to not carry or wear a personal flotation device.
  • Interstate and international crews are included in the above exemption provided that they are thoroughly briefed on the course (including all hazards), the Yarra River Rules relating to rowing vessels and the State Waterway Rules.
  • Participants rowing back downstream at the conclusion of the event are exempt from items 2-5 and 7 in the above list provided they are off the water by 5.30 pm and the transit downstream is conducted in a safe and orderly fashion.
  • These exemptions apply from 7.30 am to 4.00 pm on Saturday 30 November 2019 within the exclusion zone waters on the Yarra River between a straight line from the upstream edge of the VRA Landing to Birrarung Marr and the upstream edge of Victoria Street Bridge, Hawthorn,with an extension until 5.30 pm for participants rowing back downstream at the conclusion of the event.
  • The exemptions apply provided the stated safety controls and undertakings detailed in the application form and associated documentation are adhered to.



Dated: 26/11/2019

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