Funding of $25 million for Better Boating

The Iemma Government’s new Better Boating program will rise to $25 million over the next five years, Minister for Ports and Waterways Joe Tripodi announced today.

“Better Boating is a revitalised infrastructure grants program that will consolidate several existing programs, cut red tape and boost annual funding,” Mr Tripodi said.

“This is set to deliver greater results for the boating public of NSW through new and improved boating facilities and greater access to recreational areas statewide.”

Better Boating will take effect from July 1, 2009 and encompass existing programs such as the Maritime Infrastructure Program, Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program and the former Better Boating Sydney Harbour Program.

“We will merge existing recreational boating infrastructure funds, currently worth $9 million over three years, into an expanded Better Boating program worth $25 million over five years,” Mr Tripodi said.

“The marine community is a major contributor to our recreational and commercial life, and this increased funding stream is a way to support the boating community.

“There are currently more than 450,000 people in NSW with a licence to operate a power boat and almost 220,000 people who own a registered recreational vessel.

“The industry estimates that over 1.5 million people go boating each year in NSW.

“This is a major recreational pastime in NSW and we want to make sure we have the best infrastructure available to meet the needs of the boating community.”

In the past financial year, NSW Maritime has funded $1 million for seven boat ramp improvement projects in Sydney and $1.75 million for 31 boating infrastructure projects across NSW and $290,000 for 8 other boating projects in Sydney Harbour.

Applications for grant funding under existing NSW Maritime grant programs are now open and close on Friday 22 August.