NSW High School students can now get their boating licence and learn crucial safety techniques in a new Iemma Government initiative, NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said.
State boating regulator NSW Maritime now recognises a marine studies course taught through NSW high schools as appropriate to obtain a licence to drive a powerboat.
'This agreement between NSW Maritime and the Marine Teachers Association of NSW builds upon efforts to raise safety standards across our waterways,' Mr Tripodi said. 'Building partnerships in the school system that encourage safe and responsible behaviour on our waterways will reap rewards into the future.'
Earlier this year, NSW Maritime began the provision of a free Water Safety Activity booklet to primary schools statewide and is now focusing water safety attention on secondary schools.
'The Marine Teachers Association of NSW has developed a suitable marine studies course, has appropriate licence test questions in the assessment phase and includes a practical component,' he said. 'and the high school course incorporates NSW Maritime’s Safe Boating Course which is compulsory for all those wishing to sit for a boat driver’s licence test.’’
Under the agreement, marine teachers in more than 120 NSW high schools can now provide the marine studies course to students from years 7 to 12.
8,000 students should undertake the course each year.
'The more people on our waterways who are armed with a sound understanding of the water-traffic rules, marine regulations and safety requirements the better,’’ Mr Tripodi said.
NSW Maritime will accept a certificate of completion of the course as satisfying both the compulsory Boating Safety Course requirement and the general boat licence test.
A general boat licence (or young adult general boat licence for those under the age of 16 years) will be provided to students upon presentation of the certificate and payment of the boat licence fee. http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/