Local boat users, mandated to carry marine flares on their recreational vessels, are encountering difficulties disposing out of date stock.
Nationals State MP for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, highlighted issues faced by boat owners. When heading offshore, they are required to have two orange smoke flares, two incandescent red flares, and two parachute flares on board.
"Flares typically have a lifespan of about three years, requiring regular replacement to ensure compliance and avoid fines," Mr Bull said.
"With approximately 194,000 registered boats in Victoria, a substantial number of flares need replacement every three years and old stock must be appropriately disposed of.”
Mr Bull pointed out that although Gippsland Water Police station serves as the designated flare disposal point locally, it is often unmanned due to operational commitments focused on patrolling waterways for public safety.
"The challenge we confront is that if mariners lack a convenient method to dispose of their outdated flares safely, they resort to unsafe disposal practices.”
In an embarrassing oversight by Safe Transport Victoria (STV), a one-off flare collection event, held two years ago, remained advertised on its website, misleading mariners that there were planned disposal days for the upcoming summer.
"STV has indicated that the closest location for East Gippsland residents to conveniently drop off unwanted pyrotechnic devices is Sale Police Station, which entails close to a two-and-a-half-hour round trip from Lakes Entrance to Sale.
"This discourages responsible disposal and may lead to increased instances of marine flares lighting up the night sky this New Year's Eve," he added.
"I am urging the Allan Labor Government to provide accessible solutions for the public to comply with regulations and safely dispose of these potentially hazardous goods.”
Tuesday, 26 December 2023