Moorings Reform Program

As part of the NSW Government’s Maritime Policy Agenda, the Maritime Management Centre in Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is undertaking a review of the policy and regulatory framework governing the administration of moorings in NSW.


The Moorings Review Issues Paper prepared by Transport for New South Wales received public feedback on a number of mooring management policy initiatives to:

  • Reduce the administrative burden on industry and the community
  • Improve consistency and transparency
  • Ensure the policy and regulatory framework is modern and flexible to respond to growing demand for boat storage.

What we heard

Feedback confirmed that rather than pursuing significant increases in mooring numbers to meet demand, the focus should be on better use of existing capacity through improved regulation and administration, and exploring new technologies and delivery mechanisms.

This feedback focussed on:

  • Obtaining insurance for vessels on moorings, given the  risk of damage from other vessels that have broken free from poorly maintained mooring apparatuses
  • Moored vessels which are not being kept in a seaworthy condition and are at a high risk of breaking free of their mooring
  • Multiple mooring systems to increase capacity of mooring fields and/or reduce the mooring footprint
  • Phasing in the use of Environmentally Friendly Moorings, particularly in seagrass and other environmentally sensitive areas
  • Updating the regulations governing moorings in NSW, particularly to modernise penalties for non-compliance.

The Moorings Reform Program outlines a number of actions that have been developed in consultation with the Maritime Advisory Council to respond to this feedback and the issues identified in the Moorings Review Issues Paper.

Key actions

Key actions identified in the Moorings Reform Program include:

  • Introducing mooring apparatus standards and compulsory certification as a condition of mooring licence renewal
  • Reviewing and modernising  mooring management, administration, regulations and standards
  • Trialling ‘multiple mooring’ designs to increase capacity
  • Phasing-in environmentally friendly moorings to protect seagrass areas
  • Piloting a program to encourage voluntary removal of end of life boats from private moorings

Options to introduce compulsory insurance for moored vessels have also been explored. This work found that a compulsory insurance requirement would place additional cost burdens on responsible boat owners and increase the complexity of the mooring licence system.

The Program will initially focus on refining existing mooring management processes and compliance mechanisms via the seven key actions, whilst factoring in feedback received from boat owners about the problems associated with adjoining boat damage.

It is expected that the Mooring Reform Program will address these problems.

Compulsory insurance requirements will be re-investigated if problems continue after the new mooring management processes and compliance mechanisms are implemented.

Next steps

Transport for NSW will deliver the Moorings Reform Program. Boat owners and stakeholders will be consulted as we implement these actions. Further information about the program will be made available on this website as planning progresses.



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