Recreational vessels reaching their end of usable life pose significant safety and environmental risks.

The complexity of issues associated with end of life vessels (ELVs) are numerous and accumulate throughout a vessel's life cycle, although they usually only present as a last owner issue.

The potential scale of ELV abandonment and disposal presents a major problem for boat owners, waterway users, industry, government and the community across three areas:

  • Economic: high costs associated with the salvage and disposal of vessels.
  • Safety: navigational hazard when they detach from moorings and if unseaworthy they can present a major safety hazard for vessels underway.
  • Environmental: when abandoned on-water they can leak harmful substances into the marine environment presenting a major waste management problem.

Finding solutions

We have undertaken a comprehensive review of issues and have developed a range of potential policy options to lessen the impacts on boat owners, waterway users, government and the environment. In consultation with key stakeholders, the review also considered best-practice approaches to dealing with ELVs in other jurisdictions, and the feasibility of adopting these approaches in NSW.

A key finding from initial consultation is that comprehensive and effective solutions to ELVs requires a collaborative approach involving government and industry across NSW and nationally. Without policy reform, improved information and awareness raising programs, the problems associated with ELVs are likely to remain.

TheEnd of Life Vessel Policy Options document outlines a range of short, medium and long term proposed options for managing the disposal of recreational ELVs currently occupying moorings in NSW. Please review this document prior to providing your feedback.

Tell us what you think

We've already consulted with a range of key industry bodies and other government departments to develop this current set of proposed options. We are now seeking broader stakeholder feedback and are committed to consulting with you as we review and develop these options further.

You can provide your feedback on the proposed policy options by attending a livestream, completing the feedback form or uploading a written submission. You can also email a submission to with ‘ELV consultation feedback’ in the subject line.

This consultation process will close at 5:00pm on 20 January 2023 and all responses and submissions must be received by that date.

Thank you for your feedback

This engagement is now closed. Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts and ideas. We are currently reviewing your feedback.

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