Supporting and representing recreational scuba diving clubs and their members (since the 1960's!).

As a reminder: The SDFV needs your clubs participation!!!!!!!
If your club can't send a representative to meetings, we still need representatives contact details so that they can provide input on issues for your club.

2021 SDFV Committee updating website, and more importantly ensuring it is easier to contact clubs and have your interests represented!

2016 Wilsons Prom Combined Clubs Trip

A mixed bag at the Prom this year, with a cracker day on Saturday, but then gales and nasty weather the rest of the time.  Thanks to LVSC for hosting the BBQ Saturday night.

Several years where the website wasn't updated

Such is sometimes the way of volunteer organisations with other things to worry about!

2013 Wilsons Prom Combined Clubs Trip

Great times the Prom, with whales, 40m vis and a couple of days of superb ocean conditions.  Thanks to MUUC for hosting the BBQ Saturday night.

The 2013 AGM was held on Tuesday 1st October

10/10/13 It was short and sweet, with all positions filled:

Vice President (Communications): Luke Cawley
Vice President (Public Relations): Priya Cardinaletti

Vice President (Statutory): Stephen Fordyce - also elected Chairman
Vice President (Financial): Richard Day

Many thanks to all who have (and continue to) volunteered their time and effort to support the SDFV's endeavours in protecting and enhancing the rights of recreational scuba divers and their clubs.

VEAC Marine Protected Areas Review

5/2/13 The SDFV made a submission in response to the discussion paper issued in November.  We support the general process, but are concerned that it is not clear how performance and management are to be separated in the review process.  We also reiterate that divers are the only ones to have first-hand observational experience of underwater areas, and that we have observed that marine parks and protected areas really do work.

The 2012 AGM was held on Tuesday 4th December

15/12/12 It was short and sweet, with all the exec happy to stay on in their roles, with the exception of Richard Day, who was unable to represent Getunder as they had not paid their annual subscription.

Vice President (Communications): Stephen Fordyce
Vice President (Public Relations): Priya Cardinaletti

Vice President (Statutory): Vacant
Vice President (Financial): Richard Day

Many thanks to all who have (and continue to) volunteered their time and effort to support the SDFV's endeavours in protecting and enhancing the rights of recreational scuba divers and their clubs.

See the 2012 Chairpersons Report here:

Access to Beach Launching at The Prom

15/11/12 An amazing 4-day weekend was had at The Prom. Perfect weather, great conditions and a fantastic time had by all.

10/10/12 Parks have announced that access to Tidal River for boat launching will be reopening for Cup Day weekend!!!

10/2/12 Due to Tidal River being hit by a big storm and the river changing course, boat launching from the beach is not currently possible (and has not been for some time).  This is looking like putting the annual Cup Day Prom trip for all the clubs in jeopardy for the second year in a row.

24/4/12 The SDFV has been in discussion with Parks Victoria. The river is slowly changing course back again, but beach access remains impossible at high and medium tide, and may not be possible for Cup Day weekend. Talks continue about potential options and ways to get boats in the water.

Marine Safety Act

15/10/11 SDFV has attended several more workshops and the details are starting to firm up, with few relevant changes to independent divers running private or club boats.  Ie. likely to be no fee changes, boat licence test will remain theoretical, VHF may be made the mandatory marine radio.

10/4/11 SDFV representatives went to a workshop held by Transport Safety Victoria.  They reported no likely threats to our way of doing things, and things are still very flexible at this stage.

 Adopt a Sub

15/10/11 The SDFV has voted to make a token donation to support Getunder's zinc anode project on one of the J class submarines, as it is an interesting experiment in the context of Victorian diving.

Scallop Harvesting in Port Phillip?

10/4/11 The SDFV heard a proposal was put forward to allow commercial scallop collecting (by hand, rather than dredging) in the bay.  Things are still in very early stages and there has been no call for community consulation yet.

Diving at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

6/2/11 After a recent near-miss incident involving divers and boats, Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron are concerned about having divers in the area. They have been in touch with the SDFV and also local shops about this. The upshot is that they are happy for divers to enjoy the marina, but not get in the way of boats. There is a sign erected, a copy of which is here:

All divers should remember this is primarily a boating area, and exercise all due care and responsiblity, otherwise we may not be able to dive this great site in the future!

Updates on Ex-HMAS Canberra

29/1/11 Parks Victoria has advised that the helicopter hanger is loose and moves (up to 150mm) with the swell, creating potential trap points for divers. There are also a large number of loose and mobile items in the lower deck and mid ships areas of the vessel that include lockers, cabinets, panelling and ducting.

Parks is currently in the process of fixing these issues and will provide further info as soon as possible.

6/1/11 SDFV representatives attended a meeting with DIVA and Parks Victoria after the Canberra had been down for over a year, just to see how things were going. We reported no problems with the booking system, and Parks had no problems with how things were going, either with the recreational mooring, or the commercial one.

Abalone season update

17/1/11 From DPI - advising of decision on abalone season dates for 2010/11 – which is all weekends and public holidays (and the time between Xmas and New Year) from November until 8th May. See

Prom 2010

7/11/10 Cup Day weekend went off very well considering the forecast! Despite chilly and rainy weather, most clubs went out as far as the Anser Islands on Friday, Saturday and Monday, and a few clubs went out on Sunday and Tuesday as well. The diving was great, with spectacular vis, boulder caves, seals on nearly every dive, and whales (including killer whales!) and dolphins see from boats. The tides weren't particularly kind this year, with a lot of launching and retrieving happening on thin strips of soft beach sand. Of course, this led to RMIT getting hopelessly bogged at every opportunity. Good thing MONUC was around to help them dig, pull, push, and yank their way out...

20/10/10 Parks has confirmed the new path will be cut and the access opened the day before cup weekend especially for the SDFV. All boaters need to follow the usual protocols regarding beach driving and boat launching very carefully, or access may be closed to everyone.

10/10/10 Access to the beach is looking doubtful as Tidal River has changed course and makes it impossible to get on the beach to launch. We have spoken with Parks Vic, who are looking at cutting an alternative track, pending a cultural study. RMIT is hosting the BBQ, with MONUC next year.

AIMA (Australiasian Institute for Marine Archaeology) Conference:

25/9/10 It was on! The Jack Loney award went to Peter Taylor, which was well-deserved.

1/7/10 It's on in Melbourne 17-19th September 2010. There will be awards like the Jack Loney award, and lots of other interesting things going on.

The 2010 AGM was held on Tuesday 3rd August

10/8/10 It was short and sweet, with all the exec happy to stay on in their roles, with the exception of Richard Day, who was unable to represent Getunder as they had not paid their annual subscription. Vice President (Statutory): John Hawkins
Vice President (Communications): Stephen Fordyce
Vice President (Public Relations): Priya Cardinaletti
Vice President (Financial): Vacant

Many thanks to all who have (and continue to) volunteered their time and effort to support the SDFV's endeavours in protecting and enhancing the rights of recreational scuba divers and their clubs.

See the 2010 Chairmans Report here:

Abalone fishing days no longer being increased

5/8/10 The SDFV has heard from VRFish that the promised increase from 60 to 120 days per year has been scrapped. The reason is the abalone virus - and the position is not negotiable

"Diver Below" awareness campaign

10/7/10 The sign design, and a list of common boat ramps used by both divers and fishermen across the state has been submitted.

16/4/10 The SDFV has secured government funding to put up signs at many boat ramps and piers throughout Victoria to, reminding boaters about dive flags and divers. A list of proposed spots will be sent to the allreps list.

Marine Energy Forum

20/5/10 A few delegates attended a forum discussing marine energy in Victoria. By all accounts it was interesting, and will be talked about at the June meeting.

New meeting structure

10/5/10 In response to surveys from member clubs, the bi-monthly meetings are to be made more interesting by getting the boring stuff done via email before the meetings. This should allow more time for socialising/networking over dinner, followed by a formal/informal "meeting", depending on current issues.

Review of Marine Act

10/4/10 SDFV representatives attended a public forum hosted by the minister Tim Pallas (we were singled out for congratulations on a well-balanced submission). Indications are that the review of the marine act won't have any serious ramifications for divers. There are no increased costs (ie. licencing, registration, etc.) and although this is still talk of skill-based licence testing, it's probably not going to happen in the near future.

Prom 09!!!

22/10/09 Wilsons Promontory trip only a week away!!!  Most of the SDFV clubs will be there, launching boats off the beach at Tidal River to access some of the best diving in Victoria.  There will be good people, good times, good diving and hopefully good weather, with less marquees ending up on other peoples tents in the night.  The Saturday night BBQ this year is being hosted by Black Rock Underwater Dive Group (BRUDG).

 The ex-HMAS Canberra - a new divesite in the making.

15/10/09 After a lot of discussion between the SDFV and Parks Victoria (the site managers), the likely new cost of a dive will be $5, which is a bit more reasonable.  This is not set in stone, but is a lot better than the $20.  There is a lot of useful information (including a site map, location and regulations) at the Parks Vic website:

There are good indications that diving will be opened within the next month or so.

4/10/09 Finally, the weather allowed the Canberra to sink.  Well done to everyone involved, especially VARS, for all the work they've put in.

18/9/09 The SDFV has been advised that the likely management plan for independent divers will require them to pay $20 PER DIVER for a 2hour time slot (ie. single dive).  There will be no refunds or transfers if the conditions are not safe to get out The Heads on the day.  This allows 4-5 non-charter boats access to the wreck per day.  This is a poor outcome for independent clubs and private recreational divers, and we have informed Parks Victoria that it will only encourage illegal diving and/or general disinterest (both of which would be a real shame, considering how much work has been put in to get it).

14/9/09 The sinking was called off due to high winds and general unsuitable weather.  Check the VARS and exhmascanberra websites for further information (updated hourly).

13/8/09 The new scheduled date for the sinking(!!!) is Saturday the 12th of September, at 9am.  Be aware that boat ramps may be busy that morning!  More info on the VARS website at, including details about the sinking ball.

10/8/09 The SDFV has been attending meetings with Parks Victoria on behalf of its member clubs to discuss access to the wreck for independent clubs and private divers.  Hopefully the access protocols will be finalised soon after the sinking so we can all dive it as soon as possible.

3/8/09 A large meeting (amongst delegates from member clubs) was held to allow the SDFV to create draft SDFV wreck and artificial reef codes of practise.  These are still subject to change, as the Parks Victoria management plan has not been finalised, but they are not anticipated to change much.  Don't forget that they are meant to be read in conjunction with the overall SDFV code of practise, so they do not mention things which are already covered in these documents.

19/10/06 The VARS team have been successful and have won an interstate bid to secure the former Royal Australian Navy Guided Missile Frigate, ex-HMAS Canberra, as a new artificial dive attraction. Victorian Tourism Minister's Press release "VICTORIA GETS THAT SINKING FEELING, SELECTED FOR EXCITING NEW DIVE SITE"

19/6/06 The SDFV is encouraging the Victorian Artificial Reef Society to secure the ex-HMAS Canberra for scuttling as a new artificial reef.

The Dive-Oz discussion forums have some more information on this.
VARS have their own website

Let's Sink the HMAS Canberra in Victoria!

The 2009 AGM was held on Monday 3rd August

Despite a good turnout to the previous meeting, attendance was a bit disappointing for the AGM, but there were enough members (just) for the formalities. Special mention and thanks to Dan Grimm, who retired as Vice President (Communications) after over 12 years in the position. He was replaced by Stephen Fordyce.

Also many thanks to all who have volunteered their time and effort to support the SDFV's endeavours in protecting and enhancing the rights of recreational scuba divers and their clubs.

18/9/09 Added Chairmans Report:

Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Project

It's effectively over - the main dredging has been completed way ahead of schedule due to the wonderful weather (read that as drought), and the Queen of the Netherlands has gone.

These links are still useful:

Dredging Schedule Daily Activities Update
GUIDELINES for diving during the  Channel Deepening Project
Map with dive site names
Location of dredging in the southern bay

The SDFV  submitted a comment on the SEES that opposed the project. We were unconvinced by the SEES document.

The SDFV represented private scuba divers and recreational scuba diving clubs at many meetings, and one of the important ones is the Port of Melbourne Corporations Dive Industry Liaison Group with representatives from SDFV and from the commercial dive industry DIVA.

Sunken Assets 2007

Photos from the event - many thanks to Priya for taking them. It was a great day, enjoyed by divers and non-divers.

It�s 25 years since the Historic Shipwreck Act was introduced to protect Victoria�s rich maritime heritage. Help Heritage Victoria mark the occasion by joining us in a fascinating day discovering links to our sea-faring past.
Sunken Assets 2007 flyer

Open to the public Sunday 19 August, 2007.
The flyer has been updated with program and ticket purchasing details - please download it again or go straight to for the latest information and the link to the booking service.

The  Sunken Assets 2007 Program.

Copyright 2005...2009.. SDFV Inc.             
About SDFV
Contact SDFV
Clubs - the only way
Events (Prom gatherings, Sunken Assets Seminars)
Codes of Practice
Old website
Safe Boating and Scuba divers