Current issues affecting recreational scuba divers and clubs

Top issue 2009 - exHMAS Canberra access for recreational divers

The access regime for recreational club divers is the main issue the SDFV executive is focusing on in late 2009.
Parks Vic are the manager of the site once it is down and it appears they are pushing for a very rigorous strict booking system in the short term to try and get an idea of real interest in the site.
Hopefully in the long term access arrangements will be simplified.

SDFV Futures

The SDFV has surveyed its member clubs to confirm its role and direction as a peak body representing recreational scuba diving clubs.
Analysing and assessing these surveys is a major, important task for the current executive.

2009 and earlier issues - top issue:       Channel Deepening Project

The SDFV has been involved in this project as a very active stakeholder, with many viewpoints aired. Perhaps one of the most successful outcomes of the SDFV involvement to date has been the inclusion of the Environmental Bond in the final approval process [refer to sdfv submissions and PSAC Minutes].

The SDFV represents 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 (DILG) [with representatives from SDFV and from the commercial dive industry DIVA  ].

As part of our involvement in the DILG, The SDFV sought to have the POMC make their Dredging Shedule Daily Activities Update available at boat ramps and also via marine radio. It is available by telephone with the number available from the daily activities link, and from Lonsdale Light. We will let you know as soon as POMC agrees and puts a procedure in place - still no realtime notification at launch ramps. 

The SDFV has submitted comments on the original EES and on the Panel Report and the Ministers response, and also on the SEES.
The SDFV had a position on the Port of Melbourne Corporations Community consultatitive committee [PSAC] one of the outcomes of the EES panel report.

A side note: if you read the SDFV EES and  SEES submissions you will find we commented on the content of the report and the process - not on whether or not the project should go ahead. Basically, if the Port of Melbourne Corporation can prove (via the EES process) that there is no long term harm, then the short term damage of not being able to enjoy our diving while dredging and the rather large maintenance followup dredging isn't reason enough for most of the SDFV clubs to oppose the project outright.
So far though, the EES process and the seeming inability in the dredging trial to stick with their own environmental management guidelines provide a basis for many SDFV member clubs (and their members) to strongly oppose the project.

  1. SDFV submission on EES
  2. 21 April 2005 comments on Panel Report and Minsiters Statement
  3. SEES draft guidelines
  4. PSAC committee member
  5. Alan has taken some video footage of the area around where the trial dredging will occur and followed up with some footage taken after the dredging happened. Over time this page will be cleaned up and made more user friendly.
  6. ......
  7. March 2007: Finally the SEES has been released
    The SDFV expects to be invited to meetings by the POMC about this, and will keep pushing the SDFV line as stated above as well as in our submissions.
  8. The SDFV  submitted a comment on the SEES!
    You might notice that it opposes the project.

Other issues:

Abalone Management and keeping a fair recreational catch!

In 2004 a regulatory impact statement was released and this is what the SDFV had to say [the SDFV don't support most of the proposed changes]:
Abalone RIS and SDFV Submisison (2004)
The actual submission
May 2005 - SDFV Press release opposing the outcome. Note: SDFV supports the stopping of all poaching of abalone, but believe this is not the way to do it.

Here we are in March 2007 and the issue is ongoing. Last year a meeting was held between VRFISH (read SDFV) and Fisheries Victoria to discuss the terrible 60 fishing days debacle. The SDFV position is simple: Keep it Simple!!!! Let us fish on all weekends and public holidays!!!. That is the position that the SDFV is promoting.

Rock Lobster (cray) Management and keeping a fair recreational catch!

The SDFV has been involved in the management of the Rock Lobster catch for more than 20 years!!!!!!!!  Still there are ongoing issues related to allowing recreational scuba divers catching rock lobster.
The SDFV has succeeded in obtaining a legally binding share of the resource - a % of the TAC to use the terminology. That means that recreational fishers have a legal right to catch crays.

PFD - personal floatation devices

There are some proposed changes to regulations that could lead to all people on boats being required to wear a PFD-1. While wearing a wetsuit this could be most uncomfortable, and the SDFV like many other organisations (eg: VRFISH, which the SDFV is a member of) believe that the proposed changes need a rethink.
You can read the SDFV submission to the RIS process here

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