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Boating Safety & Facilities Program (BSFP)

The Boating Safety and Facilities Program (BSFP) provides grants for boating infrastructure, search and rescue functions, and navigation aids.

The 2020-21 Boating Safety and Facilities Program (BSFP)

This year the BSFP is providing grants to 34 projects worth more than $1.9 million as part of the competitive grants program. This is in addition to nine projects announced by the Minister for Fishing and Boating in 2020-21 worth $810,000.  The grants will fund boating infrastructure projects, aids to navigation and search and rescue groups.

You can view the full list of successful projects here.

BBV launched the program in February with grant applications open for a period of six weeks to committees of management, government agencies, local water authorities, waterway managers and dedicated search and rescue groups.

Since being established in 2000, the BSFP has provided $69 million to 1400 grant projects, funded by a portion of vessel registration fees paid by boaters.

The BSFP grant funding complements about $30 million that will be available to deliver boating related facilities, services, safety and education with the Better Boating Fund commencing on 1 July 2021. The Better Boating Fund will be allocated in accordance with priorities identified in the Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy – which is currently being developed.

The delivery of the BSFP is overseen by Better Boating Victoria (BBV) on behalf of the Minister for Fishing and Boating.

Timeline:

Applications closed on March 15, 2021. A list of supported projects is available here.

Frequently asked questions:

Why is master planning for boating precincts not included this year?

Better Boating Victoria is developing the Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy in consultation with boating stakeholders. The strategy will be developed by September 2021, which will outline priorities for boating facilities. Master planning for facilities and precincts will be identified through the Strategy and funded accordingly in the future.

Who can apply for funding from the program?

The BSFP grant program is open to committees of management, government agencies, local water authorities, waterway managers and dedicated Search & Rescue groups.

How is the BSFP funded?

The BSFP is funded through a portion of vessel registration fees collected by the Government under the Marine Safety Act 2010.

How much money does the Victorian Government collect from vessel registration fees?

In 2019-20, the Government collected $14.395m in revenue from vessel registration fees.

How much is allocated to the BSFP?

$5m was allocated for 2020-21.

How is the remaining funding allocated?

In 2020-21 the BSFP provided a competitive funding round for eligible organisations to improve the boating experience in Victoria. The remaining funding was allocated to Marine Radio Victoria, strategic boating projects and state-wide boating safety initiatives.

Why is $30 million not being allocated as per the Better Boating Fund?
  • The Better Boating Fund has been established in legislation and came into effect on July 1 2021.
  • The equivalent of revenue raised from vessel registration and marine licences will be put into the Better Boating Fund, estimated to be approximately $30m.
  • The Better Boating Fund will be allocated in accordance with priorities set out in the Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy, which is currently being developed.
  • The BSFP competitive grant funding will complement more than $30 million available through the Better Boating Fund
How are BSFP applications assessed through a competitive grant funding round?
  •  Funding Advisory Panels consisting of cross agency groups and industry stakeholders will be established for each funding category.
  • These panels provide expert advice on key strategic marine safety and waterway management issues and provide input into grant allocation decisions which are recommended to the Minister for Fishing and Boating.
How will recreational boaters and anglers be involved in determining which projects receive BSFP grant funding?
  • A Ministerial Boating Round Table has been established with representatives from across the boating and angling sector to provide important feedback and facilitate meaningful discussion that will inform the development of the Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy.
  • This Boating Round Table considered the recommendations for BSFP grants before the Minister for Fishing and Boating approved the final selection of successful applicants from the competitive round.
How can industry stakeholders and the boating public be guaranteed that they are getting the best value for money from the allocated grants?
  • The public can be assured that the BSFP delivers value. Grants are awarded to applicants who can demonstrate there is a need for the funding and that they have tested the market for quality and price. It is also important that the applicant has shown they have met appropriate project planning and risk management criteria when applying for funding.
What is Better Boating Victoria’s (BBV) role in administering the Boating Safety and Facilities Program?
  • The Minister for Fishing and Boating is responsible for approving all funding allocations from the BSFP.
  • Better Boating Victoria has been established to facilitate the Government’s boating commitments, including progressing boating facility upgrades, developing a Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy and improving the boating experience for Victorian boaters. As such, BBV will administer the BSFP.
How many projects has the BSFP funded?

Since it was established in 2000, the BSFP has provided $69 million to over 1400 grant projects.