SPEED limits on the water around Paradise Point on the Gold Coast have been permanently reduced from 40 knots to just 6 knots to make it safer for kayakers, small boat sailors and stand-up paddle boarders.
The Gold Coast Waterways Authority expanded the 6 knot speed zone in parts of the Paradise Point Channel near the Sovereign Islands in order to increase the area suitable for more passive recreational activities.
It follows a 12-month trial that showed reduced speeds resulted in safer interactions between powered vessels, anchored vessels and people using passive watercraft like kayaks.
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Waterways Authority CEO Hal Morris said the change aligns with the Speed Limits and Behaviour Management Strategy 2018-2020.
“Our waterways are a community asset to be shared by everyone in a safe and sustainable way and this speed limit helps to better balance the needs of different waterways users,” Mr Morris said.
“These areas are popular with families using them for activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and boats temporarily anchoring there.
“By setting a lower speed limit for all vessels we’re managing the different needs of people using this waterway.
“Powered boats will still be able to use this area while keeping to lower speeds.
“The lower speed limit will also help address community concerns about personal water craft such as jet skis not observing speed limits, and the problem of damaging wash caused by larger vessels.”
Mr Morris said the evidence used to support setting the speed limit permanently at 6 knots included feedback from waterway users, as well as Volunteer Marine Rescue, the Coast Guard, and Gold Coast Water Police.
“The increase in passive recreational activities we’ve observed in these waters since the trial commenced, and the lack of marine incidents pointing to safer interactions, reinforces the need for the speed limit to be permanently set at 6 knots,” Mr Morris said.
The expanded 6 knots speed zone for the Paradise Point Channel now incorporates:
- An area bounded by the Sovereign Islands bridge, the Ephraim Island bridge, and a line from the northern tip of Ephraim Island to the southern tip of Sovereign Islands near King Arthurs Court; and,
- An area bounded by a line from the northern tip of Paradise Point to the north-western shore of the Sovereign Islands near Knightsbridge Parade, and a line from the western shore of Sovereign Islands near Queen Anne Court across to Paradise Point.
The fixed speed limit applies permanently from today, Friday March 8.