Fee increases to hit WA boaties – what’s the impact on you?

Boat owners in Western Australia are set to face rising fees as a result of the McGowan Government’s bid to, ‘claw back the cost of running State-owned boat harbours’.*

The increases could equate to thousands per year, which is a significant amount for the boating community to absorb.

Here’s what you need to know.

Why the fee increases?

The Department of Transport stated in a letter addressed to registered boat owners that mooring fees would increase by 11.5% as of July 2018.

The Department said the increase was due to high costs, as well as the need for a system based on user-payments.

According to the Department, boat owners in WA paid under half of what the State spent on providing services to them.

A Department spokeswoman was quoted as saying:

“The escalating costs involved with maintaining these facilities will see users paying more as the current cost model is no longer sustainable in the current economic environment.”

Maintaining boat harbours and facilities for pen holders throughout the State is increasingly expensive and the current revenue is not providing the funds that are needed.”


There are likely to be more increases in the next few years.

“It will take seven years for the majority of users to complete the transition,” said the Department’s spokeswoman.

Between 2019 and 2020, these increases could hit 10% (plus CPI), until boat fees reach levels that reflect the Department’s desired costs.

The impact of WA boating fee increases on you

The price increases will directly affect around 2,000 West Australian boat owners, who have vessels in 30 marinas around the state. These facilities include Hillarys and the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour.

Reports indicate that private facilities, including yacht clubs in Perth, won’t be impacted.

The Department’s spokeswoman said $1 million out of the $11.3 million collected in charges and fess in the next financial year, would be a result of the new increases.

Perth Now reported that former president of the Australian Boating Association, Geoff Ellis, believes the Government has targeted boat owners in a bid to prop the budget up because they are ‘soft targets’.

He said rate rises were not well timed, as the economy is currently subdued and boat owners are not, ‘millionaires – they’re mums and dads’.

If you have an opinion on these rate rises, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

Is your boat taken care of?

We provide marine insurance for all kinds of boat lovers, all over WA, Australia and the world – whether you’re a mum, dad, marine business owner or weekend boating warrior.

Talk to us about securing comprehensive cover that takes care of you and your beloved boat, so you have peace of mind and the kind of protection that has your back.


* Head here for the source.