New law makes lifejackets compulsory for rock fishing

Rock fishers MUST wear a lifejacket when rock fishing in Randwick LGA

Publication date: Monday, 19 December 2016

The new Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 means that from 1 December 2016, anyone who goes rock fishing in th​e Randwick Local Government Area (LGA) in Sydney must wear a lifejacket.

The Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 aims to save lives by introducing a one-year trial of mandatory lifejackets for rock fishers in Randwick. In the past 10 years, 17 people have died while rock fishing in the Randwick LGA, making the Randwick coastline one of the most dangerous rock fishing spots in the country.

During the trial, which runs from 1 December 2016 until 30 November 2017, anyone who goes rock fishing in the Randwick LGA, any children who accompany them, and anyone who helps them rock fish must wear an appropriate lifejacket.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said there will be a 'grace period' during the trial year and that enforcement officers will issue warnings to rock fishers who are caught not wearing lifejackets in the Randwick LGA. From 1 December 2017, rock fishers will be fined $100 for not wearing a lifejacket when fishing on a high-risk rock-fishing platform.

While the new law introduces the mandatory lifejacket trial in Randwick, fishers in every location are encouraged to wear a lifejacket whenever they go rock fishing. "Wearing a lifejacket is just common sense," Minister Elliott said.

The NSW Government's Water Safety website contains information to help people understand the new lifejacket laws and reduce the safety risks when they go rock fishing, as well as advice about selecting an appropriate lifejacket. 

The Water Safety website also contains a map of the Randwick LGA and factsheets about rock fishing published in five community languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean and Vietnamese.

Find out more at www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au/rockfishing.