Sydney Harbour partygoers are facing heavier rules around noise while out on the water, as new conduct regulations come into place before New Year‘s Eve.
The new regulations, introduced by the NSW government, prohibit boats which play amplified music from anchoring or mooring, or operating within 200m of the shore between 10pm and 8am.
The previous rules stated boats with amplified sound systems must not moor or anchor between midnight and 8am, meaning the changes cut down the allowed “parked” party time by two whole hours.
Commercial party boats will see a big change in mooring/anchoring restrictions. Picture: Steven Saphore / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The Code of Conduct for commercial vessels using amplified sound systems in the Harbour explains it sets out to “minimise the impact of noise from amplified sound systems on other waterway users and residents of adjoining lands”.
The changes come into place as of “December 2022” however do not apply to Friday or Saturday nights, or nights before a public holiday. These nights will still abide by the regular midnight – 8am rules.
As New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night, party boats can still continue to moor/anchor until midnight.
Commercial party boats cannot operate within 200m of any shore within Sydney Harbour, North Harbour and Middle Harbour and must not operate west of Kirribilli and Bennelong Points between midnight and 8am.
A map of the areas where commercial party boats have restricted movement. Picture: NSW government / Code of Conduct
Commercial vessel operators caught doing the wrong thing may receive a penalty notice under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2017, or receive a direction or noise control notice.
Suggestions for amendments to the Code can be sent to the NSW Transport department.
The NSW Transport and the Commercial Vessels Association has been contacted for comment.
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