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Aquatic events

Maritime Safety Queensland is responsible for the management of aquatic events in Queensland waterways, except for Gold Coast waterways.

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority is responsible for aquatic events in Gold Coast waterways. For further information visit the Gold Coast Waterways Authority website or contact the office at (07) 5539 7350 or mail@gcwa.qld.gov.au.

An aquatic event is an organised onwater activity such as boat or swimming races, sailing regattas, waterskiing competitions or fireworks displays that are likely to affect the normal operation of ships in the area of the event. If you want to hold an aquatic event you will require a aquatic event authority, which permits you to hold an event.

An authority is required so that Maritime Safety Queensland can manage the use of Queensland’s waterways to ensure that all users, whether recreational or commercial, organised or social, have equal and safe access to its waters.

Event organisers must ensure safety is paramount for these events. If there is a risk of serious injury to participants, the event is to be suspended until it is considered safe to continue. 

An aquatic event application form must be lodged with your local Maritime Safety Queensland regional office. You'll have to pay the fee for an aquatic event authority.

Timeframe for lodging applications

  • For low risk aquatic events where there is a low probability of personal injury or property damage (for example sailing and yachting regattas, swimming races), applications must be lodged no less than 30 days prior to the proposed start date.
  • For high risk aquatic events (for example power boat and jet ski races, waterskiing competitions), applications must be lodged no less than 90 days prior to the proposed start date. Other approvals may be required for these events from local council, Queensland Water Police, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol or the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Should you require further information, contact a Maritime Safety Queensland regional office about applying for an aquatic event authority.
  • Aquatic event authority application process—factsheet

Some areas are restricted and you might need to choose another area to hold your event. To avoid disappointment please check restricted areas and gazetted speed limits.

Scheduled aquatic events by region

Last updated
12 October 2016