Q&A: Your boat ban questions answered
Maritime Safety Queensland has sought to clarify mass confusion surrounding a boating ban announced earlier this week.
MSQ's general manager Angus Mitchell has provided comprehensive answers to your questions, which were submitted by readers to The Courier Mail.
SEE HOW THE Q&A; PLAYED OUT IN THE BLOG BELOW
The confusion erupted on Tuesday when the Queensland Government announced recreational boating would be heavily restricted in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus across the state.
Maritime Safety Queensland initially advised recreational boating was off-limits unless it was for essential travel before the Department of Transport and Main Roads clarified boaties could also still head out to fish for food.
Meanwhile, the Premier's office advised "the same rules apply on land as at sea" and that people who live near a boat ramp would not be fined for going out on the boat, as long as they adhere to current regulations of social distancing.
"If people are lucky enough to live with a boat ramp at the end of the street, we're not going to stop them from doing that," the spokesman said.
So what are the hard and fast rules?
If you live within, say, 5km of a boat ramp, can you still head out?
Do you have to be fishing? Or can you recreate while maintaining social distancing?
Mr Mitchell said 'there are a range of scenarios where you may want to take a boat out' but 'the first question you should ask yourself is: do you need to take your boat out?'
"Queensland's Chief Health Officer has been very clear - if you don't need to be out then stay at home. That is now the law," he said.
"The same rules that apply on land also apply in our waterways, bays and out at sea.
"If you're looking for a loophole to leave the home, then you probably shouldn't be heading out."
He said there are essential reasons along Queensland's long and populated coastline where people need their boat - like fishing, exercise, going shopping, or getting to work.
"The current rules don't seek to stop boat owners using their boats for essential reasons," he said.
"Boaties should stay as local as possible, and social distancing rules apply, at the boat ramp and on your boat.
"Boaties should only be with one other person, or with family from the same household."
SEE HOW THE Q&A; PLAYED OUT BELOW
Originally published as Q&A;: Your boat ban questions answered