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Reforms for regional marinas

Boating facilities along the east coast of NSW are set to benefit from a series of upgrades, with regional marinas on Crown land to be offered extended leases of up to 40 years, in return for a commitment to reinvest and update them.

Minister Anderson (centre) with Boating Industry Association director Darren Vaux (left) and Soldiers Point Marina general manager Darrell Barnett (right) at Soldiers Point Marina at Port Stephens

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said marina leasing reforms being introduced by the NSW Government will deliver better marinas and waterfront facilities for communities and boat users, support jobs, economies and tourism, while also providing greater certainty for lease holders.

“The newly simplified marina leases will help remove red tape, provide greater investment incentives, and deliver world-class boating and waterfront precincts for the benefit of local communities, businesses and visitors,” Mr Anderson said.

“The changes will also secure fair market rents on these sites with the funds to be reinvested back into the Crown estate for the benefit of all NSW residents.”

Following a recent review, a new leasing model will be implemented which will include:

  • A standard lease term of 40 years (up from 20 years) with marina operators able to extend leases, subject to meeting operating conditions including a minimum commitment to reinvest in facilities.
  • A new standard lease template to provide certainty for marina operators.
  • Rent calculations for marinas will be transparent and more predictable with the rent rationale and breakdown being made publicly available on the Crown Lands website. Item

Boating Industry Association President Andrew Fielding said the industry welcomed the leasing reforms which would support industry and regional communities.

Andrew Fielding

“The leasing reforms will create a framework where marina operators and investors can deliver important privately-funded public infrastructure with confidence, while greatly improving their offerings to boaties and the broader community,” Mr Fielding said.

“BIA has supported this reform which will help improve boating infrastructure at marinas which are important boat storage sites and access points to some of the best waterways in NSW,” he said.

“There are 110 marinas in the State, many are located on Crown Lands and are leased to commercial operators. This reform will encourage operators to improve their offerings to boaters and the public.”

He said the marina leasing reform aimed to deliver sustainable marinas and boatyards, as well as opportunities to create jobs and support economies across the State’s communities.

BIA was closely involved in the commercial marina leasing reform as part of a wider program of policy renewal kick-started with a Ministers’ Round Table held in October 2019. This flowed on to development of the Crown Lands State Strategic Plan through 2020-21, Crown Lands Management Act Evaluation in 2021 and the Crown Lands Taskforce which ran from 2021 to 2022.

The Crown Lands Taskforce was established by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to provide oversight, advice and assistance to Crown Lands with the implementation of Crown land 2031 – State Strategic Plan for Crown land. Arising from this work was the Crown Land 2031 First Action Plan which was released in April 2022. The commercial marina leasing reform was delivered under the Action Plan.