Call to Review Unfair Surprise NSW Boating Fees Increase

Jun 12, 2024

By Sydney Boating team

The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) is calling on small business owners and riders in the Personal Watercraft (PWC) sector to reach out to their local NSW Member of Parliament to formally request an urgent review into what will amount to arguably the most expensive jetski licences in the world.

Proposed changes due to come into force in NSW from 1 July 2024 – with increases of up to 88 per cent, and 10-year licence fees of almost $2000. risk forcing families out of the sport in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, and sending boating and PWC businesses to the wall.

The record increases to PWC licence and registration fees will directly impact the hundreds of boating and PWC businesses in NSW, the thousands of people they employ – including apprentice mechanics – and the hip pockets of more than 90,000 PWC licence holders and 460,000 boat licence holders across the State. 

The BIA is still waiting on a formal response from the NSW Government after a meeting last week which also included a representative for all three Personal Watercraft brands – Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki.

Faced with a looming deadline – and no indication as to whether the extra-ordinary price hikes will be reviewed by the NSW Government. BIA is encouraging boating and personal watercraft business owners, and PWC owners to contact their local NSW Member of Parliament and make their concerns known.

Yamaha PWC 2024

“It is normal for Transport for NSW to adjust boating fees for boat licences, registration and moorings annually to reflect inflation (CPI) and that has been the approach for more than 20 years,” Patchett said.

“Transport for NSW however, this year has applied extra-ordinary increases of up 88 per cent, even though the current rate of inflation (CPI) in the wider economy is 5.89 per cent without consulting industry or boating, or PWC groups.”

The NSW Government is proposing these substantial increases in PWC licences and registration fees even though it has already received a massive financial windfall after the number of PWC licence holders in the state grew by 44 per cent over the past five years.

PWC certainly boomed in popularity following COVID-19 but sales have slowed over the past year impacted by cost of living pressures.

On the most conservative estimates, the NSW Government has already pocketed an extra $5.9 million each year, and yet with these astronomical fees it is coming back for more to make up for their own budget pressures.

Here is a quick recap of the changes to fees:

PWC licence fee increases in NSW from 1 July 2024:

The NSW PWC licence fees compare to $124 for a lifetime licence for a PWC in Queensland, and $45 for a one-year licence for a PWC in Victoria. 

General Boat licence fees increases in NSW from 1 July 2024:

Personal Watercraft Distributor Association (PWDA) spokesperson Alex Borduas of BRP said: 

“We feel the PWC industry is being singled out unfairly for substantially different licence fee increases. We hope Transport for NSW heard our concerns and will respond accordingly.”

BIA, the leading organisation representing the boating sector in NSW, has written formally to the Minister calling for a halt to the increases above CPI, to enable consultation on the range of significant increases well above the norm.


The BIA has formally asked the NSW Government to immediately pause all proposed increases above CPI (inflation) to enable appropriate consultation with BIA and key stakeholders in the boating and PWC sector representing the many small businesses and members of the public who will be adversely impacted by these changes.

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