04/02/2018 at 3:20 pm #2433
We reported earlier in 2017 about the introduction of a permit system for crew on private vessels who wish to go ashore on the Kimberley coast between Truscott Air Base and the Prince Regent River. The permit has been changed from 10 consecutive days to 30 consecutive days from a predicted start date that you must nominate when you purchase your permit.
After introduction of the system, the KCCYC raised the issue of the 10 day limit of the permits, being almost impossible for cruising boaties to comply with. Given the changeability of weather, breakdown, plans changing etc, it is very difficult for vessels without satellite internet (most of us) to plan weeks ahead to arrive in the permit area at the date we set as the start date of our crew’s permits. Vessels without satellite internet will have to purchase their permits in Darwin before heading west into the Kimberley, or in Broome before heading east into the Kimberley. There is no mobile phone service for internet in the Kimberley, therefore, unless you have satellite internet access on your boat, you will not be able to buy a permit online while you are in the Kimberley.Read less….Permits can only be bought online. If you buy a permit well in advance, and don’t make the dates you specify on your application, your permit is worthless.We argued for the permits to be for 3 months, which gives boaties flexible sailing plans, allowing for the unforeseeable weather and boat gremlins that seem to find us boaties. We pointed out that short, set date permits are likely to lead to noncompliance, with the inevitable result of confrontation between rangers, and boaties who are simply unable to comply with the unreasonable time limits.
We also argued that short, set date permits are likely to create a culture of non-compliance. If boaties believe they cannot comply with the dates, they simply won’t bother to buy a permit. Word of mouth will then spread through the yachtie forums and yacht club scuttlebutt, to the point where many vessels will choose to ignore the permits.
The Wunambal Gaambera Community Management have since decided to extend the permits from 10 to 30 days. Although this is a positive move, we believe 30 days is still too difficult to comply with, given the many unforeseeable quirks involved in long range cruising plans and schedules. The KCCYC will continue to lobby for a longer permit time.
The KCCYC attitude regarding paid permits for going ashore along the Kimberley coast, is that a reasonable fee to visit and see such magnificent places, is no different to paying a reasonable fee to visit and see national parks, or other natural attractions around the world. The Wunambal Gaambera people own this land, and if you disrespectfully ignore their permit system, it can be likened to entering a farm without the farmers knowledge or permission – something that most of us would never consider doing.
We also consider that there should be 1 permit system covering the whole Kimberley coast, as opposed to multiple permits for various areas along the coast. There are currently 3 separate permits required to go ashore along most of the Kimberley coast cruising grounds. Two are free, and the above permit has a cost. A single permit system is only likely to result from state government intervention, so we aren’t holding our breath. Information on the 3 permit systems is available in the General Information leaflet in the Anchorages Page.
We encourage you to comply with all 3 permit systems. They are easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive for the privilege of accessing such a beautiful place.
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