Ports and waterways

Maritime Safety Victoria assists port and waterway managers to ensure safety on Victorian waters.

We are also an appointed waterway manager for some of Victoria's waterways, as well has having oversight for unmanaged waterways.

This section explains how port and waterways are managed in Victoria and provides resources for the bodies that manage them. It also details the general State and local scheduled vessel operating and zoning rules (VOZR) for specific waterways.

Local port managers

There are 14 local ports in Victoria.

  1. Portland Bay
  2. Port Fairy
  3. Warrnambool
  4. Port Campbell
  5. Apollo Bay
  6. Lorne
  7. Barwon Heads
  8. Port Phillip Bay and Queenscliff
  9. Westernport
  10. Anderson Inlet
  11. Corner Inlet
  12. Gippsland Lakes
  13. Snowy River
  14. Mallacoota

Port managers are responsible for the operation and maintenance of local ports, including:

  • Planning
  • Issuing permits and licences
  • Allocating moorings
  • Maintaining wharves, jetties and navigation aids
  • Dredging
  • Operating facilities such as slipways, and
  • Constructing new facilities.

You can find a full list of local port management bodies and their contact details on the Department of Transport website.

Waterway managers

The role of waterway managers is to:

  • Manage vessel activities on waters under their control
  • Allocate and manage moorings and berths
  • Provide and maintain navigation aids, appropriate signage of water levels, hazards, and rules applying to the waters
  • Control navigation and vessel movement
  • Designate areas in which anchorage of vessels is, or is not permitted
  • Alter or dredge channels for navigation
  • Remove or mark obstructions.

See a full list of waterway managers.

Unmanaged waterways

Unmanaged waterways do not have an appointed manager to ensure navigational safety. On these waters, the State waterway rules detailed at the start of the VOZR apply. In terms of applying for temporary waterway rule exemptions or exclusion zones these waterways are treated like MSV-managed waterways.

Commercial port managers

Victoria's commercial trading ports are engines for Victoria's economic growth. They provide critical transfer points in Victoria's transport network and connect Victoria to international markets.

Resources for port and waterway managers

As a waterway manager, port management body or local port manager you can apply for rules to be made for waterways under your control.

Our waterway managers' portal has everything waterway managers, port management bodies and local port managers need in order apply for rules to be made for waterways under your control, including permanent waterway rules, and emergency or urgent waterway rules.

Photo of a waterway marker

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