Community News

Opportunity to dispose of expired flares safely

Boaters in NSW will have the opportunity to dispose of their expired flares in March and April via a free mobile collection program offered by Roads and Maritime Services. 

A Roads and Maritime spokesperson said the agency offered the roving program to provide boaters a safe and convenient means to dispose of expired flares.

The collection service will be visiting areas between Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie and Tamworth from 31 March to 12 April

“This important initiative provides boaters the opportunity to dispose of old flares responsibly and promotes a culture of safer boating,” the spokesperson said.

“Marine flares can signal someone is in trouble and help provide a location for aircraft or vessels engaged in a search and rescue.

“Generally, a minimum of two red hand flares and two orange smoke flares are required on all vessels operating in open waters.

“Most flares have a use-by-date of three years and must be replaced before expiry.

“Penalties apply for not carrying current flares on a vessel, so it is vital boat owners regularly check and replace flares.

“Roads and Maritime encourages the NSW boating community to take the expired flare collection program as a timely reminder to check their safety equipment regularly.”

The spokesperson said the expired flare collection program complements other boating safety initiatives including the Old4New lifejacket program.

While expired flare collection is no longer available at any service centres, registries or maritime sites, more than 16,300 expired marine flares were collected during the last summer’s expired flares collection program.

For more information on collection dates and locations across NSW, visit or call 13 12 36.