Dive health checks ease

SUNSHINE Coast scuba diving and snorkelling tourism is expected to boom, thanks to a State Government decision to abolish the need for medical certificates.

Queensland remained the only state in Australia that required first time divers to pass a medical before learning to dive.

As of yesterday, the law has been changed so all divers under 45-years-old and within a healthy weight range were able to dive without medical approval.

Announcing the changes at Mooloolaba, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said they would benefit tourism and small business.

"This is a great industry for Queensland and over the years it has suffered because of this red tape," Mr Bleijie said.

"The medical certificate requirement has become a problem, particularly when it came to backpackers and visitors from other states.

"We hope by getting rid of this, we can help businesses grow and see more people diving in Queensland waters," said Mr Bleijie, who is the member for Kawana.

Ian McKinnon, the owner of Mooloolaba's learn to dive business Scubaworld, said the changes would make a huge difference to the Coast's diving industry.

"It means now everybody in Queensland that learns to dive is going to save between $80 and $100 by not needing a diving medical," Mr McKinnon said.

"This is huge for us, especially because small business is crying out for less red tape and less regulation."

But Mr Bleijie also announced a toughening of the supervision rules for divers.

He said two crew members, instead of one, would now be required to count and compare the number of all people on board dive boats.

"This is to ensure no one is left behind," he said.

Medical certificate is now required only if the diver:

  • Has an at risk medical condition
  • Is more 45 years of age
  • Has a body mass index more 30 and a waist circumference greater than 102cm for males and 88cm for females

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