An update on our Federal Advocacy efforts

by Louise Magee on July 07, 2020

The ARI continues its advocacy on behalf of the NSW Aquatics and Recreation Industry to the Federal and NSW Governments.

The ARI is an active participant in weekly meetings of National Industry Leaders and industry organisations, including:

  • Royal Life Saving Society Australia
  • Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association
  • Australian Leisure Facilities Association
  • Aquatics and Recreation Victoria
  • Aquatics and Recreation Institute 
  • Leisure Institute of Western Australia (LIWA)
  • Aligned Leisure
  • Belgravia Leisure
  • BlueFit; Club Links
  • LSV
  • MAV
  • State Sports Centres – NSW
  • YMCA (Aus & NSW)
  • Smart Connection Consultancy

Recently correspondence is being prepared for the Federal Government regarding the Impacts and needs of the industry including a desire for the Jobkeeper fund to be extended as it is expected the industry will experience at least six months of expected restricted operation. Throughout this time facility owners and operators are expected to experience high fixed costs with limited income able to be secured through restricted operations and additional costs borne by additional hygiene/cleaning requirements, signage, communication, training and upskilling, and online booking systems, etc.

We remain very grateful to the Government and have embraced as a sector the opportunity JobKeeper provided. It has ensured that employers within our industry have stayed connected to their workforce. This has meant that collectively over 10,000 people have sustained employment throughout this crisis and will do so until the end of JobKeeper in September 2020.

JobKeeper has given these staff reassurance and confidence for their future and provided an important contribution to their wellbeing over this challenging period. It is important to note that many organisations have been ineligible for Jobkeeper (such as local government, universities) and the taxation-based support has only had a marginal impact for our larger operators.

Notwithstanding the support to date, approximately two thirds of our employees remain stood down and vulnerable as state government mandated site closures and ongoing social distancing restrictions inhibit our ability to fully service our community patrons.

The community sport, aquatic and recreation provide vital support for the physical and mental health and safety of all Australians, which in turn supports Australia’s long-term economic health. Childhood education programs such as learn-to-swim are critical to the safety and development of each Australian child. Rehabilitation programs for the elderly and those with disabilities are a fundamental service that our facilities provide every day.