NEWS - Boating industry forms potent national Alliance

News - Boating Industry Forms Alliance

The associations representing the recreational boating and light commercial marine industries around Australia have united to form the Boating Industries Alliance of Australian (BIAA) to represent their collective interests nationally.

The Alliance supersedes the Australian Marine Industry Federation (AMIF) as the peak industry body for the Australian boating industry, with a new charter and funding model that will enable it to deliver improved national outcomes for its members.

The Boating Industry Alliance of Australia is a union of representatives from the Boating Industry Associations of New South Wales,
Northern Territory , Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
It has been formed to represent the interests of the recreational and light commercial boating industry at a national level with a new charter and funding model that will enable it to deliver improved national outcomes for its members.

The press release announcing the formation of the new body said the purpose of the Alliance is to:

* Strongly promote and advance the interests of boating industry members on national issues through advocacy to the Federal Government;
* The development of national policies on issues that affect the boating industry;
* Co-ordinate with other federal bodies on matters of federal interest and promotion of the recreational boating industry in Australia.

A key element of the appointment of a national advocate in Canberra will to ensure that this industry’s agenda is at the forefront of policy and decisions makers.

“It is not unusual for associations to evolve thereby keeping up with the demands of modern business practice and to protect and promote the interests of their members,” the Alliance said. “The growing strategic importance of the boating industry across metropolitan and regional Australia through its significant economic, social and environmental contribution, makes the formation of this new national alliance very timely.”

The Alliance said it reunites representatives of all of the states and territories in Australia behind a common cause within a structure that is well resourced and well funded.

Darren Vaux, a director of BIA NSW and spokesperson for the Alliance, said: “The Alliance is an exciting development for the industry and is already addressing a number of national issues that affect the interests of its members.

“Key national advocacy priorities include marine parks and the national bioregional planning process, national safety standards, grey imports and changes to emissions legislation. Each of these issues has the potential to negatively impact the future development of the industry.

“It is essential therefore that the industry is engaged at the earliest stages of policy development by Government,” he said.

Vaux added that the ongoing and sustainable development of the industry will require accessing the significant expertise available within the industry ranks. “Over the coming months, the Alliance will be publishing its policies and seeking their adoption by Government on all of these key issues as well as announcing a number of key initiatives to further develop recreational boating in Australia,” he said.

Barry Jenkins, former president of AMIF and Marine Queensland said, “The Alliance is the natural way forward for Australian boating and marine industries. It represents a closer relationship between all of the state and territory associations in representing their national interests.

“The industry contributes significantly to the Australian economy and is a lifestyle choice for a large proportion of the Australian population. It is also abundantly clear that Australians love marine based recreational pursuits.

“Even in tough economic climates, recreational boating continues to play an important role in households. We need to work much harder to ensure that Government clearly understands this.

“For too long the perception and understanding of the significant contributions of this industry to local communities has been inadequate. This strong and potent national Alliance will be actively seeking to change this understanding as a priority,” he said.

The Alliance said the national boating industry directly contributes some $4.1 billion to the Australian Economy including $1.3 billion in exports.

Taking into account the consequential tourism expenditure the industry generates more than $13 billion in spending attributable to its operations and employs around 74,000 people directly and indirectly, said the Alliance citing the Economic & Marketing Development Advisors Melbourne (Oct 2007) The Economic Value of Australian Recreational Boating Industry report.

The Alliance said there are more than 800,000 registered boats in Australia and many more non-registered boats and watercraft. “It is estimated that more than 3 million people across all age groups engage in boating as a recreational pastime in Australia making the industry socially, politically and economically significant,” it said.
For further information, phone Darren Vaux on (02) 9457 9011; Barry Jenkins on (07) 5577 6505.

Photo: Representatives of the State BIAs and Marine Queensland following the creation of the Alliance.