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City of Subiaco under fire for introducing fitness permit system in its parks

City of Subiaco under fire for introducing fitness permit system in its parks
January 17, 2016

The City of Subiaco is under fire for the introduction of a licensing system for group fitness classes in its parks that requires trainers to hold a permit indicating when and where their sessions occur and how many people can take part.

In spite of similar systems being operated by local councils around Australia, both WA Today and Sky News Australia have reported on fitness classes being "banned" in City parks and reserves and that "trainers conducting classes in Subiaco parks and reserves will now be required to adhere to a number of conditions and pay fees ranging between $400 to $1,800 a year."

According to the Council's website, the recently introduced system was "introduced a permit system to regulate personal trainers and group fitness classes to ensure that fitness activities do not impact on other users and residents living in close proximity to the city’s parks and reserves."

The Council adds “a valid permit is required for any personal training, teaching, coaching and commercial or non commercial group fitness classes in the city’s parks and reserves.

“The permit will provide trainers with a specific area within selected parks, allowing them to operate at certain times with a limited number of people at any one time.”

The new permit policy requires outdoor trainers to be registered with Fitness Australia, have $10 million public liability insurance, $5 million professional indemnity insurance and hold a current first aid certificate.

WA Today reports that the ban also stops groups from "dragging logs and heavy ropes" across the ground, erecting banners without written consent, playing loud music and suspending boxing bags from trees.

Responding to media reports of this being a “red-tape riddled policy”, a City of Subiaco spokesman stated that the “permit system is being introduced by the City of Subiaco to provide a fair and equitable system for the use of our parks and reserves that promotes health, wellbeing and physical activity while ensuring minimal impact on the environment, other park users and nearby residents.”

Going back several years, the introduction of permit and license systems by councils for fitness training in parks was a controversial topic. However, Fitness Australia’s implementation of outdoor training policies has subsequently led most local authorities to adopt a ‘common sense’ approach to the issue, with insurance for fitness operations seen as an essential part of operations, and operators not being subject to excessive charges.

In 2014, Fitness Australia launched a web based platform, Exercise Safe, to assist both fitness professionals and local governments in gaining a better understanding of permit systems for outdoor fitness and training.

For more information on Fitness Australia’s initiatives go to www.fitness.org.au

Click here for more information on the City of Subiaco’s policy.

Image used for illustrative purposes only.

29th November 2015 - PERTH KINGS PARK INTRODUCES FEES FOR GROUP FITNESS CLASSES

12th November 2014 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA APP TO IMPROVE ISSUES OF PERMIT SYSTEMS FOR OUTDOOR TRAINING

27th August 2014 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA AND PARKS AND LEISURE AUSTRALIA JOIN TO ADVANCE TRAINING IN PARKS GUIDELINES 

2nd October 2013 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA RELEASES NEW NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR FITNESS TRAINING

16th May 2013 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA BACKS OBJECTIONS TO WOLLONGONG CITY COUNCIL’S ‘SWEAT TAXES’

10th May 2011 - PARKS ESSENTIAL FOR HUMAN HEALTH

26th July 2010 - CITY OF STIRLING SLASHES PLANNED TRAINING POLICY CHARGES

30th April 2010 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA TAKES LEAD ON COUNCIL ‘SWEAT TAXES’ 

15th January 2010 - LES MILLS RELEASES ‘FUTURE OF FITNESS’ RESEARCH 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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