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Fitness Australia Lobbies ALP on Industry Issues

Fitness Australia Lobbies ALP on Industry Issues
August 7, 2009

Representatives from Fitness Australia have lobbied key Federal Ministers at the recent ALP National Conference in Sydney.

As Chief Executive, Lauretta Stace (pictured) explains "the conference provided Fitness Australia with a unique opportunity to engage with key Ministers and their advisors through the Business Observers Program.

"We seized that opportunity to discuss a range of important matters and to help raise the profile of the fitness industry and Fitness Australia in a very strategic way".

Fitness Australia met with the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP; the Minister for Sport and Youth, the Hon Kate Ellis MP; the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP; and the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP.

The topics discussed with the Ministers and their advisors included:

• The role of the fitness industry in the preventative health agenda;
• The key recommendations from the Preventative Health Taskforce;
• The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing Obesity Inquiry and the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission;
• Evidence from the research program commissioned by Fitness Australia, including the economic contribution of the fitness industry;
• The development of a robust, industry-wide accreditation framework for the fitness industry;
• Fitness Australia's role as the national industry association and recent structural reforms that position if for more effective action, influence and representation;
• The profile of the contemporary fitness industry;
• The issue of increases to the cost of music copyright license fees.

The conference included a significant session on ALP health policy and outlined the importance of the preventative health strategy as a key platform for health reform at the federal and state government levels. In discussions with the Ministers it became apparent that the fitness industry was well regarded by government, and considered to be successful and capable of delivering a range of services and beneficial health outcomes for the community.

The Minister for Health and Ageing was supportive of Fitness Australia's strategy to develop an accreditation framework to support industry self-regulation and further build the profile of the industry among medical and health professionals and the general public.

The Government health reform agenda is complex and costly and many barriers to change exist within the current system, so it may be some time before the government can really focus on the development and implementation of preventative health strategies.

However, Fitness Australia will continue to build relationships with government and ensure that the fitness industry is included in discussions that encompass this important reform process.



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