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Leisure Facilities Association Set to Launch

Leisure Facilities Association Set to Launch
May 6, 2009

For the first time ever Australia is set to have a national organisation representing the people who work in, supply to and have responsibility for aquatic, recreation and sport centres. With an estimated 1,900 centres covering all States and Territories the Australian Leisure Facilities Association (ALFA) is keen to bring a truly national voice to lobby government, provide support and guidance for the growth of standards in the industry and work closely with the each State and Territory to ensure that our industry sector is given the credit it is due.

Over five years in the making and supported by the Aquatics and Recreation Institute (ARI), Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV), RecSA, Kinnect Australia, Royal Life Saving Society Australia and other peak bodies, the new Association is set to be launched over next few months, starting with the launch in Victoria (13th May), in association with the local peak body ARV, followed by NSW (1st and 2nd June); Queensland (22nd and 23rd June) and South Australia (15th September).

Gary Penfold, the interim Chair of the new Association believes that there is a need for governments to appreciate that aquatic, recreation and sport centres attract over 263 million visits per year, have a turnover of $2.16 billion and can make a difference to the health and wellbeing of their local community.

"We are extremely well connected to the local community and in a better position to achieve implementation of some of the governmentâs policies and goals in health, sport, economic development and urban renewal. You only have to see how well recognised the local leisure facilities are in Canada, New Zealand and the UK to see how leisure is on the agenda of all levels of government.

"Governments at both State and Federal level prefer to have the one stop shop approach, whereby one body can represent an industry. Since we do not have that we do not have a voice. As a result we have not been getting the resources and recognition that the industry and our communities require.

"The whole process of establishing ALFA has therefore been underpinned by the concept of giving the industry a voice, increasing recognition, resources and maintaining standards nationally."

The Association aims to attract everyone who works in, has responsibility for and supply to the industry it aims to have 3,000 members in the first two years, by providing them, through the state branches and associations with unparalleled membership benefits, advice, and support to grow their business in these difficult times while also lobbying government. The membership categories reflect the importance that ALFA has placed on servicing its membership.

ALFA will also be looking to appoint a Patron who will figure head the new national body; this will be announced at the NSW launch.

For more information email or go to

Image shows the Warringah Aquatic Centre.


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