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New national outdoor standards will support Queensland’s adventure tourism sector

New national outdoor standards will support Queensland’s adventure tourism sector
March 17, 2020

Australia’s new national safety framework for outdoor adventure activities will help Queensland’s outdoor tourism industry stands against a downturn caused by a summer of bushfires, flooding and the impact of Coronavirus according to Queensland Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni.

Expecting that the new guidelines to help enhance operations will draw tourists to Queensland, Minister de Brenni stated “whether you’re climbing the Glasshouse Mountains, horse riding in the Scenic Rim, or braving the rapids up north in Tully Gorge, you’ll be able to feel safe as you experience what Queensland has to offer.

“Whether you’re after exhilaration and extreme action, or that unforgettable bucket list experience, Queensland’s outdoor activity sector offers the best the world has to offer, plus real benefits for health and wellbeing.

“Along with making the most of our great State, getting amongst it within a Queensland based outdoor adventure delivers much needed flow-on of economic benefits to out multi-billion dollar tourism industry and the workforce that relies on it."

The new national framework was designed to create a clear set of rules nationwide, delivering streamlined business operations and avoidance of regulatory burden of small and medium sized business.

Minister de Brenni added “this has been a four-year process to get all the states on board, so we have one true national framework for good practice, risk and safety management.

“All providers of outdoor adventure activities should now use the guidelines to inform their safety management and activity practices so they are higher quality with reduced risk.”

Explaining that the Australian Adventure Activity Standards (AAAS) and Good Practice Guides (GPGs) unite the outdoor industry under a common set of guidelines and are more efficient and effective than a state-by-state approach, Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF) President, Allana Bold said a national set of standards is more efficient and effective than a state-by-state approach.

Bold advised “we will be able to reduce red tape while improving safety outcomes.

“This is a great result for nature-based tourism, outdoor education and outdoor recreation groups and businesses, as well as participants themselves.

“QORF has made a significant contribution to the development of these standards and we feel they will greatly enhance the outdoor adventure sector which makes up such an integral part of the Queensland lifestyle and economy.”

More than 100 industry technical experts with extensive field experience in a wide range of outdoors and adventure activities volunteered their time to help create the guidelines.

The changes will help schools, community groups, not-for-profit organisations, tourism businesses, seniors groups and government agencies to deliver exhilarating experiences safely.

President of the Outdoor Council of Australia Andrew McGuckian said standards shouldn’t change just because you cross a border, concluding “this new national approach ensures everyone has clear guidance on how to achieve the highest safety standards and deliver the best possible experience for participants in outdoor activities across Australia.”

A steering committee consisting of representatives of all the state and territory peak outdoor recreation bodies was formed in 2015 to oversee the development of the AAAS.

The project was funded by the Meeting of the Sport and Recreation Ministers of Australia. (MSRM).

For more information go to

Images: Rafting on the Tully River (top) and climbing the Glasshouse Mountains (below, courtesy of Red Balloon).

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28th May 2010 - New Adventure Activity Standards for Queensland

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