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Outdoor recreation stakeholders to create first national set of outdoor safety standards

Outdoor recreation stakeholders to create first national set of outdoor safety standards
October 2, 2015

Australia’s peak outdoor bodies have welcomed a commitment by State and Territory Sport and Recreation Ministers to fund the creation of the first set of national adventure activity standards for the industry.

Working with state and territory governments, the outdoor industry peak bodies will develop an Australian Adventure Activity Standards (Australian AAS) which will improve community and customer outdoor experiences.

The Australian AAS will provide a best practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of a wide range of outdoor adventure activities throughout Australia.

As each state has maintained its own set of standards for outdoor activities until now, this new national approach will make it easier for activity providers to operate in multiple jurisdictions, improve professional portability, and raise safety standards for participants.

Peak bodies collaborating on the project include The Outdoor Council of Australia, Outdoors WA, Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation, Recreation SA, Outdoor Recreation Industry Council of NSW and Outdoors Victoria, together with relevant government agencies in Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.

Development of the Australian AAS will involve combining and streamlining the current state standards into the inaugural national standard, while consulting with the outdoor community to ensure the national standards represent best practice.

Outdoor Council of Australia Chair Murray Stewart stated “Standards shouldn’t change just because you cross a border. This new national approach will ensure everyone has a clear direction on how to achieve the highest safety standards and deliver the best possible experience for participants in outdoor activities across Australia.”

Outdoors Victoria Chief Executive Chuck Berger commented “a national set of standards is more efficient and effective than a state-bystate approach, so we’ll be able to reduce red tape while improving safety outcomes.

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

Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (QORF) Executive Officer Courtney added “in addition to safety, the Australian AAS will also standardise appropriate behaviours to help protect environmental and cultural heritage values during outdoor activities.”

Further information about the Australian AAS is available at www.australianaas.org.au

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