Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Small Business Ombudsman continues to back AALARA’s DMF plans for the amusement and attractions industry

Small Business Ombudsman continues to back AALARA’s DMF plans for the amusement and attractions industry
February 10, 2023

Releasing a new document today providing ‘additional insights’, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Bruce Billson has advised of his continued backing for the proposal by the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) to establish a discretionary mutual fund in response to issues faced by industry operators in relation to public liability insurance.

Following on from the ASBFEO’s The Show Must Go On report of December 2021 which called for Federal Government backing for the creation of an attractions industry DMF as a solution to the public liability crisis, Billson’s new report Additional Insights Supporting a Discretionary Mutual Fund for the Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Industry, highlights ongoing difficulties faced by industry operators.

It advises that the ASBFEO “is only aware of one current insurer for the industry. This insurer is based offshore and sector participants are uncertain about the durability and longevity of this arrangement, underwriting guidelines, the range of activities and asset types able to be insured and future premiums and terms.”

It also notes a survey it conducted that attracted 262 responses which found that while 90% of businesses said they currently hold public liability insurance, 75% of respondents reported finding their insurance policy renewal process either very difficult or difficult and that 78% of businesses said they have already been affected by public liability insurance changes, with a further 15% expecting to be affected within the next 12 months.

DMF would ‘reduce the likelihood of accidents’
In its conclusions, the report advises that the “industry is under significant strain from the dramatic increase in cost and the absence of public liability insurance for many” noting that ALAARA’s proposal to establish a DMF “remains the most suitable solution in response to significant public liability insurance dysfunction.”

It is also advises that “accidents have occurred in the sector in the last twelve months, and it is critical that adequate support is available to those who have been harmed or injured” suggesting that “as the primary option for risk management in the industry, a DMF would be able to impose conditions of entry standards for members and enforce strong risk-management culture and procedures, reducing the likelihood of accidents.”

It goes on to say “as the DMF’s market is strictly defined by its members, it would also be able to collect claims data and provide incentive structures for members to engage in best practice risk-management and mitigation activities.”

Stating that support from the Federal Government is vital to the creation of the DMF, it states “the initial capital investment required to establish the DMF is unable to be generated by the industry in the short-term” and that Australian Government support “for the establishment of the DMF is a vital component to the proposal.”

The ASBFEO then recommends that the Australian Government should support the proposal and “provide seed funding of up to $5 million for the fund (subject to actuarial advice confirming adequacy) to ensure adequate capital reserves in the start-up phase while the premium pool is being developed”.  

It also calls on the Australian Government to “commence engagement with state and territory governments to pursue the necessary legislative and regulatory reform needed to recognise and support the effective operation of an industry led DMF.”

AALARA response
As of this morning, AALARA released a communication to stakeholders and members that advised “we would like to thank all those AALARA members who took the time to complete the most recent survey, to provide the ASBFEO team enough data to deliver this second report and further cement our plight to the Federal Government the need to establish a Discretionary Mutual Fund for the industry.

“With the release of these findings, AALARA will now be looking to have extensive talks with a number of Federal Ministers to move the DMF proposal forward, following the change of Government.”

Click here to view the ASBFEO’s new report Additional Insights Supporting a Discretionary Mutual Fund for the Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Industry

Image credit: Shutterstock.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder and Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

30th January 2023 - AALARA releases 2023 conference program

9th September 2022 - Rising cost of public liability insurance now impacting entertainment venues

29th August 2022 - Wittingslow Amusements owner refuses to give evidence at inquest into child’s 2017 ride death 

12th August 2022 - Australia’s mainstream media acknowledges attractions industry insurance crisis

29th July 2022 - Rising Melbourne Royal Show carnival prices a result of increased insurance costs for ride operators

12th July 2022 - Insurance underwriter highlights the importance of liability waivers

8th July 2022 - Research highlights dangers of trampoline centres

8th June 2022 - Coroners report into Royal Adelaide Show ride death calls for national reform of show ride regulations

24th May 2022 - AALARA reaffirms commitment to industry safety

14th May 2022 - Protesting insurance crisis operators halt rides at regional shows across NSW and Queensland

4th May 2022 - Fearing for the future of the amusement and attractions industry AALARA and the Showmen’s Guilds announce stop work campaign

27th April 2022 - Federal Government unwilling to back AALARA’s call for an industry Discretionary Mutual Fund

4th February 2022 - AALARA sets up Safe Operation of Inflatables Sub Committee

17th December 2021 - Insurer Sportscover surprised by Small Business Ombudsman’s support for attractions mutual fund

16th December 2021 - Five children dead after inflatable jumping castle blown into air at Tasmanian school

6th December 2021 - Small Business Ombudsman’s report calls for a Discretionary Mutual Fund as solution for amusement and attractions insurance challenges

18th November 2021 - Risk management the key to way out of attractions industry’s insurance crisis

25th October 2021 - AALARA urges members to respond to Australian Small Business Ombudsman’s insurance crisis interim report

20th October 2021 - Ombudsman’s insurance crisis report says ‘the show must go on’

25th August 2021 - Fair Work Ombudsman penalises former operators of Big Buoy Waterpark

12th August 2021 - HIB Insurance Brokers able to offer cover for amusement, entertainment and tourism businesses

2nd August 2021 - AALARA works through solution to insurance market challenges

7th July 2021 - Public liability insurance crisis further impacting Queensland country shows

21st June 2021 - Small Business Ombudsman launches review of AALARA’s Discretionary Mutual Fund proposal

16th June 2021 - Royal Adelaide Show death inquest told of ‘glaring issue’ with ride reporting processes

3rd May 2021 - Moving to address industry insurance crisis AALARA releases survey on Discretionary Mutual Fund

12th April 2021 - Failure to secure insurance see Australia’s last circus with exotic animals move to retire its lions and monkeys

24th March 2021 - AALARA presents need for Federal Government backing for insurance crisis resolution at Canberra meetings

12th February 2021 - Inability to secure insurance forces closure of Barra Fun Park in Townsville

29th December 2020 - Ombudsman’s report calls for action in addressing ‘national crisis’ in insurance coverage

10th December 2020 - Insurance crisis set to force closures of Australian attractions and adventure tourism businesses

16th November 2020 - Industry operators impacted by rising insurance premiums

12th June 2020 - Insurance refusals impacting adventure tourism operators

15th September 2018 - Commercial trampoline centre operators struggle to secure insurance

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Pricemark Pty Ltd

Pricemark supplies a wide range of custom branded membership & RFID access products for the Health & Leisure Industry. 

read more



Ticketworx Pty Ltd

Ticketworx (formerly House of Tickets) is Australia and New Zealand’s foremost ticket specialist servicing some 2,700 clients and producing in excess of 30 million per tickets per annum.…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation



As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as Vivaticket Pty Ltd.  Vivaticket is the ideal strategic partner for the organisation and management of your…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


Again Faster

ABOUT Again Faster is a Brisbane based, Australian owned supplier of strength and conditioning and functional fitness equipment. With nearly 10 years experience in the Australian market, we are…

read more

Fitness / Recreation


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business