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Small Business Ombudsman launches review of AALARA’s Discretionary Mutual Fund proposal

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

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Bruce Billson has launched a Review of the Discretionary Mutual Fund proposed for businesses in the attractions, recreation and tourism sector unable to secure essential insurance coverage.

Billson says the self-generated review, will build on ASBFEO’s Insurance Inquiry as well as ongoing feedback from the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) on behalf of its members - many of which face imminent closure without adequate insurance coverage.

Billson explained “our country shows that we all love so much are facing a bleak future because small businesses, such as ride-operators, cannot get insurance coverage.

“Closure of these small businesses will mean significant job losses and hurt local economies.

“Our Review will be a deep dive into the inaccessibility of insurance for amusement, leisure and recreation businesses, so that we can provide further advice to the Australian Government on what measures could help these small businesses secure the insurance products needed to remain in operation.

“At the core of this Review, my office will independently examine AALARA’s proposal to establish an industry-owned and operated Discretionary Mutual Fund as the most effective and durable solution to the sector’s insurance crisis.

“We will consider if this proposal will resolve the insurance issues in the sector, the responsibilities and obligations it would impose, its adequacy in satisfying regulatory requirements as well as other options that may assist these businesses.”

“This Review will use the Ombudsman’s internal expertise and seek external expert advice on complex issues, such as specialist legal, financial sustainability and actuarial matters.”

AALARA President, Shane McGrath welcomed ASBFEO’s Review of its proposed Discretionary Mutual Fund, which it is seeking to establish in partnership with Aon.

McGrath advised “the amusement, attractions, leisure and recreation industries are facing catastrophic consequences without necessary insurance coverage.

“ASBFEO’s Review will provide vital information to the Australian Government about the challenges our members are up against regarding insurance accessibility, as well as what that means for these businesses and what support could help address insurance issues faced by the sector.”

A final report is expected to be completed in August.

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23rd April 2021 - 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show welcomes 800,000 attendees over its 12 days

22nd April 2021 - AALARA’s first Roadshow event addresses key industry issues with update on moves to establish 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

2nd April 2021 - Save Victorian Events highlight Bluesfest cancellation as confirmation of need for Governments to back event cancellation insurance

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

2nd February 2021 - Tasmanian Government helps tourism attractions with insurance contributions

14th January 2021 - QTIC to survey operators on insurance crisis

30th December 2020 - AALARA releases ‘urgent request for the survival of our industry’

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

18th November 2020 - AALARA takes action as attractions operators face public liability issues

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

12th June 2020 - Insurance refusals impacting adventure tourism operators

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

20th March 2017 - Victorian Ombudsman slams rorts by Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Management Board

9th September 2011 - Amusement operator fined $30,000 following prosecution by Fair Work Ombudsman


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