Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance wants to see children back in the pool

Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance wants to see children back in the pool
October 9, 2020

The Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance (VAIA) is continuing to advocate for a timely reopening of indoor pools for essential swimming and water safety programs.

Current Victorian Government restrictions meaning that indoor aquatic facilities will remain closed until the last step of the state’s roadmap to recovery.

Metropolitan Melbourne remains on the second step, which allows outdoor pools to open for exercise only with density limits of whichever is fewer, 20 people per pool or 1 person per 4 metre².

Regional Victoria remains at the third step of the road map, which allows outdoor pools to open for lap swimming and child play, with density limits of whichever is fewer, 50 people per pool or 1 person per 4 metre².

VAIA members hope that Regional Victoria’s low case numbers can enable an early return of these essential programs to the regional community members.

While indoor pools remain closed, the industry is unable to deliver essential swimming and water safety programs to the community.

Expressing concern at the potential impact the lack of opportunity to swim and receive water safety education may have on Victorian children’s aquatic competency, VAIA spokesperson and Chair, Amanda Locke, stated “Victorian children are at risk of falling behind on the benchmark competencies outlined in the framework. As other states resume swimming and water safety education, Victorian children continue to miss out.”

VAIA continues to work with the government, providing recommendations based on extensive consultation with the industry and highlighting the importance of industry recovery and has developed a reopening proposal, highlighting the potential impact of children not being able to participate in swimming and water safety education, and the economic impact of the current closures.

Commenting on this, Locke noted “the aquatic industry is incredibly well placed to provide structured and controlled environments while adhering to all COVID-Safe principles.

“The recent easing of restrictions has seen outdoor pools reopen, and facilities have seen unprecedented demand. Pool operators have done a fantastic job in reopening facilities that have been closed for six months overcoming the challenges of delayed maintenance, financial viability and other COVID risk factors.

“As we’ve reopened, we’ve had an incredible response from the community. Swimmers can’t wait to get back in the pool, and we’re seeing facilities booked out in minutes every day.

“While it’s been extremely satisfying to see such a positive response to these reopening, our focus remains on enabling the timely return of programs, such as learn to swim and squads, which predominately all occur in indoor pools.”

With the industry having been commended for its preparedness to reopen and ability to meet COVID safe principles, Locke added “we are all working incredibly hard to ensure that when the government permits indoor pools to open, we are ready to welcome our community back and to restart essential programs.

“COVID-19 has brought the aquatics industry together like never before, and we believe that the industry is stronger as a united front. While we know it’s difficult, we want to encourage industry to remain patient, focus on supporting the return of our industry and avoid looking for loopholes within the restrictions. The restrictions are in place to protect Victorians. We must remain united in our approach.”

Each Friday, VAIA hosts an Aquatic Town Hall, which facilitates collaboration between owners and operators of pools and aquatic facilities, council representatives and senior industry executives.

The Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance (VAIA) brings together key aquatics industry leaders to advocate on behalf of the industry. The alliance members represent; Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV), Aligned Leisure, Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA), Australian Swim School Association (ASSA), Belgravia Leisure, Ford Swim Centre, Kingswim, Paul Sadler Swimland, Swimming Victoria, Yarra Leisure and YMCA Victoria (The Y). The alliance was established in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) released the National Swimming and Water Safety framework. The framework outlines the desired competency standards every Australian should have, through benchmarks achievable at age 6, 12 and 17.

Click here to be part of an Aquatic Town Hall, hosted at 12.30pm each Friday.

Image courtesy of Paul Sadler Swimland.

Related Articles

6th October 2020 - Royal Life Saving concerned over significant fall in swimming lesson enrolments

5th October 2020 - Major upgrades completed and approved at Casey’s aquatic centres

29th September 2020 - Melbourne swimmers welcome reopening of outdoor pools

24th September 2020 - Aquatic, fitness and sport facilities headed for membership crisis

24th September 2020 - Learn2Swim Week sees swim schools offer free lessons for children under five

23rd September 2020 - Paul Sadler Swimland concerned that limited access to swimming lessons increases drowning risks for children

21st September 2020 - Aligned Leisure-Managed Eltham Leisure Centre secures swim safety excellence award

18th September 2020 - YMCA Victoria renews management contract for the Benalla Aquatic Centre

16th September 2020 - Victoria’s aquatic industry leaders call for clarity

13th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving survey suggests that swim school enrolments fell by 30% in August

4th September 2020 - Extension announced for AUSTSWIM Swim Centre Recognition

31st August 2020 - National Sports Convention events to address the future of aquatic, recreation and sports facilities

25th August 2020 - Royal Life Saving introduces new conflict management course for the aquatic industry

19th August 2020 - Swimming Australia highlights role swimming can play in nation’s Coronavirus recovery

11th August 2020 - Royal Life Saving publishes new National Swimming and Water Safety Framework for learn to swim programs

4th August 2020 - Paul Sadler Swimland puts hygiene and safety measure in place for post-Coronavirus operations

30th July 2020 - New research has potential to reduce risk of drownings at Australian aquatic facilities

22nd July 2020 - Report shows how Australia’s aquatic workforce provides essential community leadership

14th July 2020 - ‘Culturally Competent’ aquatic centres look to reduce drownings among diverse communities

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues


ProSlide Technology

ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


@leisure Planners

@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…

read more




AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. Based on the Gold Coast, AlphaFit is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian gym equipment specifically for the commercial, strength and conditioning,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



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


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