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Workforce Demographics Pools as Community Hubs

TRAGEDIES Dreamworld Inquest White Island Eruption


Putting on Fire Fight Australia The New Sydney Zoo


National Infrastructure Database Planning Japan’s Rugby World Cup


‘Bad Ass’ Boutiques Aqua Fitness

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Issue 137








COVER: Fans at the Fire Fight Australia charity concert at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. See page 20.

regulars 6 From the Publisher 10 Two Months in Leisure 32 People 60 Products www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news, products and events

20 24 28 36 42 46 48 52 56 58

4 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Behind Australia’s Biggest Show

Fire Fight enters Australian entertainment history

The Complex Challenges of a Rugby World Cup MI Associates’ role at Japan’s Rugby World Cup

Conservation and Profit

The opening of the new Sydney Zoo

Building a Badass Boutique

Emma Barry explains how to design a fitness studio that rocks

Wonders of Wet Workouts The potential of aqua fitness

Aquatic Industry Workforce is predominantly Female Findings from the National Aquatic Industry Workforce Survey

Public Pools for all Australians Swimming pools as accessible community health hubs

Informed Decision Making

The new national infrastructure database

Island Tragedy

The deaths of 21 people on New Zealand’s White Island

Hard Lessons

The Coroner’s report into Dreamworld’s 2016 fatalities

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From the Publisher A New Decade of Challenges

Published by Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd, 102 Taiyul Road, North Narrabeen, NSW 2101 (PO Box 478, Collaroy, NSW 2097) AUSTRALIA ABN 32 092 549 721

Tel: 02 9970 8322 Fax: 02 9970 8355 E-mail: leisure@ausleisure.com.au www.ausleisure.com.au Twitter: @AusLeisure Facebook: www.facebook.com/AusLeisure Editor Karen Sweaney Publisher Nigel Benton Design Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd Administration Bill Gillies

Advertising Inquiries Nigel Benton Tel: 02 9970 8322 Email: nigel@ausleisure.com.au James Croll Tel: 0488 090 904 Email: jcroll@ausleisure.com.au Printed in Australia by Newstyle Printing Pty Ltd 41 Manchester Street, Mile End, SA 5031 Tel: 1300 773 438, www.newstyleprint.com.au The annual subscription cost is AUS $90 (inclusive of GST) in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Rest of the World. Members of AALARA, ALFA, ASSA, EVANZ, Exercise Association of New Zealand, Sports and Play Industry Association and the VMA receive the magazine as a membership benefit. The views contained in Australasian Leisure Management are not necessarily those of Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd or the Editor. While every care is taken with advice given, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd and the Editor can take no responsibility for effects arising therefrom. Views expressed by contributors may be personal and are not necessarily the views of their employers or professional associations.

© Australasian Leisure Management, 2020. ISSN 1446-1374

Official Publication

In Association with

Australasian Leisure Management is an Australian product, Australian owned and printed in Australia.

The start of a new year or decade should bring with it predictions of where the industry will be heading and expectations of positivity for the future. Instead the last couple of months have presented enormous challenges across the industry: the White Island volcanic tragedy; Australia’s catastrophic bushfires; the ongoing revelations of the so-called ‘sports rorts’ affair; the release of the Coronial inquest into the Dreamworld fatalities of 2016 and the outbreak and impact of Coronavirus across Asia and around the world. These matters have certainly impacted the industry and will continue to do so for months and years ahead. In this issue, we ask if the deaths of visitors at White Island could have been avoided and explore the implications of the Dreamworld inquest while our online news at www.ausleisure. com.au continues to report on the fast moving developments of the other challenges that the industry faces.


The devastating bushfires across south eastern Australia over recent months have impacted communities, economies, the environment and wildlife, with apocalyptic footage of monstrous fires, heroic firefighters, injured animals and tourists in smoke masks filling news channels, front pages and social media around the world. In addition to the deaths of at least 33 people, the economic and environmental impact has been huge, with many areas of the leisure industry affected. With tourism one of Australia’s biggest exports, the bushfires have driven international visits down while locals have seen festivals and sporting events cancelled and their quality of life and health impacted by poor air quality. Wherever you stand on the causes of climate change, the reality of a changing climate demands that industry prepares to deal with it, perhaps in the way that it rallied together with events such as Fire Fight Australia (our cover feature in this issue).

Sports Rorts

The ongoing revelations of how the Federal Government allocated funds from the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program prior to the last national election have made depressing reading over recent months. It shows that irrespective of whether a project met Sport Australia’s criteria in terms of community participation, local need and design and delivery, its location in a marginal or Coalition electorate was a key factor in all-too-many cases. I have long been concerned that both of Australia’s major parties have made extravagant commitments to leisure, and particularly sport projects at election time as it shows that politicians hold a cynical regard towards the electorate, assuming that allocating a few hundred thousands dollars to their favourite team or preferred local sport will secure their vote. At a time when public confidence in politicians continues to decline, the sports rorts affair also undermines the industry’s confidence in the effectiveness of its expertise and recommendations. However, moving forward on a brighter note, following more than 20 years of calls for a national audit of facilities in order to identify need and, in some cases, overprovision, it is a pleasure that our feature ‘Meeting Demand’ has flagged the release of a central infrastructure database for the industry. Developed by key industry stakeholders to inform best practice planning and investment it has the potential to give everyone more confidence to make decisions and coordinate with partners, which will ultimately lead to more active communities. Nigel Benton, Publisher


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Two Months in Leisure Some of the industry headlines over recent months. Daily industry news can be read at www.ausleisure.com.au

New ASM Global expands operations in Australia

Newly formed global entertainment entity ASM Global has announced a strategic investment of a 25% shareholding in Sydney-based stadium operator VenuesLive. Acquiring the stake from Techfront Australia, the announcement marks ASM Global’s further expansion in the Australian market. Formed through the merger of AEG VenuesLive managed venue, Perth’s Optus Stadium Facilities and SMG, ASM Global’s operations span five continents with a broad and diversified portfolio of more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centres and performing arts venues.

Georges River Council commences community consultation on site for new aquatic centre

Looking at suitable locations for a third aquatic centre in its boundaries, Sydney’s Georges River Council has commenced a community consultation regarding the Draft Georges River Regional Aquatic Site Suitability and Feasibility Study. Compiled by industry consultants the Otium Planning Group, the Study was endorsed unanimously for public exhibition at a Council Meeting in December. Applying 14 sustainable assessment criteria to four possible locations within the Study area, Otium Planning Group has identified the Sans Souci Leisure Centre, Todd Park, Carrs Bush Park and Netstrata Jubilee Stadium as suitable locations.

VMA launches first dedicated jobs portal for the venue management industry

The Venue Management Association has launched a new industry initiative, the VMA Jobs Board as the first venue industry employment portal. Catering specifically to the venue management industry, VenueJobs will not only host job vacancies and manage the recruitment process, but also allow for prospective candidates to post their resumes for employers to peruse and bring together industry learning opportunities in one place. For more information go to www.vma.org.au/jobs-board

Researchers put a value on national parks’ impact on mental health

National parks worldwide are worth about $8.7 trillion a year in the improved mental health of their visitors, according to initial estimates published by a team of Griffith University researchers. Griffith ecologists, psychologists and economists led the peer-reviewed Perspective ‘Economic Image courtesy of Parks Victoria value of protected areas via visitor mental health’, which has been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

Country Club International and Golf Business Australia combine to reduce risk at Australian golf clubs

Brisbane City Council

Tender Market Sounding for Lease and OperaƟ on Riverstage Partnership of City Pools Project (560230)



Closing Closing

Council seeking industry feedback on how to BrisbaneisCity Council is seeking experienced best secure Riverstage as and an iconic venue and proponents for the lease operaƟmusic on of the cultural icon for the people of the Brisbane for the following City Pools: next generation. Acacia Ridge Leisure Centre, Bellbowrie Swimming Market Sounding documents are available at: Pool, Jindalee Swimming Pool, Musgrave Park https://supplierportal.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ Swimming Pool and Spring Hill Baths. For assistance to register and download Documentstelephone are available documents theatBusiness Hotline supplierportal.brisbane.qld.gov.au on 133 BNE (133 263). For Ph.(07) (07)3403 3027 3636 Forfurther further information informaƟon Ph. 7110 or or e-mail e-mailchelle.day@brisbane.qld.gov.au dan.padget@brisbane.qld.gov.au

12Friday noon Qld time, 13th March 282020 February 2020

Colin Jensen, Chief Executive Officer 10 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137


Tenders are invited for:

Golf Business Australia (GBA), the country’s fastest-growing golf industry-specific insurance and finance provider, has united with Country Club International (CCI), Australia’s leading distributor of golf course accessories and safety equipment. The new partnership was formed with the objective to reduce the many risks at Australian golf clubs and facilities by providing safety fencing and insurance products. Offering ground-breaking products to Australian golf, the two companies have connected with the mutual goal to better the setting around courses and protect clubs against the increasing hazard of wayward golf ball incidents.


URBNSURF artificial wave park opens in Melbourne

One of the most anticipated attraction and surf sport innovations of recent years, URBNSURF - Australia’s first surfable wave park has opened in the Melbourne suburb of Tullamarine. With waves driven by Wavegarden technology, the attraction has been more than seven years in the making for founder Andrew Ross. Located just a three-minute drive from Melbourne Airport, the $28 million attraction is divided into three zones: the first has knee-high whitewater for beginners, the second has unbroken waves around waist-height for intermediate surfers, and the third is for experienced surfers with waves up to two metres high.

Recreation Aotearoa and Water Safety NZ emphasise importance of parental supervision at pools

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Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Following an increase of pool incidents over the summer, New Zealand industry bodies Recreation Aotearoa and Water Safety NZ have released a statement stressing the importance of parental supervision of children at public pools. The statement advises “we are at the time of the year when parents and caregivers are starting to return to work, however our children are still enjoying the summer, typically at the local swimming pool” before warning “parents of the dangers at the pool and remind them of their supervision responsibilities around children and water safety”. It goes on to stress the role of lifeguards as “an important safety feature”, but they are not intended to replace the close supervision of parents or caregivers.

Woodfordia the site of Australia’s largest all-natural conservation and recreation lake

Attendees at the latest Woodford Folk Festival were able to not only be entertained by the extensive event program but were also able to enjoy a new feature on the Woodfordia site - Australia’s largest all-natural conservation and recreation lake. Lake Gkula features waterfalls, native fish, aquatic plants, a 90-metre-long beach along one bank, an island to swim to and explore, and plenty of large rocks to jump off.

The Y NSW starts operations at three Western Sydney University Gyms

The Y NSW has officially become the new provider at Western Sydney University’s three gyms. The gyms at Hawkesbury, Penrith and Bankstown reopened to the public in January, with some exciting changes and familiar faces. Advising that the Y is embarking on its “own university orientation”, the Y’s Area Manager, Shane Simmons commented “it’s been an incredibly busy time for the team. As a youth organisation the Y thrives in a university setting and we’re looking forward to becoming an embedded part of this community.”

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 11

Fair Work Ombudsman review leads Quayclean to adopt new business model

An on-site audit investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman into employment and payment structures of two subcontracting companies used by Quayclean at Marvel Stadium in 2017 has been the catalyst to completely overhaul the company’s operational and business model. Quayclean Australia has advised that immediately following the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) on-site inspection, it undertook its own full review into existing customer relationships and operations, including where work may have been completed through sub-contracted companies.

Zoo and Aquarium Association develops plan to help wildlife recover from Australia’s bushfire crisis

The Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) is mobilising its Wildlife Conservation Fund to support a large-scale, coordinated response of zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums to the drought and bushfire crisis. The ZAA drought and bushfire response will focus on wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and long-term species recovery. It will bring together the significant expertise, resources, equipment and facilities across its network of accredited organisations to help native animals in the crisis affected areas.

Spartan Race acquires bankrupt rival Tough Mudder

Less than two months after Tough Mudder’s creditors in the USA forced it into filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the extreme obstacle race operator has been acquired by rival brand Spartan Race. With Spartan Race having also saved Tough Mudder’s UK-based operations, it has, according to Bloomberg, agreed to pay US$700,000 for the company and take on as much as US$10 million in liabilities. Spartan will reportedly also honour all tickets that were previously purchased for Tough Mudder events.

Southern Koala ‘Four Paws’ receiving pain relief at Adelaide Zoo: Courtesy of Zoos SA.

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reveals future vision as adventure-themed attraction

Hong Kong’s theme park Ocean Park has unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for its future that aims to create an adventure-themed resort destination with a focus on nature, conservation and edutainment. The HK$10.6 billion (US$1.3 billion) plan, which envisages Ocean Park ending its animal shows, calls for a redevelopment of the attraction into new experiential zones with adventure as the overarching theme linked to the introduction of an array of new attractions and hitechnology thrill rides, including an amazing number of self-paced, interactive rides.

YMCA South Australia achieves Quality Accreditation for all facilities

YMCA South Australia has become the first organisation in the country to have all its facilities achieve Fitness Australia Quality Accreditation. The nationally recognised accreditation confirms YMCA South Australia’s commitment to providing outstanding quality, value, safety and customer service at each of its eight facilities.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news 12 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

World’s tallest indoor climbing wall opens

The world’s tallest indoor climbing wall and widest skydiving flight chamber have opened on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The US$100 million CLYMB™ Abu Dhabi features a 43 metre high climbing wall and an indoor skydiving flight chamber spanning 10 metres wide and 32 metres high.

AFL’s Crows reveal plans to replace Adelaide Aquatic Centre with new training base

After almost three decades based at the city’s West Lakes, the AFL’s Adelaide Crows have presented plans for a $65 million training facility that will replace the Adelaide Aquatic Centre. Crows have presented plans for a new administration and training base in North Adelaide include a two-storey building with a gym and swimming pool, along with an upgraded oval in the Adelaide Park Lands on Barton Terrace West. The swimming pool would be open to the public, and the oval would be unfenced.

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Ernst & Young study confirms value of major events to Victorian economy

Australian Open: Courtesy of Visit Victoria

A new study by leading consultants, Ernst & Young has found that the value of major events to the Victorian economy has soared to $2.5 billion a year. The Eventful Year 2018 report confirmed that a world-leading events calendar continues to deliver for all Victorians. The report was commissioned by Visit Victoria, the state’s primary tourism and major events company.

Recreation Aotearoa to stage the southern hemisphere’s biggest parks conference in Rotorua

Recreation Aotearoa has announced details of its 2020 Green Pavlova conference, which, incorporating the World Urban Parks Asia-Pacific Congress, it says will be “the biggest parks and open spaces conference that the southern hemisphere has ever seen”. Taking place from 4th to 7th May 2020 at Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island, the conference will bring together the AsiaPacific’s parks and open spaces industry to learn new things, discuss best practice and network with colleagues.

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Australia’s first glass bridge proves a popular attraction for outback Queensland

A new glass bridge at Cobbold Gorge in the Gulf Savannah region of north-west Queensland is one of the attractions expected to entice visitors to the outback in 2020. The 11-metre long glass bridge over the Gorge, 60 kilometres west of Forsayth, is the first ever bridge constructed with an entirely glass surface in Australia. Built at a cost of $600,000, the 19-metre-high bridge has a glass bottom deck that is 4.5-centimetres thick.

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 13

MCG looks to boost sustainability with ban on plastic plates and cutlery

The Melbourne Cricket Club has banned plastic straws, cutlery and plates from the MCG and is investigating phasing-out single-use plastics from its restaurants and bars. A leader in venue sustainability and environmental initiatives, the MCG is also urging fans to bring their own reusable coffee cups and will be offering patrons the opportunity to recycle any coffee vessels they buy at the ground with stations set up where entire cups - not just lids -- can be recycled. Plastic plates have been replaced with paper and wooden cutlery while soft plastic packaging has also been banned from giveaways on the external concourse of the 100,000 seat venue.

Live Performance Australia seeks answers from Google as Viagogo advertising returns

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With Viagogo appearing to once again be advertising on Google, Live Performance Australia has sought urgent clarification from the search engine giant about the terms by which the controversial reseller has been allowed to resume promoting its online ticket resales. In July 2019, Google announced that Viagogo had been suspended from its Ad Words platform worldwide after ruling the controversial ticket resale site was in breach of its advertising regulations. Live Performance Australia (LPA) Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said Google owed Australian consumers, artists, producers, promoters and venue operators a full explanation of its decision to allow Viagogo to resume advertising.

Viva Leisure looks to raise new capital as it announces acquisition of 13 FitnFast clubs

Canberra-based Viva Leisure Limited has announced that it is to acquire 13 FitnFast Health Clubs at a cost of $13.5 million. The strategic acquisition, in line with Viva Leisure’s stated growth strategy, will see the ASX-listed group expand with 10 clubs in NSW, two in Victoria and one in the ACT, gaining a minimum of 21,500 members. The acquisition further expands Viva Leisure’s customers, products and geographic footprint into new territories via established locations with a loyal membership base and moves the group towards its overall membership targets.

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14 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

New research finds Australian cricket not ready for challenges of climate change

New research by the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub and commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), has found that Australian cricket is already feeling the impact of climate change and extreme heat increasing the risk of heat stress on players and the likelihood of match disruptions. According to the new assessment of the impact and exposure of Australian cricket to global warming, the Boxing Day Test may have to be played at night or in cooler months like November and March as climate change worsens extreme heat.


The Aquatopia Water Park has been opened on Hon Thom island off Vietnam’s southern coast. (pictured left) Manningham City Council’s Aquarena aquatic and recreation centre has passed 50 years of operations. Plans for the development of a new 25,000 roofed stadium in Christchurch have been approved by the New Zealand Government and Christchurch City Council, with work on the $473 million venue set to start next year and be completed by 2024.(pictured centre left) BlueFit has announced a new partnership with property developer Lotus Living that will see it introduce BlueFit Swimming to new residents-only aquatic facility. The ACT’s historic Manuka Pool reopened to the community for its 89th swimming season following a $2.42 million upgrade. (pictured left) Construction to rebuild Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre has begun, 18 months on from the fire that destroyed the home of independent theatre in Australia. The new Beast Park activity centre in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur offers climbing and adventure sports facilities while also being a social and community space.(pictured left)

The Art Gallery of New South Wales recently marked the start of construction of its $344 million expansion, the Sydney Modern Project. The NSW Government has approved funding for the redevelopment of Pier 2/3 at the Walsh Bay precinct.

Adventure World asks patrons to wear ‘appropriate swimwear’

Perth theme park Adventure World has been in the news following a request for guests using its waterpark to “choose appropriate swimwear when visiting”. The Bibra Lake attraction created headlines when it posted a bather bottom guideline on Facebook, taking a stand against skimpy swimwear at its family-oriented waterpark area. Asking patrons not to be “too cheeky” when visiting, the new dress code immediately sparked fierce debate among followers and subsequent media attention. The Facebook post advised “Adventure World is a family friendly park, please choose appropriate swimwear when visiting”, alongside an infographic showing that thong and string bikini bottoms were now prohibited.

Plans approved for expansion of Hobbiton attraction

Matamata-Piako District Council has approved New Zealand’s third largest tourist attraction, Hobbiton, to operate under their new development concept plan which will allow 3,500 visitors per day and a million per year, up from 300,000. Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies and the subsequent opening of the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, saw Matamata, a town in the shadow of the Kaimai Range Mountains, on New Zealand’s North Island, become home to the vibrant visitor destination of “Hobbiton”, attracting visitors from all over the world. The new plan sees the loosening of noise restrictions thereby creating potential for more events to be held at the tourist destination.


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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 15

Image courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism

Private equity firms look to acquire Village Roadshow

Village Roadshow Limited has reportedly received a pair of takeover offers, valuing the company at more than $750 million from private equity investors. Pacific Equity Partners were reportedly the first to express an interest in the family-run cinema and theme park business, which faced a series of challenges during 2019. This was followed by a bid from BGH Capital.

New Zealand Commission clears Cardrona to acquire Treble Cone

The Commerce Commission, New Zealand’s competition, consumer and regulatory agency, has granted clearance for Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited to acquire either the shares of Treble Cone Investments Limited or the assets it uses to operate the Treble Cone ski field. Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited is the owner and operator of the Cardrona ski field, which is located above the Cardrona township between Wanaka and Queenstown. Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited is part of the Wayfare group of companies.

University Basketball League to commence in 2020

Stay ahead

Marriner Group unveils refurbishment of Melbourne’s historic Regent Theatre

Theatre operator the Marriner Group has unveiled its $19.4 million upgrade of Melbourne theatre, The Regent. Works undertaken have included an increased capacity with 192 new seats - allowing for flexible seating configurations; new leather lounge chairs in the Dress Circle; upgrade bars and foyers; extensive repair and restoration of the ornate plasterwork; and the grand and glittering crystal chandelier in the auditorium has undergone a full restoration.

Stay ahead of your competition

The inaugural University Basketball League (UBL) tournament will run from 31st March to 28th May 2020. Endorsed by Basketball Australia, and supported by the respective State Basketball Associations, the inaugural UBL tournament will be played over nine weeks, with each participating university getting the opportunity to host and livestream the matches.

of your competition List your product in the

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International music magazine Billboard has named Rod Laver Arena as one of the world’s top 10 highest grossing venues over the past decade. Built in 1988, Rod Laver Arena is in the company alongside global venues including the O2 Arena in London, New York’s Madison Square Garden and the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.



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NEW ZEALAND It was found that 77% of participants reported a better experience using SMARTBAR™ compared to other brands of equipment, while 56% of participants said the quality of equipment used for BODYPUMP™ has an influence on whether they choose to continue their membership.

AUSTRALIA Pinnacle Health Club recently introduced SMART TECH equipment into their Oakleigh (VIC) location. Sam McCutcheon, Operations Manager said, “Providing an experience comes just as much from how we offer a Les Mills class to what we offer and who delivers it. SMART TECH very much adds the sharp element to our Group Fitness Studio equipment; it creates a seamless member experience; uses nice sleek easy-to-load bars and SMARTSTEPs, enabling our members to set up and get into the zone in a faster, more practical way. We love our new equipment! It has been the missing piece to our group fitness experience!”

UNITED KINGDOM “No one wants to move backward in an industry moving forward at such a fast pace”, said John Blackburn, Head of Fitness and Customer Experience at 1LIFE in the UK. There, SMART TECH™ is used primarily in the group exercise studio for classes, although they have seen an increase in Personal Trainers using the equipment for its versatility. After installing SMART TECH™ 1Life noticed a drop in complaints about the equipment, along with positive member feedback about ease of use, and visual appeal. In response to the introduction of SMART TECH™, 1Life also saw a 72% increase in BODYPUMP™ attendance with only minor timetable changes, while one club increased attendance levels by 81.1% even without making any timetable changes at all.

AUSTRALIA Fernwood Beverly Hills (NSW) is just one of many riding the wave of SMART TECH success. Group Fitness Manager Noura Ridha said, “The members at Fernwood Beverly Hills loved the introduction of SMARTBAR to our club. We saw a 30% increase in BODYPUMP participation and classes are still going strong.”


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75,000 attended the Fire FIght Australia concert (above) while Queen’s Adam Lambert urged the fans to “keep on fighting” (below). Courtesy of Emma Rothfield/ANZ Stadium.

Behind Australia’s biggest show Arthur Stanley explains how Fire Fight Australia etched its way into Australian entertainment history “We are the champions, my friends. And we’ll keep on fighting ‘til the end.” As Adam Lambert’s voice boomed out across Sydney’s ANZ Stadium in unison with Queen legends Brian May and Roger Taylor, an entire nation joined in the chorus. After a summer of heartbreak caused by the horrific bushfires that have devastated communities across Australia, this was finally a time for unity and healing. And so, on a blessedly pleasant Sunday evening in midFebruary, dozens of Australian and international artists gave up their time to perform at the Fire Fight Australia concert in front of 75,000 fans and an international TV audience of millions, while raising more than $10 million for bushfire relief funds.

10 hours, 23 acts, 75,000 fans, a global TV audience, $10 million raised This was an event that showcased the absolute best of Australia and the nation’s fighting spirit. Comparisons were immediately made to the famous Live Aid concert at Wembley in 1985 that raised millions for the Ethiopian famine, not least because Queen replicated that signature set for the first time in 35 years. 20 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

For more than 10 hours on Sunday 16th February, as a cavalcade of superstars performed for a pulsating ANZ Stadium crowd and TV audiences, it felt as if the world was united in its empathy for Australia’s bushfire victims. And while the concert featured some of the biggest names in the music industry, the real stars of the show were in the stands as thousands of heroic firefighters and emergency services staff joined the capacity crowd standing together with all fireaffected Australians.

Acts at Fire FIght Australia, clockwise from top left: A girl helps open the concert, k.d.lang Queen’s Brian May, Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham, and Jessica Mauboy. Courtesy of Emma Rothfield/ANZ Stadium.

The Event The enormous success of the Fire Fight Australia concert prompted rising First Nations performer Mitch Tambo, who performed You’re the Voice in his native language alongside John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John, to declare that the event would go down as “an iconic moment in Australian history.” Tambo stated “it was such a massive platform . . . an iconic moment in our history for sure. Future generations are going to talk about this concert and what it stood for: when a big portion of the nation is in need, we don’t just sit back and let people suffer.” Veteran Australian journalist Ray Gatt concurred, saying “the Fire Fight concert will be remembered as one of the greatest events in Australian entertainment history”. Legendary music commentator Glenn Baker said just as Live Aid did 35 years ago, the Fire Fight Australia concert had “captured the attention of the world”, noting “it was probably the most dramatic concert event we’ve done. It set a new standard of production in Australia.” The Finale Tambo had been on stage as the show came to a spectacular finale, with Queen guitarist Brian May returning to the stage for a scintillating show-closer with Farnham. For more than 30 years, You’re the Voice has been tattooed on Australia’s heart as something very close to a national anthem. Farnham has performed his signature song hundreds of times, yet the version of his 1986 hit single that unfolded at ANZ Stadium for Fire Fight was the most moving and striking take ever aired. Tambo sang the entire second verse in Gamilaraay language as Olivia Newton-John, a living national treasure, lent her voice to the performance. But for the final chorus, the real stars emerged, walking out to stand between the performers and the crowd … 14 volunteer firefighters, young and middle-aged, wearing bright yellow jackets and sturdy boots. They were the people their communities looked to in a time of national crisis, and as uncomfortable as they were at being the centre of attention, they were the ones who provoked the night’s biggest and most 22 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

heartfelt cheers and round of applause. As well as Queen & Adam Lambert, Farnsy, Olivia and Tambo, the 23 acts included Michael Bublé on relay from Melbourne, 5 Seconds of Summer debuting a new song, Delta Goodrem coming on stage holding an Australian flag, the soulful k.d. lang journeying to Australia just to perform two songs, Hilltop Hoods turning their set into a hip hop collaboration, as well as Tina Arena, Alice Cooper, Daryl Braithwaite, Jessica Mauboy, Grinspoon, Baker Boy and Ronan Keating. The Teamwork The concert was an enormous collaborative effort that involved promoters TEG Dainty and TEG Live, VenuesLive - the operator of ANZ Stadium -- and government agency Venues NSW, Transport for NSW, and the broadcasters Channel 7 and Foxtel, along with a community willing to help those in need. Securing the diverse array of musical talent was the work of TEG, which organised the show at short notice. Big-name artists Queen, Michael Buble and Alice Cooper were already in Australia and local acts quickly jumped on board to take part. TEG Chief Executive Geoff Jones said it had been “an enormous effort from the industry to pull this concert together in five weeks and we are just so proud of what has been achieved through our collective effort.” Paul Dainty, President and Chief Executive of TEG Dainty added “we are overjoyed at the response from all of the fans at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and around the world. From the first conversation with Queen’s manager, Jim Beach, the band’s immediate response to support this amazing event was what set everything in motion”. Queen had played at ANZ Stadium to 70,000 fans the night before the Fire Fight Australia concert and donated their stage to the bushfire relief event. The Ratings The concert delivered a ratings boon for the Seven Network, with more than one million viewers tuning in nationally across the five city metro areas. The 10-hour show was live on Seven, as well as the Foxtel-owned cable networks FOX8. Coverage was also available via on-demand services Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and 7plus.

A two-hour package of the show was screened in the US on Fox Networks, Sky in the UK and TVNZ in New Zealand, while Channel 7 replayed the show in Australia a week later. Venues NSW - the government agency that owns ANZ Stadium on behalf of the NSW Government - provided Sydney’s Olympic stadium free of charge for the event, and the Stadium itself offered up proceeds from food and beverage sales on the day to the bushfire relief funds. Stadium staff, along with concert and TV broadcast production crews, worked through the night to clean, re-stock and reconfigure ANZ Stadium so that it was ready to host the 10hour Fire Fight extravaganza just hours after 70,000 fans had witnessed Queen & Adam Lambert in concert the night before. Transport for NSW, on behalf of the NSW Government, provided free public transport for all ticketholders, with more than 50,000 patrons using public transport to attend the concert. Given the focus on climate change and its role in the recent bushfire crisis, ANZ Stadium staff worked with key stakeholders on a range of environmental and sustainability initiatives. A high percentage of the 2 tonnes of rubbish collected post event was recycled. The Stadium ANZ Stadium, known generically as Stadium Australia, has hosted some of the nation’s biggest live concerts in its 21-year history, along with many of Australia’s greatest sporting events. The Fire Fight Australia concert will be the last major live concert at the venue before it undergoes a much-anticipated redevelopment from July this year, and many people recognised the significance of this magnificent concert in terms of it being an event to remember. Stadium Australia was built as the main venue for the 2000 Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games and the investment by the NSW Government is to ensure it remains the iconic venue it was built to be, capable of hosting stunning events such as Fire Fight well into the future. Before then there is still a State of Origin rugby league game, the Football for Fires charity match and other events to come

at ANZ Stadium in 2020, but there’s no doubt the Fire Fight concert will live long in the memories of everyone who was there to experience it or watched it on TV around the world. The Legacy ANZ Stadium Chief Executive, Daryl Kerry said the way the Fire Fight concert had come together in such a short time frame was a credit to the entertainment industry and the NSW Government, along with the broadcasters and his Stadium team. Kerry advised “everyone embraced the opportunity we had to do something significant to help those in need. “When we set out to help other people, our goal is to make a difference … raising $10 million will make a difference to those in need, and the Fire Fight concert also showcased the wonderful community spirit we have here in Australia and clearly also made a lot of people happy.” Noting how the agency had been incredibly proud to play a role in bringing this historic event to the community, Venues NSW Chair, Christine McLoughlin concluded “this was a truly global event, featuring international stars and beamed to a worldwide TV audience, but it was closer to home where the involvement of the Australian people really made it memorable. “At the Stadium, the community united to create an atmosphere in the precinct reminiscent of the 2000 Olympics bringing together friends, families, artists and emergency staff to show their support for each other as millions more tuned in to be a part of the action from home. “In having such a positive and unifying effect, the Fire Fight concert demonstrated the unrivalled ability of major event venues to bring people together and create a vibrancy that extends into the community, well beyond those who attend the event. “A heartfelt thank you to all who donated their talent, time and energy to this spectacular event.” Arthur Stanley is General Manager Media & Communications at VenuesLive, operator of ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Images courtesy of Emma Rothfield/ANZ Stadium.

Firefighters welcomed to the stage at the end of the concert. Courtesy of Emma Rothfield/ANZ Stadium.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 23

The complex challenges of a

Rugby World Cup

Danny Cameron outlines MI Associates’ role at the heart of the greatest Rugby World Cup “Rugby World Cup 2019 (RWC 2019) has been one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time, and certainly the most ground-breaking in terms of bringing the game to new audiences and attracting new fans to the sport we love,” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said at the completion of the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. And if you weren’t aware of the news through October 2019, the greatest ever Rugby World Cup (RWC) was staged in the midst of Japan’s typhoon season – which presented momentous challenges to those on the ground managing the event. MI Associates (MI) was intricately involved with the 2019 tournament and is proud of its success following six years of event planning bringing the tournament to life. MI has been involved in the planning or delivery of every Rugby World Cup since 2003 and Japan RWC 2019 presented some of the most complex challenges yet. The MI Associates team at Japan Rugby World Cup 2019.

24 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Following a failed bid attempt in 2005 for RWC 2011, the first Rugby World Cup in Asia was awarded in July 2009 to the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) for the 2019 tournament. While Japan has played in every world cup since the tournament’s inception in 1987, and created what is generally seen as the greatest upset in rugby history during the 2015 tournament with their come from behind victory against South Africa, the awarding of the tournament to an Asian country came at a time of concerted effort from World Rugby to push into new audiences and grow the global game though Asia following the incredibly successful tournament in 2015 at rugby’s home, England. Japan represented a unique challenge as a Tier 2 rugby nation with limited recent major sporting event experience (most recently Japan was a co-host of the FIFA World Cup in 2002), an entirely different sports business culture and one of the most active countries in terms of potential for natural disasters. Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee (JR2019) initially turned to trusted international major events consultants to provide support and advice for the planning of the tournament. JR2019 engaged MI in 2013 to provide some strategic planning and project management tools to the organising committee, allowing the organisation to tap into MI’s unrivalled Rugby World Cup experience. MI leveraged over 19 years of major event experience to provide JR2019 with advice in contemporary major events standards. In 2017, as the operational planning intensified, JR2019 expanded its organisational structure with MI Managing Director, Chris Stanley, appointed the Executive Director of Planning and MI Consultant, Chris Barling, seconded to

The operations centre at Japan Rugby World Cuop 2019.

the Central Management Group (CMG). MI joined with local organising committee CMG members to provide JR2019 with project management tools and the risk assessment/ framework as well as operational crisis, contingency and readiness planning frameworks. One of the major considerations identified in the comprehensive tournament risk assessment was the effect of a major natural disaster. Following the risk assessment, a major focus for both JR2019 and World Rugby then became how to address and mitigate against this risk. MI was integral to developing a Crisis Management Plan and a Back-up Venue Plan, as well as a Tournament Delays, Postponement, Abandonment and Cancellation Policy. MI also facilitated extensive readiness discussions prior to the tournament and as a result fulfilled a key role within the joint JR2019 and World Rugby incident management team (IMT). Describing the challenges of the tournament planning and delivery, Stanley advises “we really were at the heart of this great project.” Explaining how the tournament preparedness was tested to the greatest possible extent when Typhoon Hagibis, the most devastating typhoon to hit the Kanto (Tokyo/ Yokohama) since 1958, approached Japan at the end of the pool phase, Stanley advises “the IMT was initiated and our teams worked around the clock with our dedicated weather meteorologist to understand the likely pathway of the typhoon. “As an indication of the enormity of the disaster being faced, Typhoon Hagibis, approximately 1,400 kilometres in diameter, was nearly four times the size of the typhoon that approached at the start of the tournament.” In the Main Operation Centre, the IMT heard the typhoon was predicted to be the biggest typhoon of the 2019 season and was highly likely to cause considerable disruption in the Media conference on Typhoon Hagibis during Japan Rugby World Cup 2019.

26 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Tokyo, Yokohama and city of Toyota areas throughout Saturday 12th October, including likely public transport shutdown or disruption. That coincided with the final seven fixtures of the pool phase, some critical to determine the progression of teams to the knockout stage. As Hagibis approached Japan, the IMT took the unprecedented step to cancel two pool matches on Saturday 12th October. World Rugby advised the world’s media on the evening of 10th October, stating “it is an exceptional, complex and rapidly evolving situation and team and public safety is the number one priority. “Our primary consideration is the safety of everyone. Our message to fans continues to be stay indoors, do not travel … stay safe.” The typhoon made landfall in Japan on the evening of Saturday 12th October 2019. Across 11 prefectures, the typhoon caused heavy flooding, loss of power and evacuation orders were issued to more than 800,000 households. Sadly 95 Japanese citizens lost their lives. It was a critical juncture in the tournament, and the IMT did their utmost to ensure decisions were made at the very last moment to enable the most accurate information to be actioned. The typhoon quickly passed overnight, and the IMT monitored the situation around the clock. It is safe to say Stanley did not get many hours sleep during this period. At first light on Sunday 13th October, ground inspections were conducted with the Host Cities for all Sunday’s games. While one further game was cancelled, it is as a testament to the readiness planning, resilience of the Japanese transportation system and tenacity of the JR2019 venue teams that the critical match of Japan vs. Scotland at Yokohama International Stadium was held with a capacity crowd of 72,000 less than 12 hours after the typhoon had passed. Stanley recalls “the one-minute silence at the start of the game for those affected by the typhoon, and the host nation’s stirring resolve throughout the game, saw Japan victorious over Scotland 28-21 in what is one of the greatest moments in World Rugby I have ever witnessed.” It would be fair to say that the whole 2019 tournament exceeded all expectations in terms of achieving World Rugby’s aspirations for the tournament. The Japanese National side (the ‘Brave Blossoms’) were incredibly successful beating Scotland and Ireland to proceed to the knockout stages for the first time. The JFRU has also already confirmed fixtures against England and Ireland for the 2020 season – a huge boost for the nation and raising the potential that its Tier 2 World Rugby status might be short-lived. The RWC2019 is just the start of a spectacular series of major events in Japan over the coming years, guaranteed to bring

enjoyment, tourists and economic benefits to Japan. With the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, the World Masters Games in Kansai in 2021 and the World Expo in 2025, RWC2019 has set the standard and momentum for an exciting period of global attention for the host nation. Meanwhile, back in the Australian offices of MI, the team is now turning its attention to supporting Rugby Australia in its development of the documentation for the RWC2027 bid, and is also excited by the opportunities presented by the South East Queensland 2032 Olympic Games, following the recent announcement by the Queensland Government that it will continue with its bid process. Rugby World Cup 2019 statistics •Record 99.3% attendance with 1.84 million tickets sold •Record 1.13 million people in fan zones •Record 54.8 million television audience for Japan v Scotland (Japan team involved in top five biggest ever television audiences) •Record 437 billion Yen economic impact •Record more than 1.7 billion digital video views •Record legacy programme with 1.8 million new participants •Record CSR programme with more than US$2.5 million raised for ChildFund Pass It Back •Record competitiveness with 30.5 average winning margin between Tier 1 and Tier 2 •Record attendance of 70,103 spectators at Yokohama International Stadium for the final Danny Cameron is a former journalist now employed by MI Associates to work on authoring business cases, tenders and proposals. Based in Sydney and Melbourne, MI Associates are a leading Australian-based team of management consultants who work in sport, arts and culture and tourism.

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 27

Animal exhibits at the new Sydney Zoo.

Conservation and Profit

Karen Sweaney welcomes the opening of the new Sydney Zoo and its commitment to support wildlife conservation and education


estern Sydney is going through a period of significant industry developments with the Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta opened last April and the Sydney Coliseum staging its first performances before Christmas. As the region booms, the new Sydney Zoo, the first major zoo to open in the NSW capital in more than a century, welcomed its first visitors as of early December. Aiming to attract one million guests each year, the new Bungarribee Park attraction features 30 habitats across four precincts, and is home to more than 2000 exotic and native animals. Visitors to the new attraction can view more than 95 species from across Australia, South East Asia and Africa, including wombats, emus, baboons, spider monkeys, lions and zebras. It also features an aquarium and the largest collection of reptiles and nocturnal animals in Australia. Located on a 16.5 hectare site in the suburb of Bungarribee, for which it has a 50-year lease from the NSW Government, the new attraction is just seven kilometres from the Raging Waters Sydney waterpark and four kilometres from Featherdale Wildlife Park and has excellent transport links being sited close to the M4 and M7 motorways. More than six years in the making, cornerstone investors in the $45 million Sydney Zoo include former Hoyts cinemas Chief Executive Peter Ivany and the Hammon family who operate the Scenic World attraction in the Blue Mountains in NSW and BridgeClimb Sydney. The Burgess family are also major shareholders with John Burgess, who founded the Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour in the late 1980s, in the role of Executive Chairman while his son, Jake, is Managing Director. 28 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Celebrating the achievement of the “phenomenally difficult project”, Jake Burgess commented at the time of the Zoo’s opening, that “no one has gone from a paddock to a major zoo, in the centre of a major capital city the size of Sydney before. “And having just been through it, I now completely understand why.” Committed to supporting Australian and international conservation efforts with the housing of a number of endangered species from around the world, Burgess said the new Zoo aimed to inspire change by “creating a sense of wonder and appreciation for the amazing and diverse creatures of the world”. Advising that animals around the world are experiencing “almost unprecedented species decline”, Burgess went on to say “it is the responsibility of institutions like zoos and museums to educate. “We need to promote behavioural change. We need to do what we can to try and save us from ourselves.” Populating the Zoo has included animal transfers from Singapore Zoo, the Czech Republic and zoos around Australia, which Burgess added had also been a massive undertaking. Committing to the highest standards of animal welfare, he noted “we have completed the largest single animal collection exercise ever undertaken in the world at one time, with over 2000 animals, 95 species and five international importations, including the first ever animal transfer from the Czech Republic to Australia.” With zoo attendance in Australia steadily increasing, confidence in the sector is not only seeing the opening of Sydney Zoo but the launch of the Elanor Wildlife Park Fund with the Featherdale Wildlife Park and Mogo Zoo as its initial assets. However, while attendances rise, so does the public’s



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expectations of institutions that hold animals. Fuelled in part by the scathing 2013 documentary ‘Blackfish’, about the life of a killer whale at a SeaWorld marine park in the USA (SeaWorld Entertainment is a different entity to Australia’s Sea World), animal attractions have come under pressure to improve practices or cease operations. As a result, cities and nations have banned or restricted wild animal circuses, with notable changes having seen the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus wrap up in 2017 and SeaWorld ceasing its breading of killer whales. As Henry Harteveldt, a tourism industry analyst for Atmosphere Research Group, explains “overall, people are more aware now of animals as living beings, not just there for entertainment, and there is more respect for animals. “The travel industry responds to its customers.” In the middle of last year, British Airways Holidays announced that it would stop selling tickets to attractions centered around captive animals, including zoos, while Virgin Holidays founder Sir Richard Branson said the company was cutting sales to sites with captive dolphins, whales or other cetaceans. Before Christmas, TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel platforms, announced that by 2020 it would no longer offer tickets to attractions that breed, import or capture cetaceans for public display, saying “the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last.” Responding to this, Dan Ashe, President and Chief Executive of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which represents about 240 major North American sites, including the National Zoo and SeaWorld, said in a statement that TripAdvisor was letting “a radical minority dictate corporate policy.”

The company says it consulted “experts on all sides of the debate” to come to its decision. Jake Burgess is certainly mindful of these issues, but explains “it is not a possibility, it is almost a certainty that the children of today’s children, my grandkids, will not have the opportunity to see most of the animals at Sydney Zoo in the wild. “At Sydney Zoo our philosophy is to do this through inspiration … to cause people to love, and want to preserve our animals and our ecosystems, to create awareness and then solicit behavioural change. “Our habitats have been designed with animal welfare as a priority, (for example) we’ve used moats to create a sense of openness and space which improves animal welfare and guest experience.” He also cites how the Sydney Zoo has invested in climate control technology both to encourage guests to visit and to keep animals cool, noting “any exhibits feature air conditioned back-of-house spaces which allow animals to rest comfortably, as well as misting stations and shade structures.” Sydney University’s David Phalen a professor of veterinary science, comments “when more countries are becoming increasingly urbanised, zoos make people more aware of the wider environment. They may watch David Attenborough, but that’s no comparison to actually seeing a tiger up close.” Sydney Zoo’s development has not been without legal complications, starting with its name. Remarkably nobody at Taronga Zoo on Sydney Harbour had ever thought to trademark or obtain domain names for the Sydney Zoo brand but, threatened by the new arrival it launched legal action in the Federal Court arguing the new attraction’s name could cause confusion with its own facility. An out-of-court agreement was eventually reached, with Sydney Zoo retaining its planned name. It has also had ongoing legal battles with Featherdale Wildlife Park, first over its ability to offer ‘animal experiences’ – with a series of conditions imposed under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act – and, immediately prior to its opening, over its hours of operation. Locally, Sydney Zoo is already having an economic impact, as well as offering an employment boost. As Jake Burgess adds “we have recruited, inducted and trained approximately 250 people from a pool of over 10,000 applicants.” Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management.

Southern NSW’s Mogo Zoo acquired by Western Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park Reflecting further confidence in the animal-based attractions and conservation sector, the owners of the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Western Sydney expanded their operations with the acquisition of Mogo Zoo at the beginning of November. The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed Elanor Investors Group launched the Elanor Wildlife Park Fund seeded by its existing asset, Featherdale Wildlife Park, to acquire Bateman’s Bay animal attraction. The boutique investor, known for its innovative real estate funds management business, established the fund following its purchase of Mogo Zoo, which it has renamed the Mogo Wildlife Park. The Fund has an initial value of $49 million, and is reportedly in talks to buy more zoos and wildlife parks. Advising that the sector has a lot of room for growth, 30 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Elanor Chief Executive, Glenn Willis told the Australian Financial Review “with the acquisition of the Mogo Zoo, we are pleased to be acquiring an iconic tourism and leisure asset with significant growth potential. “We look forward to applying our asset management approach to Mogo Zoo initially and, as the fund grows, to additional wildlife parks across Australia to deliver strong returns.” Mogo Zoo was sold by Sally Padey who, having established the attraction almost 30 years ago, has built the attraction into Australia’s largest collection of privatelyowned exotic animals including giraffes, rhinoceros, zebra, tigers, two prides of lions and primates. Well known Featherdale Wildlife Park zookeeper Chad Staples has taken control of the 200 animals on the site, now living at the attraction in Padey’s house. Staples was also on hand when the attraction was threatened by the catastrophic bushfires of late December, when staff heroically saved it and its 200 animals from the blaze.

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 31


Fitness Australia names Sport Australia Executive and Glen Eira Leisure Manager as appointed Directors

Fitness Australia’s growing links with the wider activity, recreation and sport sectors has seen it announce Kate Corkery, Director of Sport Governance and Strategy at Sport Australia (pictured above left) and Paige Buse, Manager of Glen Eira Leisure (pictured above right) as appointed board Directors. Advising that the appointed Directors have been selected to complement the current Board composition, Fitness Australia note that both Buse and Corkery have “strong professional backgrounds and experience that will help strengthen Fitness Australia’s foundations”.

Live Performance Australia Executive Council

Among those appointed to Live Performance Australia’s executive council for 2020/21 are Live Nation Australasia President Michael Coppel, Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand General Manager Maria O’Connor (Vice President), Fiona Winning of the Sydney Opera House, Liz Hawkins of the Adelaide Festival Centre, Shirley McGrath of the Gordon Frost Organisation, Melanie Smith of Arts Centre Melbourne and Judy Vince of Crown Perth.

Victoria University PhD for swimming champion Shane Gould

Olympic swimming champion Shane Gould has received a PhD from Victoria University in Melbourne. With three Olympic Gold medals, multiple world records, and more than 45 years of involvement with swimming organisations - from grass roots to international federations Dr Gould’s thesis is among the first scholarly cultural studies of swimming in Australia.


Having recently marked 107 years since its opening, Luna Park Melbourne’s long-term Chief Executive, Mary Stuart has stepped step down from the role. Stuart, who is currently VicePresident of the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA), will continue as a consultant at the famous St Kilda attraction where she has worked since 2004. The attractions former General Manager, Matt Butta, has taken on the Chief Executive role. After 17 years as Chief Executive of the Nunawading Swimming Club – one of Australia’s most successful organisations in learn to swim, competitive swimming and high performance swimming - Gary Barclay has left the organisation. Commenting as he left the Club, Barclay stated “the Club has been a second home for me having spent 32 years of my life there as an athlete, swim teacher, swim coach and CEO.” Joyce DiMascio has left her role as Chief Executive of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) to join Sydney hospitality group, The Venues Collection, as its Director of Marketing and Communication. Outgoing Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive, David Gallop, has handed over his position as Chair of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) to Tennis Australia Chief Executive, Craig Tiley. Overshadowed by the recent controversy surrounding allocations from the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program, Sport Australia Chief Executive, Kate Palmer has departed the role. Palmer, who announced her resignation last October, prior to investigation by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) into the program, is understood to be returning to Melbourne to care for a sick family member. A steady decline in climber numbers, exacerbated by the recent bushfires, have prompted the operators of BridgeClimb Sydney to end the tenure of Chief Executive Chris Zumwalt. The change comes just 18 months after Hammons Holdings, owner of Blue Mountains attraction Scenic World, secured a 20-year contract from the NSW Government to run the landmark attraction.

Leadership change at Links Modular Solutions

Software provider Links Modular Solutions has appointed Jeff Bogensberger, in the role of Links Chief Executive, replacing Ian Jones, who has decided to retire after 12 years of service to the Transaction Services Group (TSG) where he held a variety of other senior executive roles including Chief Executive Paysmart and Chief Executive TSG USA. TSG has also appointed Olivier Vandercamme to the new position of Chief Executive, Asia. 32 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

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Olivia Birkett has taken on the role of Infrastructure and Government Relations Manager for Tennis Australia. Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron has been appointed as the new Chair of the Walking Access Commission Ara Hikoi Aotearoa. ALFA Queensland has appointed former Royal Life Saving Society - Queensland Chief Executive, Michael Darben as its inaugural Executive Officer. He will be combining this role with his existing aquatic industry business Darben Training. Paul Doorn has moved from his role as Chief Executive of Venues NSW to become the new Chief Executive at the New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU). The NSW Government has appointed Erin Flaherty and Rosheen Garnon as members of the influential Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, and the reappointment of existing Trustees John Hartigan, Rod McGeoch, Maurice Newman and Barry O’Farrell. Margot Foster has been elected Vice President of Motorsport Australia, while Director Thea Jeanes-Cochrane has been appointed for a three-year term on the Board following her initial one year appointment. Swim teacher Mariano Garcia Nani has been named the Skills Active Aotearoa Apprentice of the Year for 2019. The World Surf League has advised that Chief Executive Sophie Goldschmidt is leaving her position, to be succeeded by Erik Logan, WSL’s President of Content, Media and Studios. After 12 years in the role, Rick Heath, Executive Director of Performing Arts Connections Australia, has moved to take up the role of Executive Director at Perth’s Black Swan State Theatre Company. Looking to offer a wider range of entertainment options, Dreamworld has announced the appointment of Nicole James as Entertainment Manager. James Johnson has taken on the role of Chief Executive at Football Federation Australia, replacing the outgoing David Gallop. Having been acting in the role since April last year, Karen Jones was appointed Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Sport. Chris Keely is the new Executive Director of Create NSW, the NSW Government’s music, arts, screen and cultural driver. Eventbrite has appointed Rohan Lawton to a new position as Senior Business Development Manager (Festivals) and Josh McNicol as General Manager of its Asia Pacific operations. Lift Brands APAC Chief Executive, Ty Menzies, already a board member at Fitness Australia has also been appointed the newest board member at the Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ). Kathy Moore has taken up a fixed term role as Aquatic Facilities Manager at Hastings District Council. Chad Phillips, the former managing director of APACTix, has been appointed to the newly-created role of Managing Director at Ticketmaster Asia. Alison Smith, Group Executive External Affairs for The Star Entertainment Group, is new Chair of Brisbane Festival, taking over from Paul Spiro. The Central Coast Mariners have announced that fund manager Anton Tagliaferro has been appointed as Co-Chairman of the Club alongside Mike Charlesworth.

Send your people news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 33






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SoulCycle (above) and Emma Barry (below).

Building a Badass Boutique Set to present a FILEX Masterclass, global fitness authority Emma Barry, explains how to design a fitness studio that rocks


s an advisor to the fastest growing segments in fitness: budget clubs, boutique fitness studios, digital workouts and fit-tech startups; I’ve seen it all - owners acting on the wrong insights, getting the business basics wrong, hiring on ‘hype’, blindly following what’s happening across the street and joining the pricing race to the bottom. At FILEX 2020 we are taking a deep dive into the 10-touch journey to designing a fitness studio that rocks. Why Boutique Studios and Why Now? We are in the most exciting times the fitness industry has ever known. There has never been more variety of exercise to choose from, more money being invested, more technology enabling the experience nor more explosive growth in the boutique-fitness market. Boutique-fitness by definition delivers a specialised offering to a likeminded community within an intimate, high-touch experience. These smaller, curated experiences are enticing more people to move as they enjoy the luxe touches of ‘hyperpersonalisation’ demanded by Millennials and GenZ today. It’s a great time to be in boutique-fitness but like all highgrowth opportunities, it comes with its caveats. Competition is fierce, customer expectations are ever changing, and operators exist in the financial reality of a pay-as-you-go model. Whether you are an existing operator in a studio, boutique, micro-club or big-box club, or a budding entrepreneur or investor; to capitalise on this exciting and lucrative sector, key steps for success must be in place. 36 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

The Opportunity We had already witnessed the rise and fall of retail stores making their pilgrimage from big department store to uber-cool fashion boutique and back to luxury department store. The irony was that boutique fitness was now moving into the very basements and malls that retail and food had previously occupied, before the long product and delivery arm of Amazon, Uber Eats and all their lookalikes had usurped ‘location, location, location’ and replaced it with ‘convenience, convenience, convenience’. Good will scale, bad will fail My own ‘a ha’ moment centred on two simple but powerful insights. One, the whole fitness industry needed to get better

The first health club group to list on the ASX, Viva Leisure is one of the largest club owners in Australia with over 40 facilities within the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, with the majority operating under the Club Lime brand. Viva sites are company owned not franchised.

at providing intoxicating experiences that more people could become positively addicted to; the secret to fitness is, after all, turning up in the first place. And two, we needed to make experiences stickier, so people wanted to consistently turn up. We needed to keep the people we had. The Macro-Trends Fuelling Boutique Fitness It’s important to understand the bigger forces at play that have, both, provided tailwinds for the uprising of boutique fitness, and continue to shape the evolving boutique business model. Chasing experiences The influential The Experience Economy theory of B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore clearly lays out our evolution over the past 100 years from a commodities economy, to a goods economy, to a service economy, to now an experience economy, laying out compelling ways to curate this experience. They urge us to design memorable experiences, theme the experiences, engage all senses and harmonise impressions with positive cues: “An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.” Marking this new era, New York Magazine dubbed SoulCycle “an experience: part dance party, part therapy, part communal high”. Hyper-personalisation Our social feeds, Netflix suggestions, beauty routines and digital meditations are becoming predictive. Pretty soon, as part of industrial customisation and 3D imaging, my shoe size will be called ‘Emma’, will reflect any discrepancies I may have in leg length and foot-strike pattern, and will be specifically designed for my fitness use. Fitness is no different. We can select our favorite celebrity trainer, choice of workout, duration and intensity to consume

‘Extras’ at London’s 1Rebel (above) and SoulCycle (below left).

fitness exactly how we like it. Pine and Gilmore go on to bluntly point out that “fundamentally, customers do not want choice; they just want exactly what they want”. And we’ll know if we’ve got it right: customers tell us directly by voting with their feet or their wallet. Community Human beings are social. We crave connection. As we go through a digital revolution, we still seek others like us – those who are living like us and wanting to engage in experiences like us. Sweating accelerates friendships: as you break through barriers of unfamiliarity, intensity and effort, and blow through the frustrations of the day, you do it together. Many a friendship (and marriage) was forged in the fires of fitness and the naked truth remains in post-class, locker-room euphoria. The enablement of technology Software is disrupting every industry. Devices have been listening, watching and learning for a while now, and this data is directing what happens next. The future is predictive. In boutique fitness, it is specifically enhancing the experience through social media promotion, frictionless booking and payment gateways, biometric integration and putting the workout in your pocket. If technology freaks you out, it’s important to remember that software is just a service, and technology advancement the way to exponential growth. High-touch service Peppermint-scented towels, bottled water, concierge service, equipment set-up, juices and shakes and recovery add-ons no longer reserved exclusively for the spa service at a high-end hotel, these are now mainstream in boutiques, peppering our experience for the ultimate delight. Pay-per-class experience Today, we expect to lead lives untethered from commitment. We can change our entertainment packages, telecommunication services, workplace locations and digital friendships at will. We expect the same from fitness, and the pay-as-you-go pricing model (PAYG) delivers this, allowing the member to enjoy an open relationship with fitness away from the norm of

38 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

SUPERCHARGE YOUR 2020 BUSINESS GROWTH Learn tried and tested methods to scale your business Stay abreast of digital marketing and brand positioning in a crowded market place Fine tune leadership to gain and retain clients and staff Maximise your return and profit in 2020 and beyond


is a deep dive into how to grow your business and thrive in 2020! – THURSDAY 30 APRIL 2020 – JULIE MASTERS Leading authority and expert in the area of ‘influence’

Emma Barry Global fitness consultant with vast experience in brands and business models shaping the future of our industry.

BILLY POLSON Leading US fitness business consultant. First time Billy has presented in Australia.

PAUL TAYLOR Leading speaker and authority in leadership, management and dealing with highpressure situations

+ Interactive panel with leading industry operators












powerhouse to influence the health and happiness of billions, we are not so much fighting for position today as fighting for attention. And our foes are formidable: inactivity, addictions and human free will to choose something else.

minimum contracts. Exercise experiences, including gym work or classes, can be purchased on a per-use basis. Alternatively, exercisers can turn to the aggregators, who charge a monthly fee in exchange for access to numerous facilities and clubs. Stretching into a lifestyle brand Because of the luxury positioning and extreme focus possible in a smaller offering, boutiques have successfully partnered with complementary luxe brands to offer their customers more, from apparel and nutrition to ecotourism and other add-on services. As reported by ForbesLife, SoulCycle is now providing sanctuary experiences in partnership with luxury tour operator Black Tomato – specially curated experiences centred around community bonding, movement and nourishment of the soul. Similarly, BLOK London will start by taking its fraternity for six days to rural France. Fitness snacking is rampant The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report shows 42% of traditional club-goers also attend at least one boutique studio, while 65% of boutique goers attend two or more boutiques and 22% attend at least three. Meanwhile, investment bank Piper Jaffray (now Piper Sandler) states the third biggest reason for boutique attrition - after cost and lack of convenience - is the desire for another type of exercise. Brands are beginning to collaborate to address this in a variety of different models, while ClassPass - observing that 90% of its members are trying a new genre of exercise – is evolving its business model towards variety seekers rather than bargain-hunters. Word-walls, mantras and ‘The Gram’ Everyone has a platform, which means we are all billboards for the brands we love. Attitudinal tees, daily mantras, hashtags and emojis define our digital imprint on the world. Instructors are the new influencers, taking their raving fans with them across an array of health and wellness offerings. Little surprise, then, that often the first design feature to make the boutique drawing board is the spot in the studio that will inspire millions of impressions over time: the neon sign and the flawless lighting that makes you look 28 in your selfies, even if you are not. We Know Who Our Competition Is The fitness industry is now in competition with entertainment, influencers, social platforms, lodging and tourism. Meanwhile, just within the US$4.5 trillion global wellness ecosystem (referenced in the Global Wellness Institute Report 2019), physical activity (US$828 billion) sits alongside personal care, beauty and anti-ageing (US$1.1 trillion); healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss (US$702 billion); wellness tourism (US$639 billion); and preventive and personalised medicine and public health (US$575 billion). While we are well-positioned as a 40 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

What you’ll learn in the Building a Badass Boutique Masterclass at FILEX Based on completing the Badass Boutique Barometer - 10 questions which reveal how you are currently performing in each of the critical areas of business known as the 10 Ps we’ll then launch into addressing your areas of need. •The first three Ps: Purpose, Pain and Positioning - establish your branding: Why you exist? How you position for the market and against competitors? And what solution you are bringing to your community. •The second three Ps: People, Programming and Place speak to your tangible product. The parts of your business your customers see and value. Your exercise formats, your talent, your facility. •The final three Ps: Processes, Plan, Pace address your systems. The processes you need in place to make your system hum. •The final P is Polish and is where everything comes together in your Badass Boutique Blueprint. And the final word goes to Queen of the category, Melanie Whelan, former Chief Executive of Soul Cycle, who captures our times beautifully when she states “Netflix is the real competition”. Sought after speaker, published author and consultant to boutiques, budgets, fit-tech start-ups and club-in-a-club, Emma Barry is a global fitness authority and fluent in what happens next in fitness. Her latest book, Building a Badass Boutique, is available now on Amazon, with Building a Badass Boutique one of several subjects on which she will be presenting at FILEX 2020. Attendees at her FILEX Masterclass will also receive a hard copy of the book.

FILEX and the business of fitness

Australasia’s leading fitness convention, FILEX, will this year be presenting three keynote speakers for the first time: Emma Barry, Paralympian Kurt Fearnley and charismatic New Zealander Lisa O’Neill, who delivers powerful messages through humour. The three-day event, powered by Fitness Australia, offers 12 CECs and begins on Friday 1st and runs through until Sunday 3rd May and is co-located with the Fitness Show B2B. The event is preceded by pre-convention summits on Thursday 30th April with delegates having the option to choose from either the Business Summit or The Ultimate Trainer Summit. FILEX Business Summit A firm fixture of the fitness industry calendar, the FILEX Business Summit is the perfect opportunity to learn from world and industry-leading business experts in fitness all in one day.


F I T N E S S - S H OW.C O M . A U

SYDNEY | 1 - 2 MAY 2020


MEET THE NEW FACE OF FITNESS: FITNESS SHOW B2B Fitness Show B2B is Australia’s leading trade show for the Fitness Industry. Join the largest global organiser of events for Australia’s largest and most comprehensive fitness industry event May 1-2, 2020! Our Show Floor is packed full of new initiatives, providing even more reason for you to attend including…

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Co-located with:

Images courtesy of Donna Stocker.

Wonders of Wet Workouts Donna Stocker shares her belief in the potential of aqua fitness


et’s first get rid of the misconception that aquatic fitness is for the older members of the population and pregnant women. Of course, it is highly relevant and beneficial to these demographics, but what if we jumped outside that box and changed the way we approach aqua fitness? There is so much more to be discovered in aqua fitness and if we invest in our programs, in developing our aqua instructors and empowering them to be the best, update our marketing strategies and look at how we can improve aqua fitness in Australia – then I can assure you, your demographic will change! Here I often ask, why is it that facility managers will invest in treadmills that each costs thousands of dollars, but think aqua fitness is not worth investment? Parafield Gardens Swim School in South Australia has tapped into the largely untouched aqua fitness market and it has paid dividends. Since the owners took the leap of faith and started Acquapole® in their centre in 2014, the results have been astounding. They now have a program of more than 25 classes a week – with waiting lists which produced an overflow into their general aqua classes. In addition, the ages of those exercising dropped significantly and now they have participants from 13 years to over 80 - and every age group in between attending their centre. The classes are also in demand from sporting groups to change up their training and for recovery. From these results, Acquapole® Australasia was born. A company that imports high quality aquatic fitness equipment into Australia from their parent companies Acquapole® in Italy

42 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

and SAF Aqua in Poland. The products include Acquapoles® and all their accessories, Aqua Steps, Combat Gloves, SAF Aqua Drums Vibes and a new ‘Liquid Range’ of bikes, jumps (yes, a trampoline that goes in water!) and the Liquid Runsphere (which is like a treadmill but has omnidirectional spheres rather than a belt). Linked to this are aquatic training programs across Australia and New Zealand, led by Master Trainers Kym A’Court, Samantha Dempsey and myself that upskills staff teams and to get the best out of the equipment and the programs. In my role as the Fitness Co-ordinator at Parafield Gardens Swim School, I am seeing clients are savvy and more knowledgeable than ever before with the internet providing a range of information and resources on aqua fitness. As a result, participants are demanding and wanting more from their workouts and their instructors, and are aware of what equipment is available. We receive requests daily where to find classes like ours by participants and requests from instructors for our courses, workshops and mentoring. It doesn’t matter what equipment you have or how much you market, if you don’t have a great leader who can mentor your instructors, you don’t invest in your team and your team is not driven to provide the best classes nothing will change in the industry. If you stick to the same old formula, then you will have the same programs and the same demographic. Change can be scary but to improve and to move forward sometimes it is required. For example, I have targeted Certificate III & IV in Fitness


Qualified instructors/personal trainers and have mentored them to become aqua instructors which has encouraged a young, vibrant energetic team that give their all and are a level above with their knowledge. Here, Parafield Gardens Swim School welcomes any facility managers or aqua instructors who would like to check out their programs and classes to visit the centre to meet with me and chat about aqua fitness. Moving forward, I see that the Australian aqua fitness industry is ready for a change and on the verge of realising its huge potential. The European aquatic fitness market is a thriving one, largely due to highly skilled instructors, development, aquatic equipment availability, their creativity and their personal flare. They instruct with so much enthusiasm it is hard to question their love of aqua fitness. At Parafield Gardens Swim School we aim to bring this flare to our classes and have modelled what we do on the European market. With this in mind, we have been through lots of training with our aqua fitness team and combined efforts of all our instructors to constantly keep learning and striving to be the

44 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

best. We consistently share our knowledge with each other and run in-house training with our team to provide them with new ideas. Looking to further promote aqua fitness, I coordinatied the first Australian International Aqua Fitness Convention (AIAFC), an event designed to showcase all that is best about aquatic fitness, how to present the best aqua fitness programs and to show what can be achieved. Held in Adelaide in February, AIAFC featured presentations from aquatic fitness leaders from around the world, with a group including Stefania Manfredi (AcquapoleŽ Co-inventor), Andrea Gilardoni, Gabriele Tufano and Antonio Russo from Italy, along with Joanna Apolinarska from Poland representing with Euro Education Aqua Italy. With recent years having seen so much growth in aqua fitness, as we move into this new decade it’s time to step up and realise the potential of aquatic training. Donna Stocker is Fitness Co-ordinator at Parafield Gardens Swim School and Co-ordinator of the AIAFC. For details call 0412 262 345 or go to www.aiafc.com.au

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 45

Last year’s launch of the Salti Active Canberra program at the ACT's Gungahlin Leisure Centre

Aquatic industry workforce is predominantly female 73% of workers in Australia’s workforce are female while less than half of workers earn more than $30,000 per year are among some of the most significant findings from the first ever National Aquatic Industry Workforce Survey. Undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, on behalf of the National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee (NAISC), from April to June 2019, the survey highlights the typical characteristics of the aquatic industry as a whole as well as current trends relating to the key paid roles that make up the industry. Among a range of significant findings is a snapshot of main industry roles including pool lifeguards, lifeguard duty managers, aquatic technical operators and aquatic industry office workers. The characteristics of a typical aquatic

Image courtesy of Brimbank Leisure Centre

centre manager are: they over 35 years old will stay in their role for six or more years; they entered the industry between 15 and 24 years and have been in the industry for more than 11 years; they took up employment in the aquatic industry for a career opportunity; and they earn between $60,000 and $90,000 per year. As for the gender split of managers it is 47% men, 52% women. The definition of a typical swim school manager is that they are between 35 and 54 years old; work full time; have been with one employer for six or more years and think they will stay in their current role for at least three more years; enjoys making a positive impact on people’s lives and earn between $45,000 and $75,000 per year. Among swim school managers, the gender split is 14% men, 86% women. Other key findings from the survey, which focuses on paid workers only, are: •The aquatic Industry workforce comprises approximately 67,000 workers •It is an overwhelmingly female workforce •Almost half the workforce work casually •Most workers work throughout the year but in a part-time capacity •Many workers have a second job at least some of the time •Almost half the workforce live within 15 minutes of their workplace •Two in every five workers think they will stay in their role for six or more years •Most workers place a high value on working in a team and knowing their work has a positive impact on people’s lives

46 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Image courtesy of AUSTSWIM

The survey identifies ‘aquatic industry’ as all workers who work for, or provide aquatic-related services to, an organisation/body that is involved in the facilitation of water-based activities and programs in aquatic facilities. This also includes self-employed workers. The next stage of the Project involves analysing data from the second half of the survey, which focussed on worker’s experiences, attitudes and judgements on key work-related items such as on-boarding and off-boarding, skills requirements, training and professional development, change, and workplace culture and values. The results were based on 3,091 response to the Royal Life Saving survey. The National Aquatic Industry Workforce Survey 2019 is available from Royal Life Saving Australia

Image courtesy of World Wide Swim School



TOLL FREE 1300 885 666

www.austswim.com.au The Australasian Council for the Teaching of Swimming and Water Safety.

Public pools as community hubs, clockwise from top left: Kalamunda Water Park, swim lessons for CALD group, the Cockburn ARC and Muslim women at the pool.

Public pools for all Australians

Michelle O’Shea, Megan Stronach and Hazel Maxwell explain the value of swimming pools as accessible community health hubs


ustralian public swimming pools are significant community assets, and much more than a place to cool off in. The significance of publicly funded pools and their importance to community health and wellbeing often remains unspoken, until closure plans or reduced funding become known to the general public. In the past, usage surveys and cost benefit analysis resulting in pool closures has met with highly emotive displays and passionate pleas such as sit-ins and orchestrated protests. In the early 1990s, the City of Yarra Council’s plans to close the Fitzroy Swimming Pool was met with a vocal and coordinated community driven ‘Save the Pool’ campaign. Community members filled the drained pool and demanded its reopening. Similar and more recent ‘swim-in protests’ and written submissions by residents have ensured the continued operation of Katoomba’s 50-metre outdoor pool. Wave pool on the Darwin Waterfront.

48 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Despite increasing private backyard pool ownership and further highlighting the importance of community aquatic facilities, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia data suggests that there are in excess of 1,700 public swimming pools across Australia and the average Australian visits a local pool more than four times a year - that figure is equal to more than 100 million visits annually. Recently an ABC documentary series, ‘The Pool’, explored how ‘the local pool’ has become a defining part of Australia’s national identity. Pools are a place to seek refuge and cool off during Australia’s baking summer heat. Positioning the pool as a playground, Australians reflected on childhoods spent ‘bombing’ and splashing, remembering especially the taste of ice creams and the smell of hot chips. Incidentally, Aboriginal women and girls in coastal areas of Australia were well known to be excellent swimmers. One favourite pursuit for them was to jump into the water feet-first, bending up the legs and holding the ankles - the women’s version of what we now refer to as ‘bombing’. As well as conjuring nostalgic memories, for other Australians the public pool evokes very different images and emotions. Australian migrants have discussed feelings of otherness and isolation in relation to the ‘pool’ experience. Young women have discussed a sense of being watched; this surveillance by male peers has heightened concerns around appearance. Experiences and reflections illuminated through the book ‘Memory Pool’ further unearth a contested and nuanced pool history. Racial politics, gender, sexuality, disability and religious






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Australasian Leisure Management Editor Karen Sweaney’s mother, grandmother, aunts and great-aunts at McIver’s Ladies Baths, Coogee in the 1940s.

difference all play out in these aquatic spaces. This is part of the history of public pools and remains true today. The history of public swimming pools The term ‘swimming pool’ is a recent innovation that only came into common use in the 20th century. The more common term for the variety of facilities in waterways and cities that enabled the immersion of the body in water was ‘baths’. This term probably derived from European equivalents and reflects the diverse range of functions available at many of these facilities. Interestingly, the earliest colonial records relating to swimming tend to focus on its prohibition. It seems that the principal reason for government restrictions on bathing in both Sydney and other colonies in the 19th century was the exposure of the body in pubic, and more particularly the viewing of nude or partially nude bathers by members of the opposite sex. The problem of nudity and swimming, as well as concerns about drowning and shark attacks, were mitigated by the construction of baths in a variety of venues, with affordable entrance fees. Baths were screened from public view so men, women, boys and girls could swim without being observed. Within these establishments great care was taken to segregate the sexes to provide privacy. In many cases of baths in natural A Royal Life Saving WA Indigenous Swim and Survive program.

50 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

waterways and rock pools there was duplication of facilities; for example, separate swimming enclosures for women and men, although in many cases the baths for women were much smaller than those for men. Where expense prohibited separate facilities, there were clearly defined times for male and female swimmers. Again, however, the time allotted to female swimmers was far less than that allotted to males. The construction of separate baths, restricted hours of use and same-sex swimming instructors allayed colonial concerns about exposing partially clad bodies to the public gaze and helps explain why swimming facilities provided more opportunities that existed at the beaches. Mixed bathing, or ‘continental’ bathing, did not become a feature until the 20th century. Just how public is the pool?: Sites of exclusion and contestation In light of this history, public pools can sometimes be sites of exclusion. For example, some adolescent girls’ and women’s pool experiences, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, Indigenous Australians and those with a disability can be limiting and less than positive. Research indicates that participation barriers exist in particular for Muslim women. These include the lack of provision of appropriate aquatic facilities which allow culturally appropriate clothing (that which covers the head, knees and elbows) to be worn, as well as the lack of provision of female only environments which meet the religious requirements of these women. Randwick City Council’s McIver’s Ladies Baths is a topical case in point. The Baths opened formally in 1876 and are the last remaining women’s-only seawater pool in Australia. It is thought that Indigenous Australian women occupied this space for a significantly longer period. For many, the McIver’s Baths are sacred, as they hold the spirits of all the women who have swum there over the years. According to female volunteers of the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Amateur Swimming Club who run the pool, the Baths have become popular with pregnant women and new mums. Muslim women are also increasingly occupying this female-only space. Although today largely used for recreation, the Baths have an important historical connection with the growth of women’s competitive swimming in NSW. However, the pool’s status as women-only was for a period particularly problematic. While in 1995 the NSW Government granted the pool an exemption from the state’s AntiDiscrimination Act, much social and politically charged debate ensued. Indigenous communities have also historically experienced exclusion from aquatic facilities. In 1964, Indigenous activist Charles Perkins and his fellow students (the ‘Freedom Riders’) discovered a segregationist culture which excluded or marginalised Aboriginal people in Australian country towns, and the local pool was no exception. At Moree in NSW, the group caused a stir by campaigning against a Council edict, instituted in 1955, that ‘No person, being a full-blooded or half-caste aboriginal native of Australia, or being a person apparently having a mixture of aboriginal blood’ could use the local swimming baths. According to proponents of the Council resolution, white tourists were more likely to come to Moree and use the baths if they were restricted to people of their ‘own kind’. The protest made the papers in Sydney, and so the activists were not going to be dismissed easily. The standoff resulted in the Mayor of Moree promising that the racially biased 1955 statute would be withdrawn. This enabled Moree’s Indigenous community to swim and play in the local baths. Enabling access and imagining possibilities Despite these historical and contemporary limitations, creative programming, user-led design and inclusive policy can better enable aquatic access for all. Our research in progress exploring women’s leisure and sport experiences demonstrates

how women’s led networks and empowerment approaches can negate structural and social inequities. A group called Surfing Mums, a social network developed by two mothers who met up regularly to mind each other’s children while the other surfed could work well in pool environments. A pool swap system of this kind could ensure that parents meet the important active supervision guidelines set down by Royal Life Saving. While one parent swims with a child the other parent, identified by a hat and brightly coloured shirt (who would not enter the water with children while the swap was in progress), is the designated supervisor. This approach means miscommunications regarding supervision, identified as a contributing factor to Tasks and diaries drowning fatalities, can be mitigated. Initiating this kind of system in aquatic centres provides Automated messages parents themselves with a platform for social connection Lead allocation and an important opportunity to be physically active. For new mothers, this kind of aquatic playgroup could bring with Real-time reporting. it enhanced physical and emotional wellbeing as well as providing opportunities for community members to develop and extended their social networks and build social capital. With the growing diversity of Australia’s population, initiatives along the lines of Surfing Mums could have far-reaching NEW SURFACE AND COLOUR OPTIONS benefits, particularly in CALD populations where swim safety skills are often less developed. Important lifesaving skills and water safety messaging would be further positive outcomes. A pool swap supervision program is one example of how an empowerment approach can mitigate barriers and constraints. As academics, industry and policy makers let’s focus on reimagining aquatic IS facilities in ways that enable possibilities MYMEMBERSALES THE MOBILE-FRIENDLY LEAD MANAGAEMENT for all. SOLUTION THAT CAN HELP YOU GROW YOUR MEMBER BASE. Dr Michelle O’Shea is a Senior Lecturer, Western Sydney Australia: +61 3 9338 1077 New Zealand: +64 4 939 University; Dr Megan Stronach is Research Fellow at the VISIT WWW.MYMEMBERSALES.COM CALL US FORand A DEMO AUS - 1300 858 840 is NZ - 0508 236 826 University of Technology Sydney Dr Hazel Maxwell MyMemberSales is brought to you by Jonas Leisure. a Senior Lecturer at the University of Tasmania.



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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 51

Informed Decision Making Alex Burrows highlights the need for the newly launched national infrastructure database


n an ideal world, the provision of aquatic, fitness, recreation, sport and related facilities by governments at any level would be based upon informed decisions based on need/demand, suitability, accessibility, existing provision/competition, budgets and other key factors. As also applies to private-sector decision-making, it’s a matter of ultimately those backing such developments assessing market demand before making their investment. Sadly, as we have seen over recent months in the aftermath of the Australian National Audit Office’s report into the Federal Government’s Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program, as well as ongoing controversies surrounding other Federal Government funding initiatives, this is often not the case. And when you take into account all political parties making spending commitments to a range of leisure projects at election time as well as other influences such as those from stakeholders, lobbyists and special interests, it comes as little surprise that decision-making is not always rational. However, with my experience in the UK, I’ve seen firsthand how having a central infrastructure database to inform best practice planning and investment has been invaluable. It gives everyone more confidence to make decisions and coordinate with partners, which ultimately leads to more active communities.

“A national infrastructure database is a key planning resource that will benefit a significant proportion of PLA members (including local government), the overall industry, and ultimately local communities.” Mark Band, Chief Executive, Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) 52 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Yet, as of the end of 2019, Australia still has not had a national infrastructure database - let alone one that was open and free to use. The need for such a database has been identified by key industry stakeholders for a long time as well as, back in 1997 when the ‘Rethinking the funding of community sporting and recreational facilities: a sporting chance’ was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament. This report, by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts, stated “the Committee observes that the supply of sporting and recreational facilities has frequently been haphazard, and considers that expenditure on facilities would be more costeffective if the siting and standard of facilities were better planned. The planning processes that the State, Territory and Local Governments have developed would be greatly assisted if better information were available on which to base decisions. The Committee recommends ongoing funding by the Commonwealth Government - a database would need to hold, not only information about the location and nature of existing facilities, but also other information that is needed for planning demographics, membership of sporting organisations, and the level of use of existing facilities”. Unfortunately, funding for this database did not subsequently materialise and, despite state-based projects being undertaken since, there has been an ongoing void in this space for the last 23 years. In that time, England has had a comprehensive facilities database (Active Places) since 2004, while ActiveXchange were

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JASSTECH are LED pioneers, having installed the first LED installations for many sports across Australia. We have the longest history in providing true LED sports lighting. (Please contact us for a list of projects we have completed since 2011). JASSTECH also provides grant application assistance. JASSTECH is an approved contractor by LG Procurement as a pre-qualified supplier to local and state government. Sports clubs, local governments and not-for-profits may be able to access discount pricing under these arrangements.

Contact us for more details JASSTECH Pty Ltd PH: 1300 665 135 enquiries@jasstech.com.au www.jasstech.com.au

State government, councils, sports, funding bodies, and consultancies have been spending time and money unnecessarily - time that should instead be invested in value-add analysis, strategic planning and ultimately putting the right offer in the right place to get a nation more active.

pleased to support New Zealand’s launch of theirs last year. Fortunately, Australia is now stepping up with a national infrastructure database that lists over 8,400 sites and that is supported by more than 500 organisations already with user accounts. Governed by an industry-representative group of organisations who recognise the importance of up to date, accurate data in informing local, state and national planning, investment and delivery decisions, the new database marks a pivotal moment in what has been a long journey. And beyond the history and politics, I see that there are four reasons why the database is needed. 1. Save significant time and money Every week several local governments and sport organisations either start or update their own infrastructure plans and strategies, or commission specialist support. Each project typically involves several days, sometimes weeks of collating information on community facilities from multiple stakeholders. This is a painful exercise with numerous excel sheets sent in all directions. Obtaining relevant and consistent data back is difficult (sometimes impossible within short timeframes), often requiring back and forth checks by multiple stakeholders. By the end everyone is exhausted of working out if they are on v7.5 or if there’s a v7.6 of the same Excel sheet and then almost immediately this data is out of date and someone’s suggesting a v8.0 is needed! And that’s not where the duplication ends. Multiple organisations end up collating information on the same sites and facilities at different points in time, often starting from scratch each time. Sports hold one set of data, councils another, consultants another. One consultancy is appointed just a couple of years after a similar project has been completed, but no-one is aware of or can access the previous dataset. Or the previous one missed key information and all sites need revisiting. Or research is done at a state or local government level but is deep within a 150-page PDF print out with no central soft copy, or sits in excel files hidden away on desktops, soon to be forgotten or deleted.

“As a sport and leisure planning company working across Australasia, this is exactly what this industry has needed for a long time. “OPG will be proactively supporting this initiative as it will save us and our clients significant research time and cost whilst ultimately also benefiting a broad range of organisations across Australia.” Mike King, Director, Otium Planning Group (OPG) 54 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

2. Get more connected and collaborate A shared database gives everyone visibility across a sector of what exists, so we can all better plan together. Visibility between sports is useful and can be the foundation to relevant partnerships e.g. underused tennis courts can be used for small sided football or basketball programs, rather than left to fall into disrepair or to be substituted for another car park or block of flats. In addition, having a common digital network across which action and development plans can also be shared (internally, or published externally), even on projects at concept stage helps different organisations to spot opportunities to pool resources. A sport knowing what a council or state government want to achieve, and vice versa, helps everyone better align and manage their ongoing plans and priorities. This may also just mean councils having up-to-date visibility on neighbouring council projects while a potential gym franchise owner knowing that a council is investing into a major leisure centre down the road is critical information. Infrastructure plans that gather dust on backroom shelves are a thing of 2019, and should remain there! 3. Improve the quality of planning and investment decisions Over the last few years this sector has become data rich but information poor. This means not having access to a database that focusses on the information that is of real value when it comes to planning successful infrastructure. Similarly, the depth of data beyond a quick sweep of what is available from Google is important, especially when people and organisations are investing hundreds of thousands, if not millions on projects - projects that can and should deliver even greater social value impacts. 4. A more active population - investment that goes further every time Ultimately all of the above is about having the data readily available to help different organisations to understand how best to plan infrastructure in order to grow participation, member numbers and social value impacts. It’s about being able to make smarter decisions in order to shape more active communities. Going a level deeper, a national infrastructure database also supports the calculation and publishing of sport and facility-specific planning standards (key for government in understanding their actual capacity for different sports in an area and relating this back to usage and demand), coupled with predictive modelling that understands why one facility absorbs

more demand (more and different customers) than another facility - who uses a facility and why. This understanding translates into being able to optimally plan future infrastructure investment to maximise local outcomes and impacts. A win-win for all concerned.

“This is exactly what our sector needs and will fill a major gap in the industry. Collecting information on facilities is a major resource drain for facility providers and this will greatly streamline this process and provide a level of consistency not seen before. That is why Tredwell are getting behind this game changing initiative.” Neil Tredwell, Managing Director, Tredwell Management

Making use of the database Governed by a cross-industry steering group, the database is managed through the SportsEye platform, which was developed and launched in 2019 by ActiveXchange to support venue operators and sports make better use of data and business intelligence (using a central pool of data on 2.5 million members and participants). A biproduct of SportsEye, which involves different accounts connecting to form a network, is the listing of over 8,400 sites across all states. These are already directly editable by more than 40 state and national sport organisations, over 350 council and leisure venue operators, leading leisure and sport planning consultancies, and state government and associations - all of whom have a SportsEye account and have contributed infrastructure information. These organisations have an invested interest in keeping the information up to date across a shared network as it keeps their own local intelligence up to date and accurate, meaning more informed decisions and greater returns. This infrastructure information is now forming the foundation of a shared resource for the sector with free accounts available to all local governments and sports via partner organisations. As for my role, I’m committed to making this resource available and of value to organisations across Australia. Alex Burrows is founder of ActiveXchange and the SportsEye Network, which provides the technology to manage the database, governed by a cross-industry steering group.

A shared sector resource

To add, edit and access the information please request a SportsEye account by emailing intelligence@ ActiveXchange.org - this is free and will remain free for all public organisations (council, state and federal government), not-for-profits (including all sports), and facility owners. For details go to app.sportseye.pro


United States: 150 Dascomb Rd., Andover, MA 01810 • Phone 978.623.9980 Australia: 30 – 32 Assembly Drive, Tullamarine, Victoria, Australia, 3043 Phone 1800 786 617 (Toll Free) • In Australia: +61 3 9338 9851 www.californiasportssurfaces.com ©2020 ICP Building Solutions Group

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 55

White Island erupts on 9th December last year. Courtesy Twitter/Michael Schade.

Island Tragedy Nigel Benton considers whether the deaths of 21 people that occurred when New Zealand’s White Island erupted could have been avoided


ore than two months have passed since the afternoon of Monday 9th December, when New Zealand’s White Island/Whakaari erupted while people were visiting the live volcano - with tragic consequences. At the time of writing 21 people are confirmed dead, including two whose bodies have never been found, while 25 people remain in hospital with burn injuries requiring complex surgery. With information emerging about how the situation unfolded, the wisdom of allowing the volcanic island to be a tourism destination has been questioned. Raymond Cas, Emeritus Professor at Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, told the Australian Science Media Centre that he always felt White Island was too dangerous for excursions, advising “White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years. Having visited

it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter. “It has a very active geothermal system with many steaming gas vents and varying numbers of hot water filled crater lakes in the floor of an amphitheatreshaped large crater.” Associate Professor Derek Wyman, a Geoscientist at Sydney University, said he was surprised tourists were allowed so close to the site, given its recent history, telling SBS News “I certainly wouldn’t be recommending tourists be approaching a site that has recently been throwing material up 30 metres into the air.” Professor Wyman went on to say the eruption was “relatively minor”, noting “New Zealand sees things like this quite frequently. “Usually people don’t die from

Tourists on White Island (Wikimedia commons/Kimberley Collins).

A woman photographs the 9th December eruption (Twitter/Michael Schade).

56 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

these kinds of eruptions, but that is likely because they are not usually inappropriately close.” With around 18,000 people a year, according to 2018 estimates, making daily trips to White Island, promotional material emphasised it as being “one of the world’s few accessible live volcanoes” with “amazing geothermal activity”. Another website advised that tours operate “through varying alert levels but passengers should be aware that there is always a risk of eruptive activity”. Significantly, unlike other volcanoes in New Zealand, White Island, situated in the Bay of Plenty, 48 kilometres offshore from the North Island, is distant from emergency services and has no easy means to escape an eruption. In addition, documents released since the tragedy have revealed that an emergency management plan dealing with an eruption at White Island had not been finalised when the volcano erupted. Information revealed among documents released in early February by the Whakatane District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council shows that White Island Tours, owned by Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd (a Maori tribalbased corporation and the exclusive operator of boat-based excursions to the island) had 38 boat passengers and five crew on the island at 2.11pm on Monday 9th December, when the first eruption occurred. The other people on the Island were three passengers and the pilot of private helicopter tour company Volcanic Air. That eruption created an ash plume of about 4,000 metres and there were further eruptions at 4.30pm and 5.49pm that afternoon. According to the documents, one Westpac Rescue Helicopter, two Kahu NZ helicopters and one from Volcanic Air, all landed on the island after the eruption to help survivors, most of whom had burns and respiratory injuries. Others were triaged on White Island Tours’ boat Phoenix on its way to Whakatane Wharf where a cordon and further triage and staging area was in place. All known survivors were removed from the island within four hours of the first eruption. A Volcanic Air helicopter left on the Island.

Of the 47 people on the island when it erupted, there were 25 females and 22 males from ages 14 to 72 years. Nationalities included five New Zealanders, 24 Australians, two from the United Kingdom, four Germans, nine Americans, two Chinese and one Malaysian/Australian. 38 of those caught in the eruption were passengers on the cruise vessel, Ovation of the Seas, owned by USbased Royal Caribbean Cruises. With the death toll currently standing at 21, including two whose bodies have never been found, as of 3rd February, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health seven patients remain in hospital in New Zealand, one of whom is in a critical condition, while 13 patients have been transferred to Australia and five further patients have been transferred to their home countries. Two of the dead were guides with White Island Tours. Without the heroic efforts of first responders, who used helicopters and boats to rescue the injured, it has been acknowledged that the death toll could well have been even higher. In addition to the emergency services, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also quickly on hand, praising the courage of the first responders and pilots who surveyed the Island from the air looking for signs of life after the eruption. Subsequently, New Zealand troops landed on White Island to recover the bodies of people who were killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, questions are being raised about whether businesses who profited from the island will be held accountable. New Zealand Police began conducting investigations over the incident for the Coroner while WorkSafe, the public body responsible for enforcing New Zealand’s Health and Safety Act, is investigating the operations of White Island Tours – with indications that the company is facing a fine of up to NZ$1.5 million and that it could also be ordered to pay reparations. Prime Minister Ardern later told the media that WorkSafe’s investigation, which would look at the possible liability of tourism companies, could take up to a year. However, in a strange episode the day after the eruption, New Zealand Police announced a criminal investigation had begun, only to retract the statement hours later. New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash told the media it was a “slip of the tongue” while, on 16th December, Prime Minister Ardern praised the Ngati Awa Group for looking after the victims’ families and said the New Zealand

White Island in early 2019 (above and below). Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.

Government would work with the tribe on a possible memorial service. One reporter asked: “Is it appropriate to be working with Ngati Awa on a memorial when they could potentially be under investigation as an owner of White Island Tours?” Prime Minister Ardern replied that “regardless of their commercial interests, they are local iwi (tribe), and they have been providing a very important role locally.” Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd has more than $151 million in assets. Its Chairman Paul Quinn, who is also Director of White Island Tours, is a wellconnected member of the Maori business elite and was an MP in the National Party Government from 2008 to 2011. Subsequently media have reported on a number of minor previous infringements in White Island Tours’ safety record while on 15th December, Stuff quoted a health and safety respirator supplier saying that the gas masks provided to visitors to the Island gave inadequate protection from the toxic gasses emitted from the volcano. One previous visitor to the island told Stuff the risks had not been explained, with the female tourist quoted as saying “I think if I was told explicitly that there could be dangerous gasses on the island and the lack of a quick escape plan beforehand, I would not have gone.” In terms of liability, New Zealand’s no-fault personal injury laws enables disaster victims to receive support from the state-owned Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). However, individuals are not allowed to sue companies for damages while the decision to prosecute is in the hands of the Police and WorkSafe. Royal Caribbean, which is based in the USA, could be sued there. With Royal Caribbean’s website

showing that the ‘White Island/Whakaari shore excursion’ page did not include any warnings about potential hazards, US-based lawyer Jim Walker told media “sending families without a warning into the crater with virtually no way to flee when it was more likely than normal for the volcano to erupt is exceedingly reckless.” WorkSafe itself is implicated in the lack of regulation in the tourism industry. It reportedly allowed three helicopter companies to operate at White Island without registering as ‘adventure tourism’ operators, in breach of WorkSafe’s own requirements. Regulators never intervened to stop volcano tours, even when the New Zealand Government agency GNS banned its scientists from visiting for two months in 2013 due to heightened risk of eruption at that time. The disaster bears some similarities to the Pike River mine explosion in 2010, which killed 29 people. No one has been held accountable despite evidence of gross safety breaches by Pike River Coal, which placed production and profit ahead of workers’ safety. While future legal action over the tragedy is still the subject of speculation, one immediate aftermath of the tragedy is likely to see White Island Tours scale back or even cease its operations, with 45 workers facing an uncertain future. With thanks to Tom Peters.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 57

Hard Lessons Nigel Benton looks at the implications of the Coroner’s report into the deaths of four guests on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in 2016


ith the impact and implications of the deaths of four guests on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in 2016 having been hanging over the Australian theme park sector for more than three years, the release of Queensland Coroner James McDougall’s report into the cause of the fatalities at last ends speculation about the causes of the incident. With the Coronial inquest having been the source of a series of revelations during 2018, Coroner McDougall’s report has firmly set out what caused the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi when riding ‘raft five’ of the Thunder River Rapids ride 25th October 2016. Coroner McDougall’s report hits hard, finding that Australia’s largest theme park and its management had “a culpable culture” from the board down that was “careless in terms of safety” and that he reasonably suspected Dreamworld owner, Ardent Leisure, had committed a workplace offence. He advised that the design and construction of the ride posed a “significant risk” to patrons’ safety, noting that Dreamworld’s systems were “frighteningly unsophisticated” and that the theme park had a “systemic failure” in all safety aspects. Coroner McDougall told a Brisbane court that while Dreamworld had a reputation as a “modern, world-class theme park”, its safety and maintenance systems were “rudimentary at best” and that the occurrence of a serious accident “was simply a matter of time”. Systems and assessments Commenting on the ride, which had been designed and constructed by an in-house team at Dreamworld, Coroner 58 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

McDougall said there was no proper engineering oversight, nor were there any holistic risk assessments ever conducted on the ride. The ride, while resembling rides built by international manufacturers and installed at theme parks around the world, was built by Dreamworld and had been modified since its opening in 1986. Referring to the inquest, Coroner McDougall stated “it is clear from the expert evidence that at the time of the incident the construction of the ride posed a risk.” Identifying hazards including the wide spacing of slats, pump failure and the fact that there was no emergency stop button, Coroner McDougall noted “Dreamworld could, and should, have identified the safety issues connected to the ride (but) there was no evidence that Dreamworld ever conducted a proper engineering risk assessment on the ride during its 30 years of commission.” The 2018 inquest had heard that the ride’s fatal malfunction was the third malfunction that day and the fifth in just one week. This prompted Coroner McDougall to comment “why safety action was not taken earlier that day I find very difficult to understand.” He also said that the training provided to staff in operating the Thunder River Rapids Ride was inadequate, adding “there was evidence of an inherent lack of proper training and process in place at Dreamworld to ensure the training provided to new Ride Operators and Instructors was suitable for the roles and responsibilities to be undertaken.” Risk responsibilities Coroner McDougall went on to say “owners should be riskaverse. That was not the case with respect of (this ride). “Dreamworld placed significant reliance on ride operators to identify risks of issues.” “It is unfathomable that this serious and important task fell to staff … who didn’t have the requisite qualifications or skill sets to identify such risks.” Coroner McDougall said “shoddy record-keeping was a significant contributor to this incident and contributed to the masking of the real risk of the ride” and that it was unclear why basic engineer controls - such as a water level monitor - were not installed on the ride. Legal action Coroner McDougall’s report is expected to open the door to multiple prosecutions under Queensland’s Workplace Health and Safety Laws, with Coroner McDougall advising that he will be referring Ardent Leisure, to the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations. He said Ardent Leisure “may have committed an offence under workplace laws”, adding “whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to prosecution is (a matter for them).” Ardent Leisure could face up to $3 million in fines if a prosecution is successful. He said he would also pass his findings to the board of Professional Engineers Queensland to whom he would also refer the engineer who was hired by Dreamworld to inspect the ride, stating that his failure to properly inspect the ride fell below industry standards. No corporate manslaughter prosecutions will be available because the relevant laws are limited to employee deaths. Queensland Police advised in October 2017 that no criminal charges would be laid against Dreamworld staff over the fatal incident. Moving forward Coroner McDougall noted “significant changes” in ride audit and inspection systems at Dreamworld since 2016. He said while this was positive, it also highlighted the

Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in operation prior to the October 2016 fatalities.

deficiency of safety management at the theme park before the tragedy, noting “such a culpable culture can exist only when leadership from the board (of Dreamworld’s parent company, Ardent Leisure) down are careless in respect of safety … that cannot be allowed.” He also recommended the issue of a shortfall of experienced ride engineers be addressed. Commenting on the judgement, tourism lawyer Tony Cordato of Cordato Partners Lawyers, noted “the Coroner’s report will provide useful evidence of the failure by Dreamworld to satisfy its duty of care to ensure the safety of visitors, especially on its rides. “It remains to be seen whether Dreamworld’s failures amount to recklessness, so as to strip Dreamworld of any protection it has under its Terms and Conditions which include ‘The Company will not be liable for any person in respect of the loss of life or personal injury to, any person, whether that loss, damage or personal injury is caused by any person’s negligence (including the negligence of The Company) or otherwise’.” In the wake of the Coroner’s report, the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association Inc. (AALARA) has expressed that its “sympathies are with the families and first responders involved in this tragedy.” The Association has advised that it will address recommendations from the Coronial report and is working to establish a code of practice with the industry and Queensland Government to ensure the highest level of safety is achieved. Following the 2016 deaths, AALARA briefed the international attractions industry and has worked proactively with the Queensland Government following a Best Practice Review into Workplace Health and Safety to develop legislative changes. AALARA President, Shane McGrath highlighted that this is part of the sector’s continuous and ongoing efforts to achieve world leading safety management within Australia’s attractions industry. Ardent Leisure In reaction to the Coroner’s report, Dreamworld Chief Executive, John Osborne (who joined Ardent Leisure last year), advised “first and foremost, we express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of (the deceased). Our thoughts are also with the first responders, emergency services personnel, investigators, counsellors and Dreamworld team members affected by this tragedy.” Ardent Leisure Chairman Gary Weiss – who took on the role in September

2017, having just been a shareholder at the time of the fatalities - said the company was committed to implementing the Coroner’s recommendations and said safety was the number one priority for the theme park moving forward. Dr Weiss commented “the Coroner’s report does not mark the beginning of change at Dreamworld, but rather represents a very important milestone in a continuous improvement journey for safety at Dreamworld that is ongoing. “They are proactively focused on continuous improvements to safety across the park, in the areas of ride safety and reliability, training of ride operators, emergency management procedures, safety management systems and safety governance.” With the Thunder River Rapids ride now dismantled and removed from the site out of respect for the victims, a memorial garden will be built at Dreamworld to honour the four victims but a timeline on its construction is yet to be finalised. Separately, many of the families and first responders have already been compensated through private settlements. Nigel Benton is Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management.

Coroner McDougall’s recommendations from the Dreamworld inquest:

•Changes be made to the current regulatory framework in Queensland with respect to the inspection and licensing of major amusement park devices to ensure that a more structured and compliance focused regime is implemented. •That Queensland’s Office of Industry Relations (OIR) continue to develop a Code of Practice for the amusement device industry in Queensland, which will establish a minimum standard for the operation of amusement devices, in consultation with the requisite industry stakeholders, including the Amusement Device Working Group. •That efforts to harmonise the requirements of the relevant design standards, particularly the critical safety requirements on amusement devices in Australia, Europe and America continue in consultation with relevant industry stakeholders. •Steps be taken to rectify the lack of detailed knowledge of Safety Related Control Circuits held by the majority of OIR Inspectors. •That a reassessment of the Australian Standards applicable to waterborne rides (including raft rides) be undertaken to include some of the types of safety requirements associated with roller coasters, including more thorough considerations for lifts/elevators, collisions and passenger loading/unloading. •Consideration as to whether the requirement for hazard identification and risk assessment should be made mandatory, and whether any modification or alteration to the ride should require hazard identification and risk assessment to ensure that changes made do not affect safe operation and use. Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 59


Life Floor gains growing recognition as preferred safety surface for splash pads and pool surrounds Since being introduced to the Australian market in 2016, Life Floor has gained increasing recognition for its performance and a growing list of significant installations. Designed specifically for wet areas including pool surrounds, waterparks, splash pads, change rooms and showers where people are barefoot, Life Floor offers industry-leading traction, comfort, durability and infinite design possibilities. Made from cellular polyurethane, the Life Floor surface is soft without being rough and comes in different textures, thicknesses, and colour options. Life Floor tiles repel water and other liquids making them nonabsorbent, antimicrobial, stainproof, and chemical resistant. Moreover, its safety credentials are unmatched, as proven by Life Floor becoming the first aquatic safety surface in the world certified to the new NSF/ANSI-50 Standard for Safety Surfacing in Interactive Water Play Areas. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a global independent public health and environmental organisation, while the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) oversees the consensus for developing standards for manufacturing and procedures in the United States. According to the USA’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance

System database, in 2014 alone, there were an estimated 20,000 injuries on pool decks, splash pads and water parks resulting in an emergency room visit. Introduced in the USA in the middle of last year after years of research, testing and careful evaluation, Life Floor Content Manager, Suzanne Keller explains “the safety revolution that transformed dry playgrounds is long overdue for splash pads. “With the new NSF/ANSI 50 standard in place, operators will be able to reduce injuries and keep splash pads open, providing fun for their communities all summer long. “After nearly a decade of designing, testing, and building aquatic surfaces, we have been proud to contribute to the process of creating these new safety requirements. “The surface is an indispensable part of the play value, and overall experience of the splash pad and that’s why we’re committed to designing the safest, most beautiful splash pad surfaces using only products engineered exclusively for aquatic play.” In addition, Life Floor has also completed a landmark installation in the Splasher’s Kids Play Area within the Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. Life Floor was able to offer its durability in terms of UV stability, chemical resistance, and impermeability. Contact 1300 721 135, E: info@lifefloor.com.au, www.lifefloor.com.au

Oztix renews partnership with The Croxton Bandroom

Pioneering Electro Muscle Stimulation training technology now available in Australasia

miha bodytec, the German-based leader in Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training, has announced Munich Sports Pty Ltd as the exclusive distributor of its award-winning products in Australia and New Zealand. Originally developed to treat injuries during physical therapy, EMS training uses an electric current sent to muscles through wires to trigger involuntary muscles twitches. Contact 0452 302 285, E: info@miha-bodytec.com.au, www.miha-bodytec.com 60 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

Oztix has announced the continuation of its foundation partnership with Melbourne music venue, The Croxton Bandroom, with the venue citing Oztix’s marketing and Dermot Kennedy performing at technology offerings, as well The Croxton Bandroom. Credit: Monique Pizzic as its customer base, as reasons behind its decision to relaunch. The old school pub-rock venue was renovated in 2015 by Simone Ubaldi and Andrew Parisi, in collaboration with the ALH Group, with Ubaldi advising “when we first launched in 2015 there were plenty of people in the industry who told us it wouldn’t work, but Oztix was one of our early champions and we have benefitted hugely from the partnership.” Oztix Director and co-founder, Brian Chladil added “Oztix empowers our partners to grow with significant marketing support and powerful insights into customer data, and The Croxton is another top example of how we deliver on this. Technology is a big part of it, but just like Oztix, Simone and Andrew are fiercely independent operators who put their community of artists and patrons first.” Contact: 1300 762 545, E: info@oztix.com.au, www.oztix.com.au


Courtesy Somadome / Twitter

Unique brands to transform spaces into wellness solutions

Wellness Solutions, is offering a range of unique brands and products that will enable clubs, gyms, facilities and studios to offer total body and mind wellbeing experiences. Established by respected fitness entrepreneur Tony de Leede, Wellness Solutions offers customers a range of fully integrated wellness products that can be used to expand product offerings and develop new wellness related income streams. Passionate about the potential of the wellness industry and the growing need for solutions for maturing populations, de Leede, a member of the Advisory Board for the annual Global Wellness Summit, explains “my experience has enabled me to collect a range of industry-leading products that not only provide wellness and health benefits for users but deliver new income streams for operators.” Innovative products offered by Wellness Solutions include: •Somadome meditation pods (pictured) •The O2 breathing chair and the Ultimate Recovery Chair •Recovery pods/infrared saunas •High quality multi-use LED display screens •The Move123 video library of over 3,000 classes, of which 1,000 are designed specifically for seniors •The Mind123 Wellness Education Video Library •Virtual studio set up with specialised lighting, delivery systems and flooring installations •Customisable extras including yoga mats and tote bags. De Leede sees massive potential for these products for the ‘baby boomer’ market, a demographic many facilities are keen to attract, commenting “this is a massive market that wants to stay active and healthy as they age and Wellness Solutions’ products can cater for the needs of this sector.” Contact 02 9126 8800, www.wellnesssolutions.com.au

New Centaman Entrance Control gate takes customer payments

A new security gate system capable of processing customer payments has the potential to revolutionise the way Australasian visitor attractions manage access to their facilities. Centaman Entrance Control’s EasyGate SPA is a ‘pay to access’ speedgate, which enables businesses to charge an entrance fee to access their pay to use amenities, reducing staffing costs through automated payment. Advising that the EasyGate SPA allows businesses to circumvent the ongoing costs that a point of sale system requires or complications with third party ticketing systems, Centaman Entrance Control General Manager, Michael Bystram stated “customers are given freedom of movement through the gates, paying by cash, debit card or credit card independent of any ticketing system. If preferred, access can also be allowed through pre-validated ticketing when combined with a third-party ticketing or membership system. “Pay-to-use attractions such as museums, amusement parks and other public facilities are an ideal fit for the EasyGate SPA, where customers can access information online or by word of mouth, and do not necessarily require staff to discuss their entry into the service. Public toilets or showering blocks, where there are costs associated with maintaining cleanliness and range of service, are another great fit for the EasyGate SPA.” A significant feature of the EasyGate SPA is the option for lane widths that are wider than other traditional tripod turnstiles, which allow for wheelchair access. This made it compliant with the Australian Disability Discrimination Act - a distinction Bystram said few other competitors could claim. Contact 02 9906 7522, E: michael@entrancecontrol.com.au, www.entrancecontrol.com.au

Myrtha Pools’ acrylic wall featured at International Swimming League grand final

The International Swimming League (ISL) grand final at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel in December took place in a pool featuring Myrtha Pools’ latest innovation - an acrylic wall. With the inaugural ISL grand final featuring many of the world’s top swimmers, their achievements during competition

were visible through the 21-metre acrylic wall. The pools were installed by Myrtha certified installation teams along with local contracting and union support using Myrtha’s unique technology. With Myrtha’s factory technicians collaborating to complete the build of the pools in just 10 days, the installation team worked in two shifts to enhance productivity, with a flexibility to best coordinate with all other parties involved to enhance the production of other aspects of the event. The pool was built in the arena space at the Mandala Bay, where the hotel usually hosts boxing bouts and other grand events. Contact David Bennison, Myrtha Business Development Manager on 0448 166 882 (in Australia) or 022 5494 348 (in New Zealand), E: david.bennison@myrthapools.com, wwwmyrthapools.com Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 61


TITAN Projectors from Ambertech deliver stunning outdoor visuals

Amber Technology completes acquisition of Hills’ AV business

Distributor Hills Limited has sold its Australian and New Zealand Audio Visual (AV) business to NSW-based Ambertech subsidiary Amber Technology. Under the sale agreement, concluded before Christmas, the majority of the Hills AV staff will transfer to the AV-focused Amber Technology, as well as Hills AV’s brands that are distributed by Hills in Australia and New Zealand. Explaining that he was “extremely excited” to merge the Hills AV business into its integrated solutions division, Ambertech Managing Director, Peter Amos stated “we look forward to welcoming the Hills staff into our company, the brands represented by Hills into our portfolio, and many new customers into a relationship with Amber Technology. “We are 100% focussed on serving the AV markets in Australia and New Zealand, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring together two passionate and professional teams to create a stronger organisation that will better serve our customers and manufacturer-partners.” Contact 9998 7600, www.ambertech.com.au

TSG acquires Legend Club Management Systems

Transaction Services Group (TSG), owner of Links Modular Solutions, Debitsuccess and FFA PaySmart, has announced an agreement to acquire Legend Club Management Systems, a provider of software and services for the leisure management and public sector markets, primarily in the United Kingdom. This follows global private equity investor Advent International having acquired a majority stake in TSG in June last year. TSG Chief Executive, Steven Holmes explains “bringing Legend into TSG unlocks a unique opportunity to innovate around the member journey, joining the dots between software, payments and services to deliver a seamless member experience. Ultimately we want to make our clients’ business easier.” Installed in over 1800 sites worldwide, Legend offers ‘One System-One Solution’ software that optimises business efficiency, streamlines operations, increases customer adoption and improves customer experience across the health and fitness industry. The business was founded in 2002 and since inception has prioritised investing in the highest quality R&D, 24/7 support for customers and optimising customer loyalty. For more information go to transactionservices.global and www.legendware.co.uk 62 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

BECSys Pool Controllers lead the way in Energy Saving and Communications Technology

Installed at aquatic centres across Australia - including the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and Cairn’s Tobruk War Memorial Aquatic Centre BECSys5 and Sys7 controllers provide a range of energy saving features. They can be set up to control ‘UV System turndown’ to low output and can reduce plant flow (via an installed Variable Speed Drive or VSD) at times of optimum water quality and light bather loadings. UV Turndown is set up by adding a Total Chlorine probe and flowcell to the controller sample line, so that the controller gives a Combined Chlorine display and a UV turndown setpoint (for example, 0.2mg/L combined chlorine) is used to reduce UV power consumption and extend lamplife at times of the highest water quality Reduced plant flow and energy consumption can be achieved in the same way, or on a timer basis (such as at night) it could be reduced or turned off, via the addition of a VSD to the recirculation pump(s). Importantly a special refresh program increases flow temporarily during the night to recirculate chemicals at intervals, then efficiently reduces flow again. BECSys controllers also offer state-of-the-art remote communications with the revolutionary ‘EZConnect’ system enabling simple connection from your phone to monitor the controller readings from anywhere. When in the office ‘BECSys for Windows’ PC software enables remote monitoring and full remote control functionality to the operator. Building management computer style graphing and analysis software, included with the controllers, automatically downloads history from the controller datalogging. It then plots the readings graphically - a record that continuously grows on the hard drive for future reference and scrutiny as required. An invaluable benefit of the history logs is the addition of event logs showing chemical feeder and pool plant activity which enables accurate fine tuning of dosing rates to optimise control behaviour. This benefits bathers with the highest water quality and leads to ever more economical operations. Contact BECSys supplier Tim Batt on 0438 889 268, E: timbws@bigpond.com, www.tbwsaquatic.com.au

Team App releases next generation software for management of tournaments and competitions

Team App, the free platform that allows sporting teams and social groups to improve communication, has launched its latest generation software for the management of tournaments and competitions. The Team Tournaments product has ‘Basic’ or ‘Pro’ packages to suit any club or association involved with tournament or competition management, with support for all sports with features including: Multiple formats; Registration payments; Scheduling; teams/individuals; and Venue Management Support for multiple venues and flexible starting times. Contact 0481 101 000, www.teamapp.com


PerfectGym announces ClassPass integration

Leading fitness management software system PerfectGym Solutions has announced that it now offers an integration with the popular fitness application ClassPass. Simple to use for both consumers and clients, the integration gives non-members using the ClassPass app the option to attend classes at a centre or facility without committing to full time memberships. As a result, Perfect Gym Solutions Marketing Specialist, Laura DiBiase explains “your gym can enjoy a surge in additional revenue from these ClassPass guests without the headache of administering day passes or backlogging new client information.” DiBiase adds that “the fitness industry is undeniably experiencing a consumerdriven transition (and) facilities need to be as responsive and catering to their clients’ needs in order to stand out among the competition. “ClassPass takes that consumer preference a step further by providing users a platform to completely individualise their fitness schedules through as many different classes at different style of gyms as they please.” ClassPass allows users to bypass committing to a gym membership by using the app to sign up for independent classes of gym visits instead. This application uses the member’s exact location to connect them directly to local fitness classes offered from partnering gyms, effectively bringing convenience exercise options and flexibility directly to the consumer. Contact 1300 088 922, E: info@perfectgym.com.au, www.perfectgym.com.au

Technogym launches 2020 Let’s Move for a Better World campaign

Adventure park and high ropes course provider KristallTurm sets up New Zealand-based regional distribution

Leading international high ropes course and adventure park manufacturer and supplier KristallTurm® has established a base in Rotorua to supply the modular system in Australia and New Zealand. Entrepreneur Alex Schmid of 4nature NZ Ltd is looking to install the award-winning and patented adventure park system - which can include ziplines, tube slides, giant swings and/or abseiling stations - and can be set up on a variety of different types of sites and in different configurations. Installed in more than 50 locations across 20 countries and five continents, KristallTurm attractions have been constructed in locations including hotel roofs, shopping centre developments and urban green spaces as well as being incorporated into ski resorts looking for year-round revenue, adventure parks and recreational facilities. The popular Melbourne Cable Park (pictured) has a Climb Melbourne branded KristallTurm high rope adventure that sits alongside Victoria’s only cable wakeboarding lake, the Aqua Fun Park. KristallTurm products are suitable for all ages with climbing experience or high levels of physical fitness not necessary. They are designed and produced in Germany to the highest European standards. Contact Alex Schmid on 021 084 01156, E: schmid.alex@kristallturm.co.nz

Technogym has launched its Let’s Move for a Better World campaign for 2020, aiming to again further the promotion of exercise and contribute to the fight against the global obesity epidemic. The social campaign has been designed to provide young people with donated fitness equipment - and educate them on the importance of physical activity in order to help them avoid sedentary lifestyles. Running for its seventh year from 16th March to 4th April 2020, the worldwide social initiative sees members in fitness facilities around the world join forces to donate their movement - in the form of Technogym MOVEs. The more active the users are, the bigger the donation to their communities. Registration is now open for facilities and operators to take part, which Technogym says can “activate a centre and attract new customers”. Contact Technogym on 1800 615 440, E: info.au@technogym.com, www.technogym.com

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 63


Waterplay unveils new Water Weaver series

Image courtesy of Vertikal Design.

Vertikal Design creates Queensland’s largest green wall

Queensland’s largest green wall has recently been unveiled as part of a $100 million-plus glass-fronted building at Brisbane’s Breakfast Creek Lifestyle Precinct. A key feature of a luxury Mercedes-Benz dealership - the auto manufacturer’s largest development of its kind in the southern hemisphere - the green wall acts as a virtual ‘lung’, consisting of over 340 metres² of internal planting covering a total height of 15 metres and more than 23 metres in length. With over 27 different species of plants, the palette includes the top six species that have been scientifically proven to reduce the largest number of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found present in the air. Irrigation for the plants is harvested from rainwater tanks on the roof of the building and in an Australian-first on a project of this scale, LED Grow lighting supports the growth of the plants where there may be a variance in light levels internally. The green wall was created by the Sydney-based Vertikal Design in collaboration with LSH Property Australia, Cottee Parker Architects and John Holland Group. Green walls - also referred to as a living wall or vertical garden - are a wall partially or completely covered with greenery that includes a growing medium, such as soil, water or a substrate. Most green walls include an integrated water delivery system. Contact 02 8283 2070, vertikal.com.au

New Townsville stadium selects Oracle as F&B technology provider

Oracle’s food and beverage technologies will be used to serve fans at the newly opened Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville. Oracle’s MICROS Simphony Cloud Point of Sale systems will be fitted at the new venue to provide quick service for fans and elevate the gameday experience, with more than 160 Oracle MICROS workstations along with 15 Oracle MICROS tablets to be fitted. The 25,000-seat venue, which will serve as the home of the North Queensland Cowboys NRL club and which is hoped to attract a range of entertainment events, features 40 general admission food and beverage outlets and additional stations, along with three corporate experience bars. Digital menus will also be fitted to display concession choices, with selections easily changeable to meet preferred dining options of event audiences. Contact 1300 366 386, E: salesinquiry_au@oracle.com, www.oracle.com/au 64 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137

In collaboration with Markus Ehring, founder of German design company Public Poetry, Waterplay Solutions has released a new innovation in splash pad solutions. Delivering outstanding play value at an economical price point, the Water Weavers series consists of three new, experience-driven products that feature a simple design with remarkable play value. The easy-to-install, low maintenance features hit the market well positioned to respond to the industry need for collaborative, multiuser play experiences. Created to stimulate the mind, Water Weavers inspire exploration and encourage spatial awareness and movement through interactivity and playful weaving water effects. The three products work together as a group, or individually, alongside any of Waterplay’s product lines and are suitable for new installations, refurbishment project and expansions, delivering innovation and excitement with unmatched value. Contact: 1800 180 955, E: info@waterplay.com, www.waterplay.com

New Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre to be heated by cogeneration system

The City of Sydney’s new Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre is to be heated by a cogeneration system from Simons Green Energy. With an unconventional design inspired by Sydney’s famous ocean swimming spots, the new $90 million facility’s cogeneration system will reportedly need less fuel to create similar levels of electricity and heat in comparison to other systems while also reducing energy wastage. On their website, Simons Green Energy advise “we have designed an innovative energy cogeneration system to heat and power the centre (that) will give … flexibility in managing energy consumption. “It will also make the Centre significantly cheaper to run every year.” A large array of solar panels on the roof of the Centre will connect to the City’s local electricity network in an adjacent Green Infrastructure Centre. Contact 02 8338 8660, E: info@simonsgreenenergy.com.au, www.simonsgreenenergy.com.au


APT Asia Pacific offers green surfacing solution at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

This year’s Tokyo Games will be the fifth Olympics where a Poligras hockey surface is to be used for hockey events. Developed by APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the company feels that the new Poligras® Tokyo GT® product is one of the “most sustainable and technologically advanced surfaces” it has developed. Developed in conjunction with Polytan Asia Pacific and FIH (International Hockey Federation) to align with Tokyo 2020’s progressive sustainability policies, Poligras Tokyo GT is a world first synthetic hockey turf which features filaments made from over 60% regrowable raw materials, specifically sugar cane. Using BioBased PE, a sustainable dimension has now been added to the outstanding playing properties of the tried-andtested polyethylene monofilament fibres. Other sustainable features include a shock pad that sits underneath the surface which uses fully recycled rubber and a binder that has been produced with CO2. This world-first component called cardyon® - a polyol containing CO2, reduces the amount of crude oil required in the binder by 20%, and is a huge advancement in making the chemical and plastics manufacturing industries greener. Aside from Green Technology used to develop Poligras Tokyo GT, it also offers first-class playability and performance for hockey players, and has been tested and certified by FIH. By incorporating APT’s proprietary COOLplus® yarn technology, which reflects infrared rays, studies have shown that the surface temperatures are consistently 10-20% lower than competitive systems. This means better player comfort and a reduced need Stay ahead of also your for irrigation. Ball speeds have increased by 15% on the new Poligras Tokyo GT hockey surface compared with Poligras competition Platinum which was used at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Contact 1800 652 548, E: info@aptasiapacific.com.au, www.aptasiapacific.com.au

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New waterslide tower opened at Perth’s Outback Splash

Perth’s Outback Splash attraction has opened its new sixstorey waterslide tower with multiple slides measuring almost half a kilometre in length. Designed and constructed by Polin Waterparks and Swimplex Aquatics, with support from the WA Health Department, the new development includes two raft slides - ‘The Wall’ and ‘Blackout’, an enclosed golden speed slide called ‘Gold Rush’ and Western Australia’s fastest body slide, named ‘The Wedgie’, which sees riders plunge downward at speeds of up to 75km/h. The new slide tower has been custom engineered with shade in mind. Towering more than 20 metres in the air, its solid roof has been designed to keep guests and the park’s crew in almost full shade all day. Contact Polin’s Australian representative Swimplex Aquatics on 1300 796 759, E: sales@swimplex.com.au, www.swimplex.com.au

LMA’s aggregation helps operators reduce purchasing costs

A solution specialist helping business, industry groups and strategic partners access competitive pricing from leading suppliers in all food and beverage categories as well as major utility areas such as insurance and energy, Leisure Management Australia (LMA) assists businesses in achieving greater profitability and efficiencies through aggregation. Operating across the leisure industry for more than 15 years, LMA has the power to connect individual operators, facilities and venues to the buying power of over 300 independent businesses, with whom it already works aimed at reducing clients’ overall operating costs. LMA Director, Keith Maloon a former Chief Executive of AMF Bowling Australia/Hong Kong has over 25-years experience in the hospitality/entertainment and leisure industry and has also worked as a consultant with the Australian Navy both on a procurement level as well as operationally. Only working with reputable suppliers who have been vetted by the company, LMA is also able to leverage support from suppliers for marketing and promotional activities to assist in driving revenue. LMA currently has a joint venture with the Independent Cinema Association (ICA) - having jointly founded a buying group representing over 110 independent cinemas, has been a strategic partner of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association and is about to embark on a similar project with the Zoos and Aquariums Association. Contact 0414 664 332, E: maloon@lmaustralia.com.au Australasian Leisure Management Issue 137 65

Advertisers Index Advertiser

Page No.

AALARA 2020 67 Aflex Inflatables


APT Asia-Pacific


Astral Pool 5 AUSTSWIM


AVT 14 Brisbane City Council tender 10 California Sports Surfaces


Debit Success


FFA PaySmart 3 FILEX Business Summit


Fitness Show B2B


HTS Group Ltd


Hydrocare Pools


Jasstech 53 Jonas Leisure

Redeveloped Ashfield Aquatic Centre to feature Australian-first movable floor

Currently undergoing a $44.7 million redevelopment, the Ashfield Aquatic Centre in inner western Sydney is to feature what Inner West Council calls a “a world class movable floor” for its new outdoor pool. The Australian-first installation of the Akvo Spiralift from S.R.Smith will see the new pool able to offer multiple programming for uses including swimming lessons, water polo matches and aquafitness classes, with the floor able to be raised and lowered on demand. While initial plans put forward for the Ashfield Aquatic Centre did not include a movable floor for the outdoor pool, the versatility of the Akvo Spiralift installation will see its easy addition to the new pool. Akvo systems are installed and movable without water, simplifying their testing and commissioning into construction projects and making it easy to coordinate work. Advance touch screens, safety features and serviceability make it an outstanding option in the market. On a day-to-day basis, the system’s operation is managed from a secure touch panel, with the ability to preset the most frequently used configurations. The moveable floor solution is made of semi flexible bands that become locked and rigid 316L stainless steel columns. It becomes self-supporting floor driven by two small motors in the dry room under the concourse. The Akvo Spiralift is a subsidiary to GalaSystems, which has been trusted in the scenic, aerospace and automotive industries for over 25 years. Contact 07 3812 2283, E: info-au@srsmith.com, www.srsmith.com/au

34 & 35

KristallTurm 29 ®

Les Mills Asia-Pacific

18 & 19

Life Floor 43 MyMember Sales




Perfect Gym


Quayclean 27 Rae-Line 31 SLE Worldwide


SPLASH! 2020 Expo


S.R.Smith 49 Swimplex Aquatics/Polin


Technogym 7 Tim Batt Water Solutions


Udio 51 Viva Leisure 37 VivaTicket


Venue Jobs




Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces launches scheme to recycle old playground rubber surfaces

Based on a belief that suppliers and users need to establish a way to recycle and reuse rubber wet pour from old playgrounds, NSW-based Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces has launched a scheme to recycle old playground rubber surfaces. Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces Director, Mark Cunningham advises “we have established a way to reduce waste by using old rubber from playgrounds, putting it back through machinery and then using the granulated rubber again in a new playground as base rubber. “This eliminates thousands of tons of waste going into landfill.” Advising that “we are constantly looking at ways to reduce waste … and this scheme doesn’t only reduce the waste but saves thousands of tons of waste going into landfill.” The scheme sees Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces pull up old rubber wet pour and brought back to the company’s Terrey Hills plant where it is processed by advanced machinery which granulates it so it can be used again in a new playground as base course rubber. Contact 02 9986 1133, E: sales@syntheticgrass.com.au

Send your product news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au


Gold Coast | May 18-20

Save the date Gold Coast | 18 - 20 May, 2020

The 26th AALARA Conference will be held at:

Sea World Resort May 18 May 19

Regulators Forum & Welcome Drinks

May 20

Conference, Site Tours & Gala Dinner

Conference, Think Tanks & MidConference Function

Ask about the ENERGY SAVING features of BECSys Controllers

BECSYS EZConnect & EZMail Finally... secure online access made simple, including alarm notification messages!

 Simple  Secure  No Monthly Fees Managing a pool is hard work. Ready for something easy? Use EZConnect and EZMail for simple and secure access to your BECSys controller • Quickly and easily check the status of your water quality • Receive immediate notification of out-of-range conditions • Perform in-depth analysis of trends and events Setup is simple • No VPNs, router port forwarding, IP addresses or SMTP settings needed And secure • A rigorous multi-layered security approach, including message encryption, puts even the most restrictive IT departments at ease ...which means you get connected without a hassle from your IT department!

For more information contact Tim Batt Water Solutions at 0438-889268 or visit us online at www.tbwsaquatic.com.au

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Australasian Leisure Management issue 137 2020  


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