August Advocacy Update

Making sure our Federal Parliamentarians are Fit for Office!

In partnership with Myzone, AUSactive is set to put all federal parliamentarians to the test with the upcoming Fit for Office, Get All Parliamentarians Physically Active (GAPPA) Challenge. AUSactive’s Fit for Office challenge aligns with the World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan for Physical Activity (GAPPA) that the previous Australian government signed up to in November 2018 with a commitment to have 15% more Australians more active by 2030.

We are thrilled that former Australian Rugby Union player and the first Independent Senator for the ACT, David Pocock, four- time winter Olympian the Hon. Zali Steggall, the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh, Senator Anne Ruston, the Hon. Fiona Phillips, the Hon. Allegra Spender and the Hon. Angie Bell are amongst the first to accept the challenge.

This is a four-week exercise/fitness campaign, that will take place from 25 September to 22 October 2023, between Federal MP’s and their offices.

Modelled on successful US and UK campaigns the GAPPA Fit for Office Challenge is an ideal opportunity for our parliamentary figures to set the right example and encourage all parts of our community to get more physically active.

AUSactive is planning to launch the campaign at Parliament House in early September.

Consultation on the State Government’s Review of fees for outdoor training on Crown land in Victoria

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action in Victoria is reviewing their fees that they charge for outdoor exercise trainers to run programs on Crown Land.

Under the current policy, outdoor exercise trainers only have to pay an annual licence fee of $330.40 to run their classes on Crown land. And unlike other “tour operators” outdoor trainers don’t have to pay every time they use Crown land for an exercise session.

However, the Government is rethinking its approach on this, suggesting that outdoor fitness trainers could be managed like all other licensed tour operators, which if implemented, will likely result in increasing fees for outdoor exercise trainers.

AUSactive has strongly advocated against any changes that will result in increasing fees. We have said that instead of charging additional usage fees for the government to manage the land, we believe as an alternative that an Outdoor Fitness Training Code of Conduct could be introduced so that trainers could voluntarily sign up and agree to a broad range of principles including respecting the parks and spaces, being courteous to residents, having appropriate insurance, etc. We will continue to monitor developments and update our members in due course.

Meeting with Federal Government about the National Preventive Health Strategy and the National Sports Plan

Last week Barrie met with Directors from the Preventive Health and Food Branch, Primary and Community Care Group from the Australian Government Department of Health to talk about promoting physical activity within their National Preventive Health Strategy and National Sport Plan.

AUSactive is encouraged that in developing these documents, the government is working on action plans to engage Australians in regular physical activity to improve their physical and mental health as well as focussing on creating inclusive and healthy communities through inspiring people to move more.

The government has asked AUSactive to comment on their action plans when they consult on them, later this year.

National Sports Convention

AUSactive was a strong presence at the National Sports & Physical Activity Convention in Melbourne on 26-28 July 2023. This was an opportunity for the sport, recreation, play, fitness, health, wellness, education and government sectors to talk about how to encourage more people to be active. Barrie Elvish presented to over 1300 delegates and there was a lot of engagement with international researchers, the Department of Health and many other decision makers in the area of physical activity.

Disability Expo Sydney

With over 9000 attendees, AUSactive presented at the Disability Expo in Sydney on 4 August 2023, on the All ABILITIES Program, that is a safe and effective group exercise program supporting people with a disability. This program was supported by the Australian Sports Commission and has motivated both trainers and managers involved in the delivery of this program, to be an inclusion advocate in their communities.

AUSactive was encouraged with the engagement from the audience who expressed in getting support for the program within their local area.

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