Boating Industry Alliance sets an ambitious course

by BIAA 
Darren Vaux, Chairman BIAA; Nik Parker, General Manager BIAA; Clyde Batty, General Manager BIA Victoria; David Heyes, President BIA Victoria.
At the Melbourne Boat Show over the Queen's Birthday long weekend, the Chairman of the Boating Industries Alliance Australia, Darren Vaux, on Friday outlined the role of the Alliance as the national voice of the boating industry in Australia.

By leading the network of state-based Boating Industry Associations, including Marine Queensland, on national issues the Alliance provides a focus for communications with all stakeholders ensuring a common and consistent message on a wide range of issues.

Mr Vaux reported that recent discussions with government agencies had confirmed the leading position of the Alliance in representing the boating industry, with Vaux being invited by Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, to join the Australian Government Recreational Fishing Roundtable and the Alliance asked to respond to the Productivity Commission Public Inquiry on the performance of the Australian retail industry.

Mr Vaux commented that both these issues were key to the success of the boating industry: 'by working to ensure provision of government support for access to waterways and places to fish – recognised as one of the principal drivers for going boating in Australia – and by highlighting the inequity of imported boats reaching the local market with little or no check on regulatory compliance, we are taking firm steps to strengthen the market place for the boating industry' said Vaux.

The Alliance also has a key role in communicating with boaters, having recently announced programs to grow participation in recreational boating. 'The Alliance has a strategy for mobilisation of multiple programs over the next 12 months which will see a significant upswing in the number of new entrants to boating. We’re working with schools and colleges across the country to provide opportunities for children and young adults to get afloat, learn about the benefits of the boating lifestyle – whether this be a healthy active sport such as dinghy sailing or building self-confidence and learning new skills' said Vaux.

But it doesn’t stop there: once the sailing bug is in them, the Alliance will continue to engage boaters of all ages with the roll-out of a new national boat club, providing benefits to boaters and industry alike. Vaux said 'We want to double the number of active boaters in this country – we know there are something like 1 million recreational boating licence holders in Australia and by offering them something more, we can keep them enthused and encourage them to get their friends and families involved. Everyone feels better on a boat and we believe our mix of programs to engage youngsters and older boaters alike will sustain the industry in to the future.'

Supporting Mr Vaux was Clyde Batty, General Manager of Boating Industry Association of Victoria: 'The BIAA is creating a strong national voice for the industry and by bringing together the BIA teams from across the country, we are able to coordinate our efforts in talking to our customers. The Melbourne Boat Show provides a perfect opportunity for the Alliance to get across its messages to the boater, and industry, and I’m pleased that one of the key areas we’re tackling here is the grey import problem'.

The Boating Industries Alliance Australia is the national peak body for the boating industry in Australia and represents all the state Boating Industry Associations and Marine Queensland on national issues.

More at www.biaa.com.au