Thanks to many people who have contacted their local Member for Parliament to raise concerns with the likely impacts of Australian Adventure Activity Standards on volunteer community-based bushwalkers.
Many MPs and Minister Eren have responded stating that they don't believe that the AAAS will impact our bushwalking. However, our most recent advice is that this is not the case. Our ongoing concerns are:
The "standards" specify over 20 "national competencies" that are designed for professional operators. It is unrealistic and inappropriate to expect volunteer bushwalkers to attempt to prove they meet these competencies.
The standards are NOT voluntary if land managers, courts and insurance companies all consider that they apply to volunteer bushwalkers. The AAAS currently explicitly apply to volunteer bushwalking leaders and clubs.
Increased compliance burdens and liabilities resulting from these standards are likely to result in community-based clubs reducing their trips program or even folding.
Our simple solution is to include the following words in the standard(s):
"Compliance with this standard may be deemed mandatory for commercial adventure activity operators. This standard does not apply to volunteers."
We have launched [this online petition] so clubs, members and the general public can raise concerns about the AAAS directly with Premier Andrews and Minister Eren.
Please circulate this link to anyone who may be interested in participating http://bit.ly/AAAS-petition
President, 0409 417 504