At the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Boating Industry Association (BIA) of NSW last night, under the Chairmanship of President Alan Blake, the membership voted in favour for a merger with the BIA of South Australia.

This vote by the members follows a similar outcome at a South Australian meeting of members in March.

The five Special Resolutions recommended by the Board of Directors were all approved by majority vote. As a result BIA NSW & SA have adopted a new constitution. There will be a change of name to the Boating Industry Association of NSW & SA Limited and they will trade publically as the Boating Industry Association. This initiative establishes a new platform that can be followed by other state BIA’s at their discretion.

Moving forward the South Australian office will seek agreement from the SA Attorney General for their approval for the merger of the operations under S42 SA Associations Incorporation Act. This is a formality and it is expected after the designated 90 day period that the merger will be finalised.

Preceding the vote the forum allowed members to put forward their views on the proposal. Past President and Life Member of the BIA NSW, Ian McAndrew spoke passionately about the benefits of such a move, as did Darren Vaux who also held the position of President until recently and continues to work at a national level with the Boating Industries Alliance Australia.

Roy Privett, General Manager for the BIA NSW said

“This merger has come after much consideration, planning and the appropriate due diligence. There is still a lot of work to do to merge the operations and I’m sure with the strength of the Associations relationship it will be an outstanding success. The merger of BIA NSW & SA will see both boards continue as state councils, with each appointing directors to a new centralised governing board. The BIA of NSW Divisions will remain the same. Offices will also remain in Sydney and Adelaide with the objective to deliver improved efficiencies and effectiveness in office administration, finance, marketing, events, promotions and operations, as duplications are eliminated”.

Whilst the two states have already seen cooperation across many elements of their services to members, this will continue to be evident over the coming months with the introduction of a number of industry beneficial programs that can easily be shared without much added effort or expense.

Darren Vaux, Chairman of the Boating Industry Alliance said that

“The move towards single national entity has been a key objective for many years and great care has been taken by the NSW and SA Associations in ensuring the success of the merger in the interests of their collective members. There are clear benefits that will be derived to the industry from the merger and it lays a solid foundation for improved efficiencies and improved services to, and advocacy on behalf of, members. It was inspiring to see the membership so passionate last night and that they were willing to listen and accept the need to renew the Association to ensure its prosperity, relevance and strength into the future”

Members of both NSW and SA will be able to continue business as usual through their local state office.