BIAV President David Meehan has heaped praise on the boating industry for its coming together in these tough and challenging times.

BIA VIC logo“Despite all of the current challenges, and what the industry has been through in 2020, BIAV membership is strong. We’ve actually had double digits growth in new members.” Meehan stated. Continuing, “People across the industry have had an increased awareness as to the value of an industry association in these times. The conduit to government, the influencing of outcomes, the advice offered, and the general industry support all seem to have been really well received”.

Meehan is keen to see this trend continue and for BIAV to capture further industry members that until now have not been able to join their industry body. “The Board, the CEO and the staff are super keen for everyone across the industry to be part of this. The costs are extremely low and the value can be returned over and over. This really has been demonstrated recently.” Meehan concluded.

Since February, when the industry appeared to be ‘on its knees’, BIAV’s response has been swift and effective. In the first instance all possible stimulus type support was packaged, centralised and shared with members. As business restrictions were first put in place, these were studied and best interpreted to keep business going to maximum levels. Boating business retained a pulse and when things eased, so too did any decline. BIAV campaigned strongly to have boating and fishing permitted in stage 2 and stage 3 scenarios as people needed the therapy of it, and business needed the activity that it generates.

Now in COVID stage 4, BIAV is working tirelessly to ensure all possible work that can take place across the industry, that can be done COVIDsafe, is being done. Members and even several non-members have greatly appreciated this, and again, membership has seen a subtle upward shift.

The next challenge will be to have boating and fishing safely returned to Melbourne waters as soon as possible, joining Regional waters that are currently in stage 3. BIAV’s mantra in relation to this during lockdown 1, which will apply again for relief from lockdown 2 is ‘The Big Four’. The big four reasons boating and fishing should be allowed at the first possible safe opportunity – 1. National and State Consistency 2. Give the industry a chance of survival and save thousands more jobs. 3. Boating and fishing is exercise for many, including their mental wellness. And 4. Evidence that it can be done safely and in line with the COVID requirements.

BIAV will continue to do this work whilst working toward other aspirations for the industry across boat shows, event activations, boating participation, a range of advocacy and influencing scenarios, and industry education programs. BIAV will be working also, with BIA, on a range of initiatives including an ongoing campaign to promote boating and its virtues as the perfect COVID recovery remedy. Noting how perfect boating is for isolating, getting into nature, being with family, mental wellness, general well-being, day-tripping and tourism re-growth.

Industry members that have not joined BIAV at this stage are encouraged to do so. This Link will take people to the members section of the BIAV website, and to the actual membership form. Queries can be directed to Mary Papantoniou at or 0425 755 164.

If you are a member of the boating industry it is clear that the BIAV needs you. It would seem also, based on recent events, that you need them too.