The SPASA Wars appear to be over after the Swimming Pool Retail Association of Australia (SPRAA) merged with SPASA Australia, and the Alliance agreed to join the board to represent their NSW and ACT members.
This joint announcement by the three associations appears to draw a line under the dispute between the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of New South Wales Limited (currently trading as the Swimming Pool & Spa Alliance) and SPASA Australia Ltd which began nearly two years ago in December 2012.
Leading industry members have been expressing a desire for a resolution to this dispute for a long time and the announcement is seen as a highly positive development for the whole industry. The decision was agreed unanimously by the SPASA Australia board.
Additionally, the merger of SPRAA into SPASA Australia means there will now be one association to represent the entire swimming pool and spa industry nationally.
SPASA Australia president Lynley Papineau says that the industry has been fragmented for some time and it is pleasing to be able to unite the membership once again.
“This will bring a combined membership of over 1250 businesses between the states and the national association,” she says.
“The SPASA Australia board voted unanimously to proceed in this direction and see this as the beginning of a new united era. We look forward to providing our members with national representation in a co-ordinated manner and deliver on the needs and wants of each sector of the industry.”
SPRAA members voted on the merger at their August AGM and SPRAA president John O’Brien will take a seat as a board member of SPASA Australia.
“In recent times, the associations have been working together on industry matters and we are particularly pleased with the formation of National Sector Groups that will ensure that all sectors, Builders, Suppliers and the Retail/Aftermarket are appropriately represented,” he says.
“I’m delighted to have been asked to take on the additional role of the inaugural chairperson of the Retail/Aftermarket National Sector Group.”
Swimming Pool & Spa Alliance president Rob Guthrie says the Alliance has always recognised and promoted the need for a cohesive and effective national body to represent all sectors of the industry.
“We have been in discussions with the other bodies since 2013 to work toward this,” he says.
“We are pleased with the development of SPASA Australia and the new board structure including changes to the constitution that have facilitated the ongoing effectiveness of the national association. We are particularly encouraged that the associations are coming together as this provides a stronger approach to the issues and opportunities that affect the industry.”
Papineau says that SPASA Australia’s new CEO Gary Nye will work with both SPRAA and the Swimming Pool & Spa Alliance to plan and implement the integration of the associations.
“The new board seats will be take affect from October 7, however the full integration will not be complete until early in the New Year,” she says.
The Alliance says that after due diligence has been carried out, they will go back to their members before any formal arrangement is finalised.
SPLASH! will update this story as it progresses.