Planning and building compliance systems are in place across Australia in order to provide for appropriate and compatible land uses and to ensure the safety and suitability of premises. Acting in this way, these systems play a key role in containing adverse health and injury outcomes arising from fitness operations. At the same time, regulation can inhibit fitness activities by restricting where they can take place and by adding to the cost and complexity of compliance. Potential operators may well be discouraged by the maze of planning and building controls and requirements in place across Australia.
While it is beyond the scope of this research to look at the appropriateness of the regulatory frameworks, the paper aims to assist potential operators to navigate and comply with the operative planning and building regulatory systems by outlining, in simple terms, the key steps and considerations involved in establishing or altering a fitness business. In particular, the paper is intended to help operators understand how the control systems work and how they find out about relevant controls. It will provide guidance to help operators to determine when they may need to seek formal approval and when specialist assistance may be required.