Date: September 19, 2012

Clubs’$10 Billion Contribution to Australian Community

The first ever national study of the Australian club industry reveals that registered clubs make an annual economic and social contribution of almost $10 billion to the Australian community. The National Club Census found that the Australian club industry directly employs more than 96,000 people, more than double the combined amount employed locally by Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Woodside, Atlas Iron and Fortescue Metals. The Census also showed that the club industry enjoys the support of 258,000 volunteers, 5 times the number involved in the Sydney Olympics and more than triple the London Olympics. The Census, launched on 18th September at Parliament House in Canberra in the presence of dozens of Federal MPs representing both sides of politics, is the largest study ever undertaken of the industry and is the result of almost 12 months research and analysis by KPMG. Clubs Australia Chairman, Peter Newell OAM, said the Census was a landmark study of the more than 6,500 registered clubs located in communities across the country. There is no industry anywhere in Australia that is more involved in the everyday life of Australians than the club industry, he said. We know that communities have a very strong appreciation of their local club s contribution to their area. This study means for the first time we now have an exhaustive snapshot of clubs national social and economic contribution. It reveals such a depth of social generosity and economic importance that it is virtually impossible to overstate the contribution clubs make to the fabric of the nation. From the provision of billions of dollars of sporting facilities to the financial support of organisations such as the RSL and the Salvation Army to providing affordable food and drinks, clubs have mastered the challenge of providing something for everyone. This report also found that there are 11.6 million club memberships in Australia, placing the industry on a level footing with companies like Westpac in terms of overall customer size. The KPMG National Club Census found that;

  • Clubs make an economic contribution of $7.2 billion each year
  • Clubs make an annual social contribution of $2.3 billion
  • Clubs pay $2.4 billion in tax each year
  • 53 per cent of clubs are in regional or rural areas
  • 54 per cent of club employees are female and 42 per cent are in regional or rural Australia
  • Club volunteers contribute more than 5.8 million volunteer hours per annum.

Clubs Australia Executive Director Anthony Ball said the Census was a landmark report which gave a true sense of the size, scale and importance of the Australian club industry. The Census quantifies the wisdom of state governments fostering and encouraging the development of registered clubs in communities throughout the country. It’s a belief that remains on show today with clubs considered a crucial social ingredient in the opinion of many governments and law makers. The national figures in this report are impressive, but it s important to remember that they are the result of the contributions made by individual clubs as diverse as the Deniliquin RSL to the Currumbin Surf Club. This report documents the contribution of clubs to their respective communities. It confirms that clubs are the largest employer, tax payer, volunteer base and provider of sporting facilities and equipment in many regions across the nation. The National Club Census is a groundbreaking study of our diverse and fantastic industry which will be an invaluable tool for governments and clubs alike. The integral economic and social role has only been made possible through the supportive and appreciative view of state and territory governments over many decades. Given the at times combative challenges clubs have been forced to engage in over the past 18 months, a clear message exists that the economic and social contribution of the club industry should not be taken for granted, Mr Ball said. Other key findings from the Census include;

  • Clubs provide and maintain more than $20 billion worth of community assets
  • Clubs plan to spend $1.9 billion over the next 4 years on sports facilities
  • Clubs provide 11,980 sporting facilities
  • Non-professional sport is the predominant recipient of direct cash contributions from clubs (38%).
  • Sports/recreation clubs are the most common type of club with 1,604 clubs, followed by bowling clubs (1,581), golf clubs (1,118) and RSL/Services clubs (979).