The Paintball Industry appears to be impressing stakeholders as we work with the State Government to remodel the regulation of Paintball in NSW. More than ten Industry representatives joined facilitators and policy regulators to propose measured and realistic improvements to current regulations. These Industry representatives included field owners, manufacturers, marketing companies and Association representatives.
“I would like to reiterate my comments in relation to the conduct of the industry representatives who have taken the time out to contribute to this important initiative” said a member of the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (DFSI). “It is not always easy to get stakeholders together when developing new regulation. However, the representatives who have attended the two workshops have displayed exceptional professionalism and unity. They have been able to offer their point of view in a considered and logical way.“
Workshops Aim to Improve Paintball Industry Framework
DFSI has been instrumental in facilitating co-design workshops which have helped us form a framework for a better NSW Industry. Furthermore, they have been very open in their praise of the efforts, professionalism and focus of the Paintball Industry representatives. DFSI are constantly developing regulatory policy for various industries and a very experienced in these processes.
“It is important that the industry is viewed as responsible. In addition, it must demonstrate reasonableness and have the capacity to politely discuss issues they may not necessarily agree with. From what I have observed, the industry has all these qualities” stated a member from the Better Regulation Division.
Consequently, the AUPBA continues to work with all stakeholders, Industry members and the State Government to design a better regulatory framework for the future of the sport of Paintball in NSW. Stay up to date on all the initiatives of the Paintball Industry throughout Australasia by visiting the AUPBA News page.
After many years of lobbying the NSW State Government to lower the minimum Paintball age, the effort and hard work has started to show real promise. The AUPBA has this week, been invited to participate in a workshop / round-table to discuss the future of the Paintball Industry in New South Wales. The discussion will include the governance of Paintball, minimum ages of participation, Paintball marker classification and venue authorisations.
Please find below the AUPBA’s submission for this initial consultation round-table.
We’d like to thank all our members that have completed the online petition and also our supporters. Please ensure you monitor our webpage and Facebook page for more updates as the process continues.
International Paintball Group is the world’s largest paintball agency. They have over 115 paintball centres in 6 countries around the world. This company provides thousands of people with amazing deals to play paintball every year.
IPG are responsible for bringing thousands of new players onto paintball fields around the world. IPG introduces the public to an exhilarating sport that is fun and addictive. Paintball is a niche sport, and can offer a day filled with strategy, action and fun.
IPG offers great value to people who are looking to experience a great day filled with action and excitement. The general public can find paintball intimidating, due to its lack of popularity and other preexisting stereotypes around the sport. IPG and its affiliated partners are working to dispel these stereotypes through providing a safe and enjoyable day for everyone.
IPG’s sole purpose is to introduce as many people as possible to the game. IPG only sells tickets to the best paintball fields in the country, and does not compromise on quality. Their fields include movie-set quality game zones, props, and have several game scenarios that will keep your group entertained for hours. Trained staff man the fields and ensure everyone is safe at all times. Their customer service is second to none, and work to guarantee that everyone leaves with a smile.
The International Paintball Group is bringing the sport of paintball to the public, allowing them to enter a world that is known and loved by a select few.
Paintball is a fun and adrenalin-filled activity that can be enjoyed by any person of any age, fitness level and ability. It is a great outdoor activity that combines leadership, strategy and teamwork in a fun and unique environment.
In the Eastern States of Australia however, there is a restriction imposed on the participation in Paintball games that is unjustified, unnecessary and unfairly implemented. The State Police Forces have imposed a minimum age to participate in Paintball games at 16 years of age. In NSW at least, lawmakers did not feel compelled to address this activity in legislation but the police have taken it upon themselves to impose restrictions that have no evidential basis of support. We are requesting that this unsubstantiated and unnecessary restriction be simply removed and children as young as 10 years of age be permitted to participate in Paintball games in Australia.
There is no basis to the inclusion of this restriction. Paintball is enjoyed globally by children as young as 10 years of age. The United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, and New Zealand are among the many countries that set self-imposed minimum ages of 10 years, in conjunction with insurance companies. Even Western Australia and South Australia allow people as young as 10 years of age to participate!
Paintball as an activity is safe, enjoyable and exciting. There are many benefits to children as young as 10 being able to participate in paintball games. Most other countries around the world permit this and it has been very successful, without major incident and has not produced any evidence of an increase in desensitivity to violence in adolescents or for that matter, players of any age.
Regulations such as those imposed by the Eastern states on paintball interfere with the freedoms of citizens without any favourable outcomes evident. The AUPBA simply asks that this evidence be used in making the decision to remove the minimum age criteria from State Police Force criteria and not allow the unfounded and unsubstantiated opinions of policy makers many years ago, to continue to disadvantage Australian children when the rest of the world is clearly seeing the benefits.
There is plenty of evidence out there to support this removal of the minimum age criteria. If people feel it is not appropriate for their particular child, then let them choose that and not take their children paintballing. It is simply an injustice to the sport and all future participants to maintain the blanket-ban on those under 16 playing paintball in Australia.
Support the AUPBA in its fight to remove the unsubstantiated restrictions to Paintball participation and sign our petition now.
After years of campaigning by the AUPBA and other industry leaders, the minimum age for Paintball in Victoria will drop from 18 to 16 years of age from 1st September 2015. It’s an exciting announcement for Paintball centres and players alike who have previously had to wait until they were 18 to enjoy a day of Paintball action. The minimum age drop is a result of a change to legislation and means Victoria will fall in line with New South Wales and the ACT with a minimum age of 16 years old.
The minimum age drop is welcome news to the AUPBA which has dedicated significant resources since 2008 to lobby the Victorian Government to make the change. During this time the AUPBA has worked to raise the standard of safety procedures, Paintball equipment and Paintball facilities across Victorian Paintball centres to support the minimum age drop campaign. Today all five star accredited AUPBA members provide all players with full head protection goggles, torso body armour and full neck protection. Through these initiatives, the AUPBA aims to reduce the potential for injuries on the Paintball field and increase the overall standard of Paintball across Victoria. It is these improvements that will be instrumental in ensuring the minimum age reduction has been successful and worthwhile.
With the official change now in place, Paintball enthusiasts are busily preparing their next Paintball adventure at centres throughout Victoria. In the meantime, Paintballers as young as eight years old can participate in the modified version of the sport that uses spring-powered pump action shotguns and smaller ammunition, for their adrenalin fix.
The AUPBA will provide further details on the public’s reaction to this age reduction in Victoria once players have been able to experience Paintball for the first time.
According to recent articles in the Newcastle Herald and the Sydney Morning Herald, gun ownership in NSW has surged in recent years after the low levels seen following John Howard’s highly successful Gun Buy Back Scheme in 1996. However the statistics are broad and do not give the full picture in understanding the full gun ownership picture. That is the view of the Australasian Paintball Association (AUPBA) in response to the latest gun statistics released this week.
Recent media reports have suggested an increase in NSW gun ownership may be linked to the influence of American culture in Australia. This anecdotal opinion is in stark contrast to the opinions of the Paintball industry. AUPBA spokesperson Luke Hemsley says that it is easy for a safe and family-friendly sport like Paintball to get swept into the gun control debate.
“What we would like to see is transparent reporting including a breakdown of these statistics to ascertain what kinds of gun have increased so significantly. Due to the broad context of Gun Control Laws in Australia, it is really hard to take any meaning out of this data. If we had more accurate reporting on the types of guns that have increased so significantly, you will find we could rule out toys like Paintball markers as a significant factor.”
Leading Operators are really pushing the boundaries with amazing theming and move-set quality scenarios.
The public perception of Paintball has improved exponentially in recent years with industry leading operators really pushing the boundaries of their game zone theming and raising the profile of paintball as a sport.
“The rest of the world classes Paintball markers as a toy and slowly the Australian people are demanding the same of our gun laws. It really is a step up from a water pistol rather than a step down from a gun, and the public realise that” said Hemsley.
“It really is a step up from a water pistol rather than a step down from a gun.”
Recent changes in paintball legislation in Victoria and Tasmania reflect the public opinion. Earlier in 2015 Tasmania legalised the use of Paintball markers opening up Paintball to eager Tasmanians for the first time. Victoria has also lowered the legal age to play Paintball from 18 years to 16 years and this change will come into effect on September 1, 2015.
“What we are hoping is that these reports aren’t simply politically motivated, sensationalized journalism. The AUPBA has strict safety and quality standards in place for our members that ensure that Paintball remains a fun and safe sport. It is unfortunate that Paintball gets dragged along with the debate on gun control due to technicalities and the broad nature of the the legislation.”
After many years of campaigning by the AUPBA, Victorian Paintball operators and the general public, the Victorian Department of Justice has today notified the AUPBA that the Justice Legislation Amendment (Firearms and Other Matters) Bill 2014 was introduced to Parliament in 25th June 2014 and is set to be debated by the Legislative Assembly next week or the first week in September.
Alexandra Briggs, the Senior Legal Policy Officer of the Department of Justice, has been working with the AUPBA and other operators to table these important changes for over five years. “Along with other measures, The Bill proposes to amend the Firearms Act to lower the minimum age for paintball to 16 years, and to remove the requirement for paintball field employees to have a fingerprint check before employment”, said Ms Briggs in a conversation with Mr Bubenicek, the AUPBA president. “After the bill is passed, it will be signed off by the Governor General and then a date for the reduction in age will be set”.
This is a great result for the Victorian Paintball Industry and is the culmination of tireless efforts by many in the Paintball fraternity. A special mention goes to Glenn Etheridge of Melbourne Indoor Paintball and Seamus Fraser of Delta Force Paintball for their efforts in collating all the information and working with other operators and stakeholders to assist the Department of Justice.
The departure of the previous Police Minister Peter Ryan, did result in some delays with the process as the Department needed to re-brief the current police minister.
“It certainly has been a result of stakeholders saying that this is appropriate, the Department of Justice seeing what is happening in other jurisdictions and ensuring that there have been no other injuries coming from those jurisdictions. It’s a real positive change”, said Ms Briggs
Steven Cauchi, a Paintball operator from Geelong also spearheaded the introduction of an amendment that removes the onerous administration of fingerprint checks for casual Paintball staff. Ms Briggs added, “This change is part of this (Victorian) Government’s attempts to try and reduce red tape”.
This is very exciting news for the Victorian Paintball industry and those who will soon be able to experience Paintball for the first time in Victoria. The AUPBA would like to publicly thank all those involved, particularly Alexandra Briggs of the Department of Justice and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, The Hon. Kim Wells MP, for all their their efforts.
Information on the Justice Legislation Amendment (Firearms and Other Matters) Bill 2014 can be found at www.legislation.vic.gov.au
The AUPBA will continue to monitor the passing of this Bill and will make an announcement on the changes when the Bill is approved and ready for implementation.
Although the battle continues to have legislators reduce the minimum age to participate in paintball around Australia,months of work have finally paid off with both Victoria and the ACT approving the new modified version of Paintball called MiniBall for players under the age of 18.
Using a modified gun classified as a toy, spring pressure alone propels a 0.50 calibre MiniBall out of a bright red gun toward the target. All players are protected with the full complement of safety gear that is afforded to Paintball players including body armour, full head helmet, padded collars and camouflage overalls.
Delta Force Operations Manager Seamus Fraser is confident that the participation by thousands of teenagers in this variation to Paintball will show legislators that the activity is a safe one and regulated better than most activities. “Players around the world are permitted to play at any age and the injury rates are negligible, especially when compared to other mainstream sports.” said Mr Fraser. “It will further show that there are no psychological effects associated with the activity and that the benefits include outdoor exercise, team building, leadership and developing an ability to follow instructions.”
Superintendent Russell Barrett from Victoria Police’s licensing and regulations division told the Canberra Times; police have a “good working relationship” with the industry and Delta Force Paintball wasn’t acting illegally. He said police weren’t aware of any moves to lower the age restrictions for paintballing.
AUPBA President, Leon Bubenicek said that he would be contacting the Victorian Police’s Licensing and Regulation Division to update them on the initiative to lower the Paintball minimum age and is looking forward to “open and meaningful debate” on the topic.
Over 1000 players have already enjoyed the MiniBall experience in Victoria and the ACT since the first games early this month and the feedback has been excellent.
For any information on the MiniBall variation of Paintball or on the Minimum Age initiative, please contact the Australasian Paintball Association.
The Paintball Community in Brisbane received a much needed boost with the recent opening of the first outdoor Paintball centre in over 10 years. Delta Force Paintball – Petrie opened on the 4th May to rave reviews and excellent feedback from customers. Over 400 players experienced the latest in Paintball scenarios, equipment and professional staff during the opening weekend, with social media singing the praises of this new facility.
Delta Force Paintball Operations Manager, Seamus Fraser, commented “Customers seemed very excited to experience Paintball in Brisbane that wasn’t behind old pallets and tractor tyres. The care and planning put into the development was very much appreciated by the players.”
Tim Stockwell was one of the many delighted customers, posting on FaceBook “Awesome day crew!!! We were well looked after, got such a great set-up out there!!”
Delta Force Paintball Petrie is the next generation in Paintball Super Centres, with giant stone pyramids, jungle prison camps, military tanks, zombie graveyards and the only full-scale model Blackhawk Helicopter in the world! Weighing in at 2 tonnes and measuring a little over 15m in length, this Blackhawk replica has drawn much media attention as it left its storage facility in Newcastle, NSW and as it slowed peak hour traffic along the Storey Bridge in the Brisbane CBD. Feedback on the replica has been great and players are loving the realistic experience it provides. “My husband took my son Hayden and his mates down to celebrate his 15th birthday; they all had the best time, thank you very much.” posted Mrs Nixon of Brisbane.
The RedBull Wings Team also visited the facility on opening day and further strengthened the relationship between Paintball and the popular extreme sports advocates.
This commitment to improving the Paintball experience, growing the player base of this amazing sport and the continued commitment to safety is why Delta Force Paintball maintains its 5-Star rating with the Australasian Paintball Association.
A 26 year old woman visiting UKPaintball’s paintball centre in Croydon has been a victim in a freak accident where her fake breast has exploded after being struck by a paintball.
Early reports indicate that this woman was not wearing any body armour, an essential piece of equipment which is issued as standard to all players at any 5 Star AUPBA approved paintball centre. In addition, most other AUPBA member fields offer chest protection for all female players as well.
This is the first time an incident like this has ever occurred at a paintball centre, with the former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Douglas McGeorge saying “This is very, very unusual and this woman was very unlucky. I have heard some odd stories over the years but this is one of the strangest.”
As rare as this unfortunate incident is, it could have been easily prevented if this lady had been issued with body armour to take the force out of the strike. At 5 Star AUPBA approved paintball centres it is common practice that all players are issued with custom-designed body armour for added protection and comfort. In addition to this all players are issued with full head protection goggles and a full length combat suit with protective collar. Sadly not all paintball operators place the same importance on player safety, merely offering overalls and a face mask.
The victim has agreed not to take legal action against UKPaintball or Paintzone Paintball park, but I wonder if she’ll still be as forgiving when it comes to her having to fork out up to £3,000 to get the burst breast replaced.
If you want the confidence of playing paintball with the safest paintball providers then view the list of 5 Star AUPBA approved Australian paintball centres on our locations page.