The Board of Directors of the AAF Company have revisited the strategic direction of the Army Amenities Fund and how the Fund may best support Army.  One of the deliberations focussed on the provision of holiday facilities.

By and large Army holiday facilities run at a loss – this is a conscious decision of the present (and past) Board and stems from the desire to provide affordable facilities (whilst monitoring the levels of the losses to ensure they do not adversely impact the viability of the Fund).

2009 Strategy Meeting Outcomes.  At a similar review in 2009, Directors decided that the viability of the Fund was being impacted by significant losses incurred by leased properties.  As such, leased properties were ‘let go’ in favour of concentrating on facilities that were owned by the Company.  Additionally, there was to be an emphasis on the provision of grants to Units and Associations for worthwhile projects.

The Board at its March meeting re-affirmed and extended this approach.

Five Key decisions and actions from the March 2012 meeting:

  • The leases at the Grande Florida Resort on the Gold Coast will not be re-newed in November 2012.  The apartments have been leases at an operating cost of some $24 000-25 000 pa over a number of years and to bring it to a ‘break-even’ status would require substantial and unacceptable increases in tariffs.
  • There will be an emphasis on promoting facilities at Goolwa (SA), Kalbarri (WA) and Coogee (Sydney) with the aim of increasing the percentage of Army usage.  Historically, only 24% of occupants at Goolwa and Kalbarri are members of the Army.  This is in contrast to the Coogee apartments where 64% of users are members of the Army.  The figure for Grande Florida is 31%.
  • The Board are concerned that occupancy figures indicate that it is not ‘hitting the mark’ in relation to member expectations and, as such, a further review will be conducted in 12 months to determine which accommodation model best suites the needs of members (for example, is accommodation in a capital city, close to transport and entertainment/sporting hubs more preferable to more remote areas such as Goolwa and Kalbarri?).
  • There will be an emphasis on promoting grants for worthwhile projects and work to provide additional guidance on defining ‘what’ is an acceptable application will be completed as soon as possible.
  • The Secretariat of the Fund has also been tasked to explore other options to support members and provide results to the Board for consideration.  Included in this tasking is a review of the current web site.

The above is meant to be a concise summary of Board deliberations.  There are other factors that were discussed such as operational tempo, Board governance and reporting requirements, impacts of the new Work Health and Safety Act and changing attitudes to holiday accommodation.