A WARRNAMBOOL health business’ bid to create a women-only gym and bathhouse has been given the green light in what has been described as a ground-breaking decision.
The application was approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to allow Logans Beach Spa and Fitness an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act from Thursday.
Solicitor Ian Pugh, who represented the gym at VCAT, is a male member of the facility.
“At first I wasn’t sure about the reasons behind their decision to go for a women’s-only facility, especially considering I am a member,” he said.
“But I became convinced of the need for a women’s-only facility. This case is a ground- breaking decision in the area of equal opportunity law and a first for Warrnambool and I am proud to have been a part of it.”
The gym has been operating as a mixed gender health and fitness facility for the past six years with a membership base which is 90 per cent female.
Logans Beach Spa and Fitness manager Katie Stafford said the business was thrilled with the VCAT decision.
“Overall, our members and the local community have been very supportive of our decision to focus primarily on women’s health,” she said.
“While there are benefits to the community as a whole, through increasing the opportunities for the improvement of their health and wellbeing, we have witnessed an increasing demand for smaller, more intimate and women-only facilities and programs.
“In considering our vision we paid attention to the 2008 Victoria Population Health Survey, covering Warrnambool City Council, which revealed that 41.8 per cent of people were physically inactive and that 27 per cent of women were overweight.
“There are approximately 11 other gyms in Warrnambool. All offer something different to the community and we believe that our focus on women’s health will complement what is already available.”