MOTORCYCLING NSW LTD. GENERAL MEETING, BLACKTOWN WORKERS CLUB,
23 April, 2019
The meeting opened at 7.40pm, with the President, Tim Sanford in the chair. Christine Tickner, Gavin Hunt, and the CEO, Dave Cooke were present. Ms Amy Knop was Minute Secretary.
After opening the meeting and a few formalities, the President discussed some items from board minutes.
Readers may remember that MNSW has been negotiating with the Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, for a replacement for the Mini Bike venue at Horsley Park. Several sites had been suggested, dependant on the Liberal Government being returned. The Liberals have been returned to government, but in a portfolio and department shuffle, Stuart has become the Minister for Western Sydney, with John Sidoti appointed as Minister for Sport. The President said MNSW will wait for a while and see if the pre election promises eventuate. He suggested that at the very least, MNSW should be offered an extension of the lease at Horsley Park whilst the search for a suitable site continues.
One of the major changes in the new MNSW Constitution is the provision for up to 2 appointed Directors. This is seen as a way of introducing people with skills and experience which may not be available in the motorcycling fraternity. Apparently the board have been seeking candidates for some time and have selected Mr Matt Sexton, former marketing director of manufacturing company Rheem. He is also a keen BMW rider.
Zara Griffin gave a report on a recent St George Road Race event at Wakefield Park, with 180 riders, fine weather and few falls.
Bob McGlinchy discussed recent trials meetings and mentioned the uptake of electric powered bikes and their rapidly improving endurance.
MA ALLIANCE LEADERSHIP TEAM MEETING
The President was asked to comment on the decisions made at the ALT meeting on 1st April regarding the "MA New Financial Model"
He explained that the most critical problem facing MA is funding the $3.3 million cost of insurance which MA carries, mostly by the MA subsidiary, Motorcycling Australia Insurance Limited. (MAIL).
The insurance is divided into 3 groups; 1.Associations Insurance, which covers all clubs for the following risks.
Director and Officer insurance, to protect club committee members or directors against claims by third parties. Professional indemnity insurance, to protect SCB's and clubs against liability for advice or directions given.
Association liability cover, for the cost of defending claims.
Employee fraud and dishonesty insurance, to cover losses by fraudulent conduct of members with access to assets.
Employment practices insurance, to cover claims for unfair dismissal, etc
2. Public liability insurance which covers MA, all SCB's and every affiliated club against claims for injury or damages caused by the negligence of any MA member.
3. Personal accident insurance to assist with the medical and other expenses incurred by a licence holder at a permitted event. The cost of this coverage has, until now, been largely hidden, as parts were funded by the SCB, which could decide how their premiums would be paid, whilst others, such as rider insurance, was collected from licence and entry fees.
The new model is designed to show every member what they are paying for in respect to insurance for event permits, licences and levies, and will be collected centrally through RiderNet. It will be designed to minimise the insurance costs to members, whilst maintaining excellent cover for all clubs and participants, and that MAIL continues to remain financially robust.
Several options are under consideration and the ALT members will consult their boards for their positions before a financial model is announced. The new model is expected to come into operation on 1st January, 2020. This matter is crucial to the long term survival of our sport. In an era where people are encouraged to make claims by percentage-share law firms, the viability of MAIL is absolutely essential. Few clubs could finance the cost of defending a claim, let alone pay a damages claim, without going broke.
In my opinion, there is only one certainty; ALL FEES WILL RISE!
MVIC STAYS OUT OF ALT
The President confirmed that Motorcycling Victoria has still not joined the MA Alliance Leadership Team. It is now accepted that the primary reason for not joining is their suspicion that MA will try to take control of their most prized possession, the Broadford race complex. This has been long suspected, but now it has been confirmed. I believe relieving their concerns will be a problem, after reading the "best for motorcycling" section of the ALT rules.
PRIVATE PROMOTORS FEES
During further discussion on insurance claims, the President disclosed that the number of claims made at events conducted by private promotors was proportionally much higher than for club run events. Whether this was because of circumstances that the promotor controls, such as running high-risk events or poor management was not discussed, but the board can see no good reason for MNSW (and indirectly, the clubs) to subsidise these meetings.
Permit fees (which includes public risk insurance) for private promotors will rise substantially, possibly up to commercial rates.
THE "ACE OF CLUBS" DISAFFILIATES
Over our pre-meeting dinner, MNSW Life Member Ron Kivovitch confirmed that Willoughby District Motor Cycle Club has not renewed it's affiliation with MNSW. Willoughby was at one stage, the biggest club in Sydney, if not the state, with riders competing in all phases of the sport.
In the late 1950's and 1960's, the club was running open scrambles at Morebank, later moving their events to Amaroo Park, as Mr. Moto Cross. Over the years they expanded into Road Race promotion including the hugely successful Castrol 6 Hour Production Race Series. During this era the club had an office at Crows Nest and a full time paid Secretary to manage the business. As road racing declined with the closure of Amaroo Park and Oran Park, the club was reduced to running occasional practice days for juniors at Eastern Creek Kart circuit.
Since then it has become more of a social club for old ex-riders, a sad ending for such a famous club. But this is not an isolated matter. At least 10 Sydney clubs have folded in recent years as Sydney becomes more and more built up, and with the disappearance of back yard sheds, the room to keep a race bike and trailer etc becomes more and more difficult.
During a chat with a Life Member of the Post Classic Racing Association I have learnt that there are serious divisions in the club. Apparently there were allegations of financial irregularities, but a very expensive external audit did not find any problems. General mistrust of the management has developed to such an extent that a group of members is presently forming a new club named Classic Racing Motorcycle Club Inc. and intend affiliating with MNSW.
This could take some time, as under the new MNSW Constitution, (s8) applications will only be considered from clubs which are an incorporated association or a company. After the CEO confirms that the application complies with the qualifications, all affiliated clubs must be notified and submissions requested. After the review period, the board must consider any objections. If there are no valid objections the board may approve the application, or, if there are objections, the application may be resolved by mediation or a ballot of affiliated clubs at a general meeting.
On a broader picture a breakup could be a serious set-back for road racing in NSW. If the existing club split, would the separated clubs have sufficient resources, riders and officials to run independent events? What would happen to the Festival of Speed meeting? We can only hope that this matter can be resolved in the best interests of the sport.
General Meeting closed, 8.50
MOTORCYCLING NSW LTD. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, BLACKTOWN WORKERS CLUB
23 April, 2019
The Meeting opened at 9.04, with the President Tim Sanford in the chair.
Tim discussed the big achievements of the year; the sale of the Harris Park building and the move to the new office at Smithfield, the acceptance of the new constitution, and the decision to offer loans and grants to various clubs for track improvements and facilities.
He thanked CEO Dave Cooke, his fellow directors and the office staff for their dedicated support during the year. He particularly thanked director Leon Sayers, who is now ineligible to re-nominate, as he has completed his two terms on the board.
He reminded members that MNSW is about to appoint an unelected director, to bring some new skills to the board.
Dave Cooke discussed achievements during the year, and commented on problems in past years when individual directors with personal agendas caused considerable havoc to the progress of the sport.
He mentioned MNSW involvement in assisting clubs to promote meetings, particularly the MX State titles, which was a huge success. He suggests that MNSW will continue to move beyond administration to increasing it's involvement in the promotion of major events.
The CEO discussed the financial report, which shows a surplus of $3,810,868.00, but this is inflated by grants from MNSW Properties. The actual figure without these grants was a loss of $180,000. Un-expected increases in insurance costs, leasehold costs at Horsley Park, State Title and event expenses, fitting out the new office and grants to clubs caused most of the excess.
Outstanding loans to clubs total $198,000.These have no fixed term and do not produce interest.
Insurance costs are expected to increase significantly this year. MNSW membership increased by 5%, whilst most other SCB's were losing members, with MVic down 20%.
Net assets are $4,649,224.59. This will rise substantially when the assets of MNSW Properties are transferred later this year.
APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR
Mr. Jonathan Smith was re-appointed as auditor for the next year.
BALLOT FOR THE POSITIONS OF DIRECTORS OF MOTORCYCLING NSW LIMITED.
There were 3 positions vacant, two for the normal 3 year term, and one for the balance of the term of recently removed director, Michel Costantinou, which is 2 years. This position will be filled by the candidate with the third highest vote.
THE NOMINATIONS There were 5 nominations for the 3 vacant elected directors' positions. Here's a brief rundown on their background and skills from their resumes.
Trent O'Donnell Trent is a Member of Macleay District MCC, currently the President, and previously Secretary and Treasurer, and an ex-competitor in Track, Dirt Track, Super Moto and Road Racing. He is presently a member of the Dirt Track Sports Committee. He is a Licenced Steward, COC, Race Secretary, Scrutineer and Coach. He is a director of a construction, manufacturing and maintenance company with 130 employees. He believes his experience in business operations, risk management, strategic planning and financial management would be a great asset to MNSW.
Gavin is a current member of the board seeking re-election. He is president of Oakdale JMCC, and is a past President of Baulkham Hills JMTC. He is a L3 Steward, COC and Coach. He is proud of the massive changes that have been achieved by MNSW and would like to continue working on present projects to improve our sport. He particularly supports the mini bike heroes program as a way for clubs to grow their membership and strengthen their support.
Michael has had a life-long association with motorcycling, starting as a competitor at mini-bike level through to a parent of a rider. He has decided that now is the time to return the favour and contribute his knowledge and business skills to help Motorcycle sport achieve greater recognition. Michael has 20 years experience as Sales and Marketing Director for a Health Care Company and is currently completing a Master of Business Degree.
He declares that he has no commercial interests within the motorcycling industry. He would like to arrest the current decline in motorcycle sport and ensure a sustainable future for Motorcycling NSW.
Jason Baille Jason started his association with motorcycling as a Dirt Track and MX competitor in 1984, moving on to Road Racing in 1990, before concentrating on his business career in 2007. In 2016 he returned to Dirt Track as a team owner and rider. During his career he has developed long term relationships with many participants in the motorcycle industry and has become aware of the down-turn in the industry.
He is General Manager of a transport company and believes he has the financial acumen and knowledge of board compliance which could assist MNSW to grow and assist the clubs.
He believes that to grow the sport we must increase the professionalism of our events with better presentation and organisation to attract outside sponsors.
He would also like to see small mini-bike training areas where children could ride legally, and develop their riding skills.
David has had 20 years experience in the NSW Public Service in the areas of administration, risk and strategic management and policy development. He has masters degrees in Education and Public Administration, as well as an extensive list of post graduate diplomas.
He has extensive experience in development and implementation of strategic plans.
Exceptional ability to translate technical and complex information into clear and concise messages.
Strong understanding of Corporate Law and its application.
Extensive experience in delivering decisive, frank and honest advice, even in the face of strong contrary views and emotionally charged situations across difficult audiences.
Superior interpersonal skills to engage with widely diverse audiences.
DECLARATION OF THE BALLOT
The President called for the results of the postal ballot for directors, which was conducted by MNSW's solicitors.
Over 110 sets of papers were sent to clubs and Life Members, but only 33 were returned. This is a very disappointing return rate, showing serious apathy in clubs to the management of the sport.
The President then read the results of the ballot.
T. O'Donnell 21 G. Hunt 27 M. O'Brien 16
J. Baillie 11 D. Charnings 17
T. O'Donnell and G. Hunt were declared elected for 3 years, and D. Charnings was declared elected for 2 years.
LIFE MEMBERSHIP OF LEN MAIN
The President announced that the application for the Life Membership of Leonard S Main had been approved by the board, and confirmation was required by the members at this AGM.
Len had been made a Life Member of the ACU, in recognition of his many years of service to the sport, but when the ACU went broke and MNSW was formed, somehow he was omitted from the list of Life Members carried forward. Len is now 87 and living on the North Coast.
MNSW Life Member and ex Willoughby member Ron Kivovitch moved that Len be granted Life Membership, and the motion was passed by a large majority.
Although MNSW Properties has been approved for closure and its assets transferred to MNSW, this hasn't happened yet, as some legal matters have to be resolved. A final meeting is expected in the next few months.
The meeting closed at 9.50pm.
Regards ..... Dave E.