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.