• X-Ryder News, Dave E

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Updated: Sep 10

MOTORCYCLING NSW LIMITED DELEGATES MEETING

On line via Zoom, from the MNSW Office, Smithfield, 27th August, 2020

Meeting commenced at 7.35pm with Gavin Hunt presiding.

This was my first Zoom meeting and things didn't work as well as I expected, with the microphone in my laptop refusing to operate. So I was relegated to being an observer.


During the introductions I recognised a few of the delegates, but I was quite surprised to see two of the guests.

The first was Dave Cooke, the former CEO of MNSW, whose job was hastily made redundant by the board to reduce overheads during the peak Ovid 19 panic in March. I understand that Dave's departure was less than amicable, with reports of legal action. However, tonight he was appearing as delegate for Nowra MCC, and could well be instrumental in the transfer of the Nowra property from MNSW back to the club. The Nowra venue has re-opened this week.

The second surprise was Michel Constantinou, a former director of MNSW and coaching school promotor who was dismissed from the board earlier this year, and fined $6,000 for exceeding rider limits at coaching days his company promoted. He is presently sueing MNSW in the Supreme Court for various matters claimed to be restricting his business. Apparently he has been granted a permit and is back in business.


After the meeting was opened, the first item was the minutes from the General Meeting in June. One matter mentioned was my enquiry about the Goanna Tracks ownership bungle, and how it was discovered. It seems that during the search through the old records the directors discovered several other "irregularities" in transactions between MNSW and MNSW Properties.

I knew that MNSW had borrowed money from Properties on several occasions when they were short of cash, (interest free of course). But it appears that at some stage a loan of $128,000 had not been repaid. On another occasion MNSW decided it couldn't afford to pay rent for the Parkes St property they occupied, so this was listed as a debt. All these questionable practices have added to the financial mess and delayed the finalisation of Properties' accounts.

The investigation also uncovered other accounts (some dating back 6 years) which should not have been paid and required sorting out and settling. We are informed that the Board is taking a much more "Hands On" approach to financial management, instead of relying on the CEO's assurances and spread sheets.

With less staff, the government grants, Jobkeeper support and severe pruning of expenses, MNSW expects to save over three hundred thousand dollars this year.

After some discussion the minutes were accepted; next came the board Minutes.

18th June:

Discussion on grants to clubs. Resolved to invite requests for grants of $2,000.00 from clubs to assist in restarting their sporting activities. Prepare application form. Discussion on a request for a loan from "MQ". No details provided. I wonder if this is Motorcycling Queensland? If this is correct, it would be a first for MNSW, possibly prompted by the MA Alliance policy of assistance and co-operation between Local Controlling Bodies. MNSW has previously loaned money to MA, during the formation of Motorcycling Australia Insurance Limited.

25th June;

Gavin Hunt elected as President of MNSW.

Tim Sanford re-elected as Vice President. Newly elected director Michael O'Brien was introduced and board procedures explained. A Grant of $252,170.00 was received from NSW Office of Sport. This must be used within 2 years to keep operations running, purchase equipment or resources to improve operations, or, support immediate planning, the cost of which cannot be deferred, refunded or recovered by insurance.

Part of this grant will be used to fund the temporary employment of Mr. M. Jackaman to improve MNSW office procedures during and after the re-start.

9th July:

Mark Jackaman, who has been recommended by a board member, has been hired as a consultant contracted to introduce new processes for the reconciliation of cash, EFT payments and banking.

It was discovered that the company reports for MNSW and MNSW Properties required by ASIC had been completed, but not forwarded as was previously believed. These are being handled by the accountants, GBL Partners.

In the absence of a CEO, some of the duties have been temporarily outsourced to the accountants, some to the HR service providers, and some delegated to staff members. Changes to the Constitution will be required to allow these practices to continue.

MNSW is to contact Kurri Kurri and Maitland clubs to gauge interest in the proposed Rutherford property, on which MNSW has a Development Application pending. If they are not interested MNSW will withdraw the Expression of Interest, cancel the DA and try to recoup some of their expenses.

The Board has received an application for affiliation from a group named Gasworks Motorcycle Club, based in Illabo, a town of about 150 residents on the Main Southern Railway line, near Junee. The club is part of a combined classic speedcar and kart group which runs a speedway at the local showground. The Board has approved the application in principle, but will write to affiliated clubs in the local area to invite their opinion on the application.

Appointments to the Sports Committees have been deferred until a new Sports Committee's Charter is completed, thus there are no Sports Committee reports.

One minute which no-one seemed to notice was a reference to "problematic MA proposals which will impact MNSW", without any explanation. Readers may recall that last year at the MA Alliance Conference there was a MA proposal to acquire LCB assets and centralise all but minor administration. This plan was soundly rejected by the LCBs, along with later watered-down versions.

I suspect that something new has come up which the board obviously are not happy with. What we must rely on is that the MNSW directors' legal and moral responsibility is to the members, and this over-rides any vague wording in the MA Alliance Agreement, such as "Best for Motorcycling".

Just in case, at the MNSW Special General Meeting last February, an amendment to the constitution was approved which removes the wording which would have required MNSW to comply with MA decisions which are not in the best interests of MNSW members

30th July

The board has decided to convert all loans to clubs of less than $10,000.00 to grants. Guidelines for this process are being developed. The Financial Report shows a total of $505,200 in outstanding loans to clubs. We know that Oakdale has loans of $269,422. There are only two clubs with loans of less than $10,000 listed; Lower Mountains and Coonabarabran MX, totalling $7,000. The five other loans total $228,707, so MNSW is not giving much away. But there are dozens of clubs and others owing money to MNSW, totaling $105,000.

Still on loans and grants, the board now requires clubs to inform MNSW before committing to large expenditure, so that it will have time to consider the merits of the project and the level of support.

A group named CPL has been contracted to provide secretarial services to MNSW.

A submission is to be prepared to forward to ASIC to formally close MNSW Properties Limited. All its assets have been transferred to MNSW.

Board Minutes accepted

____________

FINANCIAL REPORT. The Financial Report to June, 2020, now styled a "Management Report" does not give as much detail as the spreadsheet style reports released previously. It is virtually impossible to compare movement in fields as this report only shows the last two months and the year to date figures. Previously members could study movements of accounts by the month. Members should be re-assured by the Total Equity bottom line of $9,750,932. I'm not sure if this includes the final asset transfer from MNSW Properties, as it doesn't show the dates. The directors, however should not be too smug over this figure. The vast majority of the $9 million was from the assets transferred from MNSW Properties, which had accumulated the money from it's property investments and other money making schemes over many years. Without the MNSW Properties assets, MNSW would be in as bad a financial state as some of the other LCBs

_____________

GENERAL BUSINESS.

REPLACEMENT SITE FOR HORSLEY PARK

Members asked if there was any news on the replacement for the Mini Bike venue. We were told that a parcel of land is under consideration on Horsley Road beyond the Drag strip. Negotiations are continuing with the Office of Sport.

A recent TV news program showed a proposed layout of a new Speedway, to replace the present Granville venue. The location was described as Eastern Creek, near the Drag strip. It displayed a car circuit on the outside, with a bike circuit on the inside. Obviously the Speedway replacement is a higher priority with the government than the mini bike site.

LOAN TO OAKDALE MCC There was considerable discussion over the recent board decision to loan the club a further $100,000 and a grant of $30,000, with a delegate suggesting that The President, Gavin Hunt may have unduly influenced the board, as he is also President of Oakdale Club.

This was strongly refuted, and a discussion on the discovery of the contamination in 2019 by the EPA, remediation plans and quotes for removal of the contamination followed. Questions were asked if the source of the contamination had been identified.

Gavin stated that the club held certificates for the fill used on the site, and they would be checking to see if some of the remediation cost can be recovered from the earthmoving contractors.

The circuit is presently closed, and will not re-open until the EPA issue an approval certificate. This circuit is used on around 40 weekends per year, and will be needed to assist in the recovery of MX competition as the Covid 19 restrictions are progressively eased.

RESUMPTION OF COMPETITION:

There was a lot of heated discussion on the resumption of competition and the interpretation of the Government rules on restricting competition to local competitors, or within zone or association boundaries. There is much confusion over the directions issued by the Chief Medical Officer to limit mixing of participants from different regions, to avoid inter-mingling and potential community transmission of the virus. The general direction to MNSW is to discourage mixing different regions in meetings, but the on-line Government recommendations state that competition may run across boundaries determined by State Sporting Organisations.

Many race meetings would not be financially viable without "out of region" competitors, and in some cases, interstate riders. Without them, the event may be cancelled, depriving the local riders of competition. At the moment it appears that permits are being issued for meetings and it is up to the promoting club to decide which entries to accept. This system is clearly unsatisfactory, as it will seriously limit support for open meetings, especially where the promoting club has to hire a circuit. I think we can all understand that the Government wants to limit transmission of the virus, but a clearer set of guidelines would make things easier for everyone trying to plan for events. This, of course, is dependent on NSW not developing a "second (or third) wave", when all the rules will change again.

The meeting closed at 9.02.

______________

Last newsletter I mentioned that at the June Annual General Meeting Life member Ron Kivovitch mentioned a Corporations Act (2001) requirement regarding the confirmation of appointed directors at the AGM. I have been informed that the clause is correct, however it is a "replaceable" rule. If a company wishes, it can provide alternative provisions in their constitution, which, I understand MNSW has included in their constitution, so no immediate action is required. We can expect the notification of a number of alterations to the MNSW constitution soon to allow for new management procedures, such as not requiring a CEO. This will require a Special General Meeting.

_______________

Comment: The zoom meeting certainly allowed many country and out of Sydney clubs to be represented who previously would not have been able to have delegates attend.

But from my perspective as an observer, the meeting needs to be managed in a much more formal basis, to avoid the noisy few dominating the discussion. MNSW has suggested that it may hold training sessions for club representatives. This sounds like a great idea, and could encourage more clubs to take part in discussions. But we need to keep it orderly and let everyone have a chance to offer their opinion!

Regards...Dave E.

PS: The microphone on my laptop has been restored! _______________

LATE NEWS:

Today, 1st September, I have received the latest directions regarding inter region competition from the NSW Office of Sport. If you are interested go to

https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/NSW%20Health%20Advice%20-%20Community%20Sport%20and%20Regions%20%20-%20Wednesday%2026%20August%202020%20%28FINAL%29.pdf .

This advice could change again at any time, so we all have to do our best to stay safe.

Dave E

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