Updated: Jul 18
MOTORCYCLING NSW LIMITED ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 25th May, 2022, held at the Park Royal Hotel Parramatta, and on-line with Microsoft Teams.
Dear friends. I must admit that I did not personally attend this meeting after returning from Darwin a few days before and not feeling OK. And it took a long time to connect to "Team", so I missed most of the online meeting.
But a lot of interesting information can be gleaned from the various reports which were supplied on-line before the meeting, and from other delegates.
Here are a few items from the meeting and reports which may be of interest.
CHAIRPERSON WELCOME AND ADDRESS The meeting was chaired by MNSW President, Darren Gossling, who introduced the board members and recently appointed CEO, Daniel Rushworth..
MINUTES FROM LAST AGM:
The 2021 minutes were accepted without discussion.
The Annual Report was accepted without discussion, but here are a few items from the written report which I consider worth mentioning. The 2021 President's Report from Kate Peck discussed the problems which confronted her when she was appointed President in June, 2021. She particularly thanked the Interim Board, Life Members Keith Davies and Bob McGlinchy, Acting CEO Lauren Werrin and the staff for their perseverance during this challenging period.
Here are few interesting statistics from the report to show how our sport is going; in 2021 there were 100 clubs affiliated to MNSW; 17 in the Sydney region with 1027 members, and 83 clubs in regional areas with 4991 members. So there are nearly five times the number of clubs and members in country regions compared to the Sydney area.
Participation in disciplines for the 2021 year was MX: 17,971, Enduro: 3,455, Minikhana: 3,108, Dirt Track- Track: 2,914, Road Racing: 1,273, Speedway: 489, Trials: 238. Moto-Cross now reigns supreme as far as competition is concerned, with road racing relegated to 5th place, and this probably includes NCRR events. It is pretty obvious that the lack of affordable circuits has had a devastating effect on Road Race competition. Below are two graphs from the MNSW Annual Report which show how our sport has coped with the effects of the pandemic.
In the participants per month chart , dramatic falls during the lockdowns are clearly evident. The strong recovery in April and May 2021(green) was quickly overwhelmed by a following lockdown in June to September.
From September onwards, there is some recovery, but certainly not back to average numbers, so there is a long way to go.
The participants per annum chart shows that despite the lockdowns the 2021 competition figures are rising. Hopefully, in the five months of 2022 the recovery is continuing and we can get back to pre covid numbers like 2018. With a new CEO and additional staff, MNSW overheads are rising, so the emphasis will be on encouraging participation to bring in more income, to offset the heavy losses of the past two years.
The audited report was prepared by the company accountant, J. Smith.
The company made a loss of $170,863 for the year to 31 December, 2021, compared to $428,014 loss in 2020. Income for 2021 was $1,844,732, (including Government Covid grants of $58,507), compared to $1,931,269 (including $178,000 grants) for 2020. Without the Government assistance, MNSW would have been in much worse financial positions.
Net assets for 2021 were $8,967,699 compared to $9,138,562 in 2020. The assets include loans to clubs of $574,834 in 2021, up from $442,577 in 2020. We can now see what a dire financial position MNSW was in during the Covid pandemic. Without the "grants" totalling $9,258,006 from the closure of MNSW Properties Ltd, MNSW would have been close to bankrupt, and why the drastic action of reducing staff was taken.
APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR:
The board has appointed Proyou Advisory as auditors for MNSW for 2022. This is actually the same auditor as last year, Jonathan Smith, with a new business name.
AFFILIATION FEES FOR 2022:
All affiliation fees for 2023 have been increased by 5%. This is the first increase in three years, and will barely match inflation.
NOTICES OF MOTION:
LIFE MEMBER NOMINATIONS:
No nominations received.
STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT SESSION:
After a short break, delegates were invited to form discussion groups to offer suggestions to the board on matters which clubs were concerned with.
Matters raised included:
Kurri Kurri: shortage of Officials, cost of ambulances, access to circuits.
Road Racing: Cost of hiring Eastern Creek circuit, ($25,000/day), requirement to hire their ambulance, female participation, electric bikes,
Nepean: Dirt Track, Speedway, Karts and Mini-bike officials.
Trials: Electric Bikes taking over, clubs leaving MNSW and affiliating with AMA.
Mini-bikes: Child racing, reward officials.
The President thanked participants for their input, saying that the responses will be collated and considered for action by the board.
Meeting closed 8.42pm.
I was quite disappointed with this meeting. Why it was held at a Parramatta hotel has not been explained. I doubt that the 83 regional clubs really cared where it was held, except for the cost.
The on-line meeting didn't seem any better than previous attempts on Zoom and Webex, with the usual sound and picture problems. The meeting was hurried through with virtually no discussion on most reports, so the opportunity to question the board on the company's progress was wasted. I hope that I am able to attend the next meeting scheduled for 23rd June, at Blacktown Workers Club.
Also supplied with the Annual General Meeting documents was the 2020 MNSW Constitution. (48 pages). Readers will be aware that MNSW has a sub-committee working on updating this document, however I am advised that the board is prepared to continue with the present constitution, and ignore the MA proposed alterations.
2020-2023 MOTORCYCLING AUSTRALIA STRATEGIC PLAN:
Another document attached (15 pages) outlines the MA Alliance National Strategic Plan, titled "Motorcycling Unleashed 2020-2023". It outlines the "MA Vision and Direction" for the promotion and development of motorcycle sport and is full of feel-good plans for a prosperous and speedy recovery after the Covid Pandemic slump. Another section called "One Motorcycling" covers all the MA aims from a few years ago of centralising most LCB administrative functions, including affiliation, membership, licencing, permits, entries, a common accounting platform and financial reporting.
Most of these plans have been rejected previously, together with the plan for MA to take over LCB assets, but they are now being promoted as a benefit to the State bodies by cutting down on administration cost, when it is actually an MA attempt to take control of all activities.
One of MA's key policies is to insist on nationally set permit fees. MNSW has always had a flexible fee structure which allowed variations to assist struggling disciplines, such as trials. The result of this MA requirement is that trials clubs in Victoria are now deserting MA Vic, and affiliating with AMA; more recently the Trials Club of Canberra has joined AMA, apparently also because of high permit fees.
I do not see any benefit to MNSW or its members by centralising most of these activities; centralised administration may be more financially efficient in theory, but my experience is that local administration is more likely to respond to local circumstances. Once you lose control of your activities, you never get them back.
VALE BRIAN GREENFIELD:
Older readers may be saddened to hear that one of our sport's real characters has died at the age of 93. Brian was a member of Eastern Suburbs MCC and the Vincent Owners club. I first met him at ACU meetings in the early 1960's, and later when we were both on various committees, over the years. He always attended ACU meetings and was a great advocate for his club, and his controversial and sometimes colourful speeches were a real attraction.
Eastern Suburbs owned a dirt track circuit at Arcadia, which was named Greenfield Park in his honour; many Ryde members raced there in the 60's and 70's, and after the decline of dirt track, the 15 acre property was used for sporting trials, including several championship events.
In 2008 the club decided to sell the property, but a disagreement between members over the distribution of the proceeds, (about $1.18M) ended up in a long drawn out court case, with Brian's group of Life Members losing control of the assets, which I know was a great disappointment to him.
Brian was a great mate of late Ryde member Paul Leeder, (another Vincent owner) and they went on several overseas trips to bike events.
R I P Brian.
Best Wishes, Dave E