Updated: May 2
MOTORCYCLING NSW LIMITED GENERAL MEETING
16th December, 2021, held at Blacktown Workers Club.
This was the first face-to face MNSW meeting for months.
The meeting opened at 7.03pm with the three members of the interim board on the official table; Acting President Kate Peck, and Life Members Keith Davies and Bob McGlinchy. Keith was Chairman.
The first item on the agenda was the declaration of the results for the election of five new directors to replace the interim board. Keith stated there were 46 nominations and after several withdrawals 43 remained.
The MA Nominations Committee assessed all the resumes' and came up with five recommendations. Ballot papers were sent to 98 clubs and 9 Life Members, giving a maximum of 107 ballots for 5 candidates. A total of 61 ballots were returned before the cut off date, and 3 were received too late for consideration. The election was conducted by MNSW's Accountants, GPL Partners. The following figures were provided by MNSW.
The successful candidates were:
Dave Cooke; 41 votes,
Annaliesse Cawood: 35 votes,
Darren Gossling: 23 votes.
Chelsea Cheney: 23 votes,
Madeleine Bowditch: 19 votes.
Here are a few notes taken from the candidate's resumes', to give readers an idea of our new directors' backgrounds and ambitions.
Dave Cooke was CEO of MNSW before his position was made redundant in April, 2020, after three years service. He has degrees in Business administration from UWS and Cambridge Universities and had an extensive career with several large national and multi-national companies before joining MNSW in 2017. His aim is to get MNSW back on track to recover from the Covid 19 crisis and ensuing period of confusion and hasty decisions. He has the knowledge and experience to bring MNSW back as the pre-eminent LCB of MA. He has extensive contacts with other states LCB's and MA. He will be the only member of the new board with any experience in the management of the organisation.
Annaliesse Cawood is Managing Director and co-owner of Stay Upright, the largest rider training organisation in Australia. She is an accredited lawyer, and has worked for several major national and international companies. She has many links to the motorcycle industry and government departments through her business. She has been a motorcycle rider since age of 4. Her vision for MNSW is to expand its appeal to a broader range of riders and attract more riders to competition.
Chelsea Cheney has an MBA (UniNSW) and has worked as Head of Customer Relations for a Professional Members Association for 12 years. She has experience in development change strategy and market development. Chelsea is deeply involved in motorcycle sport management, is a level 4 Race Secretary, Level 3 Steward and COC and also holds club positions. She has 4 sons competing in MX. With her close contacts within the sport Chelsea believes that she can play an integral part in shaping the future direction of MNSW.
Darren Gossling is a member of Sutherland PCYC Mini Bike Club and Oyster Bay MCC. Darren has qualifications in engineering and an MBA in Strategy and Marketing. Darren runs his own IT consulting business. He has been a director of 5 not-for-profit organisations, including a bank and a credit union over the last 20 years, and has also been involved with local community sports organisations for many years.
Madeleine Bowditch has degrees in International Relations and an MBA (UniSyd). She has worked for Australian Financial Services companies and Federal Government departments, where she has had roles in strategy, operations and risk control. Her present position is managing strategic planning projects and liaising with auditors. Madeleine has been riding motorcycles since she was three, and competed as a member of Upper Hunter MCC, and still rides her Harley 500 around Sydney. As director of MNSW she would like to encourage more female participation in our sport.
It is interesting to note that the most successful candidate, Dave Cooke, was not in the Top 5 nominated by the MA Appointment Committee, nor one of the twelve candidates left after the initial review. Two unsuccessful candidates, Dave Morrissey from Post Classic Racing Association (15 votes) and Narelle Rankin from North Coast Road Racers (13 votes) rated very well. This suggests to me that clubs consider active experience in the sport much more important than the committee did. The successful candidates are all well qualified for their duties; and now, with a mix of experience and new ideas, perhaps our sport can become re-invigorated from now on.
THANKS TO OUT-GOING BOARD:
Life Member Ron Kivovitch moved a vote of thanks to the 3 members of the interim board, and congratulated them for their efforts to maintain services to members and keep the sport going. After the resignation of the former board members they took on a very intimidating task, but, with the elections completed, they can now take a break and hand over to the new board. This was supported by applause from the members. With the easing of Covid 19 restrictions all MNSW staff now work from the Smithfield office.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: SPORTING TRIALS: Trials Committee member Bob McGlinchy, stated that MNSW was still losing trials clubs to the internet organisation Australian Motorcyclist Association. He said that there were still enough clubs affiliated to MNSW to provide for a State series.
The main attraction of AMA was the very low permit fees; however there were reports that they were having trouble with insurance. (MAIL, MA's insurance subsidiary, is not permitted to insure non MA sanctioned events).
NOTES FROM VARIOUS BOARD MINUTES:
CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE: This committee, which includes Life Members Ron Kivovitch and Christine Tickner, has been working on changes or amendments to the current constitution. It will require a clearer definition of the duties of the board and management, as well as provision for duties to continue in the event of staff or board changes. The Committee will also have to reconsider the procedure for postal voting, after several members claimed that the present "Secret Ballot" system could allow voters decisions to be identified, with the ballot papers or envelopes being numbered. Former CEO Dave Cooke explained that during his tenure, the envelopes were opened by different people to the scrutineers. It is expected that a draft version will be available for review in early 2022. After the review period by members, a postal ballot will be held and a Special General Meeting will be required to confirm the results. A minimum of 75% of clubs and Life Members must be in favour for the change to be accepted.
RACE PACE v MNSW COURT CASE:
The meeting was informed that an out-of-court settlement has been arranged. The case was scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court in November. As previously suggested, there are no winners in this matter. MNSW will pay Race Pace's legal costs, about $245,000, plus their own costs. MNSW will amend the by-laws to allow Race Pace to promote up to 5 events in a series, plus 2 stand alone events.
SEARCH FOR NEW CEO:
Life Member Ron Kivovitch, is a member of the MA Nominations Committee appointed to review the 21 applications for the position. He said the interviews are presently under way. After the Committee reduces the field, the list of recommended candidates will be forwarded to the new Board to make a final decision. The Board is not obliged to follow the recommendations of the Committee.
An item in the 20 October Board Minutes attracted heated discussion. It stated that "(The) board approved MNSW to move to centralised licensing". Several members claimed that this was a sell-out to MA, transferring income of at least $1 million per year, for no benefit to MNSW. The Chairman claimed that the MNSW accountants' figures showed that MNSW would make a substantial saving in wages by the move. Former CEO (and newly appointed director) Dave Cooke said that this was complete nonsense, claiming that the vast majority of licenses were completed through RiderNet, which did not require staff assistance. Several Life Members also contradicted the figures presented and demanded that the new board re-consider the decision, pointing out income from pre-covid years was much higher than the current figures.
COMMENT: Over the years MA has tried to centralise most functions, including licensing and open permits, and reduce the State bodies to administering restricted and club meetings. It already administers permits for all National and interstate series events, as well as all insurance. Centralised licensing was certainly an attractive proposition for smaller LCB's with limited staff and resources, but with the advent of on-line licensing this no longer applies.
MNSW issues more than 33% of all licenses nationally, and this provides a major source of income. For many years the income from the license fees has been used to allow much lower permit fees for NSW club events, a policy which has upset MA, which wanted to have nationally consistent fees. This is a matter which the new board will have to consider urgently.
CHANGE OF MNSW LAWYERS: A minute from the board report of 20 October noted that the board had decided to change their Legal Counsel from Teddington Legal to Watkins Tapse, effective from 31 December, 2021. No reason was given, although there has been continuing concern over the delay in returning the possession of the Nowra Motorsport Park to Nowra club. Nowra club delegate (and now director) Dave Cooke strongly opposed the change. This matter will require immediate consideration by the new board.
GENERAL BUSINESS: PANORAMA CLUB CONCERN:
The delegate from Panorama MCC (Bathurst) told the meeting that the clubs' occupancy of their MX circuit on the southern side of Mt Panorama was under threat. The club has used the site for 31 years, but recently a local activist group has lodged a Native Title Claim and a stop work order on upgrades of the circuit. A new control tower (paid for by a government grant) has recently been completed, and there other buildings on the site. Development of a proposed Kart circuit nearby has ceased. He suggested that if the club lost possession of the circuit, it would kill the club. Perhaps this should be a warning to clubs with circuits on Crown Land, especially those under Permissive Occupancy.
SPORTS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER:
A new position has been created with the appointment of Adam Brook.
Adam was previously employed by Speedway Australia as the National Sports Development Officer, so he has plenty of contacts in the motor sport field. He was instrumental in achieving government grants to support several speedway circuits.
His job with MNSW is Sports Development Manager and he will assist clubs, as well as seeking support for larger projects.
EASTERN CREEK SPEEDWAY;
The replacement venue for the closed Granville speedway will be officially opened on 14th January, 2022. The new venue, estimated to cost $70Million, will now have a 345 metre bike and kart circuit in the centre of the arena. At one stage it was believed that the bike circuit would be omitted, but the government reconsidered their budget and decided to include the circuit. The spectator area and grandstand holding 7,000 is complete. The 460 metre clay circuit for cars has already had several practice days, but the bike circuit will not be completed until around March as the quarry supplying the material for the track is presently under water.
The first bike meeting is expected around June. The barriers separating the car circuit from the infield will be removable making the whole area suitable for stadium MX, monster trucks, maybe even demolition derbies.
It has been a memorable year; maybe not for the best reasons, but it's nearly over. So I wish the new MNSW directors all the best for their new duties and the Season's Greetings to all readers. I hope we are looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2022, when our sport can get back to normal, without the threat of covid hanging over us.
Regards ........Dave E