3 November, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org
MOTORCYCLING NSW GENERAL MEETING, BLACKTOWN 26 October 2017
The meeting opened at 7.40pm, with MNSW President Tim Sanford in the Chair. All members of the Board, CEO Dave Cooke, and Amy Knop, (acting as Minute Secretary) were present.
During the reading of the minutes the President discussed the progress on the proposed new MNSW Constitution.
He confirmed that the Board was concentrating on completing the new Constitution, which will be available in draft form soon. It will be much longer than the present version, and has been developed in conjunction with MA's draft Constitution and will include some common areas which were agreed to at the recent MA Alliance Conference.
This Constitution has been drafted by legal advisers, and will be a much more business based document than the present version.
One of the major changes will be the method of choosing the President. Currently the President is elected by the Clubs; it is recommended that in future the President be elected by the Directors, from the members of the Board, who are elected by the clubs.
A high priority will be to give power to the Board to remove the President from office and allow the Vice President to take over, or appoint a replacement. Last year's debacle when the President refused to co-operate with the Board and needed the clubs to vote him out shows that this is an essential change.
Another item which is still being considered is whether Committees should be continue to be elected by the Clubs, or appointed from nominations by the Board.
A questionnaire on this and other matters will be sent to clubs for their opinions.
In my opinion, the Board will try to get the Constitution completed and accepted by the members as soon as possible, (probably by a Postal Vote and an Extra-ordinary Meeting) so that the elections next May would be under the new rules.
If this is correct then they must really push this matter along, as the Christmas office shut-down will be coming soon, and they must allow at least six weeks for nominations for candidates and a postal vote.
I haven't heard any mention of email voting yet, but who knows what is in the new document, although this would not apply to any elections under the existing rules.
MINI BIKE VENUE
The lease on the Ian Packer Mini Bike area at Horsley Park has been extended by one year, after intervention by the Minister of Sport. This will give MNSW a bit more time to find a replacement area, with the help of the Department of Sport. Dave Cooke is still hopeful that they can find sufficient land to build a new Mini Bike area and a purpose built office for MNSW.
Meanwhile MNSW Properties is still looking for a replacement for the Parkes St, Harris Park building which MNSW occupies. A developer is still interested in the site, but this may not last indefinitely.
NEW BOOK KEEPER
During the CEO's report, Dave Cooke announced that the former part-time book keeper, Kirsty has left the company and has been replaced by a full time, older man named Louis Henry. Louis was an accountant in his former homeland of Iraq.
I believe that this appointment has been long overdue, and I hope that the appointment will bring a new transparency into MNSW's books.
There has long been questions about some of the accounting system, with delegates fobbed off with vague descriptions of composite accounts. The recently aborted Nowra Road Race Circuit project was a black hole for financial details until it was canned.
The Nowra Motoplex, which we are told has a staff of 2.5 and turns over hundreds of thousands of dollars each year only gets minor details mentioned, because it is operated by Nowra District Motor Cycle Club, even though MNSW owns the Club.
Details of expenditure are occasionally disclosed, but allocation between capital expense and maintenance is confused. Whether MNSW's huge investment in the property will be written off when the property is returned to the new Nowra Club is not known.
The Ian Packer mini bike area is another operation where a bit of clarity would help decide the value of the venue. This facility has always lost money, but it would be interesting to know how much and why.
Then we come to Goanna Tracks MX at Coonabarabran, owned by MNSW, but operated by the former owner with apparently no income to MNSW. Financial details have never been released.
Soon the Training Track at West Maitland will be another venue with accounts to manage.
All this on top of Affiliation Fees, Permit Fees, wages and expenses of the MNSW staff, transponder hire, the MNSW Store and MNSW Motorcycling Alliance.
So, good luck Louis, you won't be short of work!
The meeting was informed that the transfer of ownership of the Nowra MX circuit has not yet been completed, although the new Nowra Club is operating the area. We were also informed that an Aboriginal land claim has been lodged on the area. (The 1000 Acre property is held under Permissive Occupancy from the NSW Government).
NOWRA ROAD RACE CIRCUIT
Further to last month's item, local NCRR member Bob Howard has reported that the Shoalhaven Council voted against a motion to lodge their own Development Application for the same site for a road race circuit. The application was supported by several groups, including a recently formed club named Shoalhaven Motor Sport Inc, but the motion was lost.
On 17 October three councillors presented a rescission motion claiming a serious loss of benefits to the town, including 400 jobs, and demanding that the Council immediately allocate $300,000 towards the cost of a new DA.
When I raised this matter the President, Tim Sanford said that the Board was aware of the move, but doubted that it would go anywhere, as, if the Council was planning on using the MNSW DA as a basis for their own, many of the Environmental Inspections were out of date. These cost many thousands of dollars and can take months to develop.
He was also disappointed they used the MNSW Business Plan, which had never been released publicly. The Council strategy was to get approval for the development, then lease it to a builder-operator. The Council apparently still had hopes of finding an Environmental Offset Area which would allow them to use the Yerriyong site, across the road from the MX circuit.
CEO Dave Cooke stated that when MNSW looked into the cost of buying land for this offset, the cost was estimated at $13Million. Why anyone would buy land to give to the government, so that they could build a track on land they only leased is beyond me.
Meanwhile, CEO Dave Cooke has joined the Shoalhaven Motor Sport Inc, to keep an eye on developments.
The local Federal Member Mrs Ann Sudmalis has issued a press statement expressing her disappointment that the project had been cancelled, claiming that the NSW Government's own department had refused the application, (which is true), and suggested that the grants may be still available from Canberra.
My opinion is that this latest burst of activity is just a vote buying exercise and will never get off the ground.
ANOTHER ROAD RACE CIRCUIT UNDER WAY?
An article in the Newcastle Herald reports that a former car race driver named Tony Palmer is planning to build a "Dedicated Recreational Resort" for motoring enthusiasts on a former coal mine site at Wakefield, about 25 Km south-west of Newcastle.
The venue, to be named "Black Rock Motor Park" plans for a 4km circuit, 20 short- stay villas, a 20 room lodge, a bar, cafe, training facilities, a pit lane building for 60 cars, and storage for 160 cars.
The venue, which will be available for cars, bikes, karts, bicycles or anything else, is expected to cost over $30 Million.
The applicant, who has bought the former Rhondda Colliery site has been negotiating with Lake Macquarie Council since March 2016.
Opposition to the application from residents of Wakefield, who describe the area as a "sleepy village" is already building.
So far we haven't heard reports of endangered plant species, back- pack frogs or sacred rocks.
MEANWHILE, AT BATHURST..
The President, Tim Sanford mentioned that he and CEO Dave Cooke have been to Bathurst to meet the Council and inspect the site of the proposed new road race circuit, as well as inspecting plans of the circuit.
Panorama club delegates announced that Bathurst Council now has confirmed pledges of $35Million from the State and Federal Governments for development of the venue.
LITHGOW RACE CIRCUIT
The CEO has announced that MNSW is negotiating with the Lithgow Kart Club regarding the potential use of their circuit. We await details.
The President, Tim Sanford discussed some worrying trends that the Board has become aware of.
The number of open meetings applied for in NSW is falling dramatically. Open permits are too dear, and must be applied for months in advance.
So clubs are applying for more restricted events, forcing riders who wish to ride at different circuits to join the promoting club, with some riders joining 5 or more clubs.
Unfortunately these riders do not have any loyalty to most of these clubs, so clubs are finding that although they have many members on their books, many of them are long distances away, and they cannot get volunteers for working bees at their track.
He also mentioned that the expansion of urban areas is becoming a serious problem, and not just in Sydney. We have all seen the loss of Amaroo Park, Oran Park, Arcadia, and other tracks, but now Nepean is under threat, and even quite small country town councils are putting pressure on clubs to move their circuits further out of town.
There doesn't seem to be an easy answer for this.
The meeting closed at 9.05pm.