MOTORCYCLING NSW LTD. GENERAL MEETING, BLACKTOWN, 23 August, 2018
The meeting opened at 7.45pm, with the President, Tim Sanford in the chair. All Directors and the CEO, Dave Cooke were present, and Ms Amy Knop, acting as Minute Secretary.
The President, Tim Sanford, announced that at the recent MA Alliance Council meeting, MNSW had been recognised as State Controlling Body of the Year.
The meeting was called to allow the seven SCB Presidents to sign the MA Alliance Agreement. This 23 page document defines the relationship between the State bodies and MA. He emphasised that it was an agreement, not a contract. Copies of the agreement were handed out at this meeting.
The document is full of legalese, acronyms, principles, values, visions and objectives, but the over-riding principle seems to be what is described in the document as "Best-For-Motorcycling".
The document definition is :
Best-For-Motorcycling means a determination, decision, outcome, solution, or resolution to which each of the following apply:
(a) It is consistent with our Alliance Principles and our Values stated in clause 1.3.
(b) It facilitates Outstanding Performance in our Alliance Objectives.
(c) It is value for money for each participant.
(d) It is arrived at or taken for the ultimate purpose of pursuing our Mission and Vision.
(e) It is more likely than not to do the following:
Make our sport safer.
Enhance the viability and capabilities of our clubs.
Enhance the efficiency and expertise of our officials.
Reduce the workload borne by our volunteers.
Attract more participants to our sport.
Enhance the prestige of motorcycle sport and recreation.
My concern is a requirement that membership of the Alliance Management Team requires a vote on a "Best-for Motorcycling" basis. In my opinion this may be contrary to MNSW directors' legal and moral requirement to work in the best interests of MNSW members.
Another worrying item in 7.4 refers to a SCB in "willful default," and the ability of the Alliance Leadership Team to: disaffiliate the SCB, require the SCB to reconstitute its board, require the SCB to dismiss employees, appoint an administrator, or take any other action it feels is Best-for Motorcycling.
All SCBs signed except Motorcycling Victoria.
In a general comments on the meeting Tim stated that nationally, competition licence numbers were down 9%, although NSW had barely changed. MNSW has 40% of all competition licences issued.
Discussing rider insurance he warned that insurance fees are likely to increase. Motocross is now the major source of claims, with MX claims exceeding income by over $100,000. He said that MAIL (the MA Insurance subsidiary) was considering introducing tiered premiums graded by risk, with MX highest.
During reports, Zara Griffin (chair of the Road Race committee) discussed the running of Round 3 of the NSW Road Race Championships at Sydney Motorsport Park in July.
She also mentioned that the Department of Sport and Recreation is currently reviewing all rules covering junior road racing.
Who is being consulted and when the proposed changes will be released for comment was not mentioned.
During the reading of the July Directors meeting minutes life member Ron Kivovitch questioned the decision of the Board to not recognise a life member of the ACU and Motorcycling Australia, Len Main, as a life member of MNSW.
When the ACU was declared bankrupt in 1994, a new State Controlling Body was quickly formed. The ACU owed MA a large sum of money, and MA insisted that the new body be named "Motorcycling Australia (NSW) Inc". It was formed with money loaned by Jan and Arthur Blizzard, and Syd Jackson. Within a few months this name was changed to Motorcycling NSW Inc, as the delegates insisted that our state body was not a branch of MA, but merely affiliated with it.
In the reorganising required to change from a company structure to an incorporated association the Foundation Committee decided to rationalise the number of life members it carried forward from the old organisation, and Len Main was omitted. Apparently the criteria they used was whether the particular member was active at that time.
Leonard Main was one of the driving forces in the Willoughby club and the ACU in the 1950's to 1980's. I first met him around 1957 at Moorebank, where he was the organiser and Clerk of Course. He continued with this job until the 1960's when Moorebank closed and Willoughby club moved their MX events to Amaroo Park, as the Mr Motocross series.
When Amaroo Park opened the Road Race circuit, Len was involved in the promotion of open events there, including the Castrol 6 Hour races. During this period he was on the Competitions Committee, Board of Management and Bathurst Promotions Committee, as well as being an active competitor.
Len Main on his Triumph at Mt Kembla in 1967
Ron pointed out that Len was made a Life Member of the ACU and Motorcycling Australia for his service to motorcycle sport, not just the ACU, and MNSW, as the current controlling body in NSW should recognise that contribution.
When the motion was put to a vote it was carried by a large majority. Len is currently living in Coffs Harbour and is believed to be in his late 80's.
Also discussed from the July board minutes was a reference to re-implementing the State Officials Review Panel, which the Board opposed.
In 1974 Neil Makin, Norm Knights and Dave Elliott from Ryde club and a few others formed the Marshals League of NSW with the aim of providing a support group for flag marshals at road race meetings. This was a period when marshals went on the track during races to assist injured riders and clean up the track. The league started grading its members on their skills, and developed their own training programs and log books. This gradually expanded to other forms of motorcycle racing. The ACU continued issuing the licences, without grading.
As the years went by the League expanded to have other officials as members.
Around 1996 Motorcycling NSW realised that there was no officially appointed body keeping track of race official's training or skills recognition and so the Officials Accreditation and Review Panel was formed, initially with some of the Marshals League committee appointed to the panel.
In 1999, the League was disbanded, mainly from overwork.
And so the OA & RP , (renamed the State Officials Review Panel) became the official arbiter of officials grading in NSW. A database of officials and their performance, skill levels, training, licencing and promotion was started, and the panel organised training seminars around the state as required. Some of these processes were adopted by other states and MA.
The panel used steward's reports, programs, log books, seminar test results and sign on sheets to rate official's skill and experience.
Eventually the MNSW board decided that they were better qualified to grade officials, so SORP was terminated. The board graded level 3 and recommended nominations to MA for level 4, and the office staff handled the lower grades, and eventually, developed an online test for initial qualification.
Recently a long term member of the Marshals League and former SORP member, Lorraine Bunt, recommended to the MNSW board that SORP should be reformed as the current process is clearly not working.
The board's reply was that Lorraine had plenty of experience but no qualifications to be on such a committee, even though the present grading is apparently carried out by the office staff with no experience or qualifications, using log book records and seminar results.
The board will reconsider their decision.
On a similar topic, in the June board minutes there was a reference to a recommendation to disband the Arbitration and Disciplinary Tribunal and allow the board to handle all disciplinary matters themselves.
I am personally opposed to this move, as I believe the body that makes the rules should not be the judge and jury as well. Whilst there is always the appeal process to review a decision, I believe that an independent body should be making the rulings.
After all, it is hard to imagine that the board would be completely unbiased if the matter in question was about a board decision.
The Board did not accept the recommendation.
The meeting closed at 9.45pm.
Regards .....Dave E