AusCycling: open letter from the Cycling NSW board

AusCycling: open letter from the Cycling NSW board

10Sep2020

The Cycling NSW board collectively wants to be progressive — and, as always, work towards bettering things in the interests of the members we represent.

We will again endorse the "no" vote for NSW at the Cycling Australia SGM scheduled September 19, given that’s how our members voted, but want to put on record, in principle, our openness to seek options to open discussions to negotiate moving forwards.

On Tuesday night at our board meeting, we wrote the open letter set out below.

We invite Cycling Australia and AusCycling to respond, so as to enable us to be better informed of how AusCyling will be administered and managed based around the concerns we have conveyed relating specifically to our members in NSW.

I hope you see after reading that we are genuine, and that the tangibles contained are needed for any assessment to be made that can be shared with Cycling NSW member clubs.

Matt Bazzano
Chairman
And the Cycling NSW board

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OPEN LETTER TO CYCLING NSW CLUBS AND MEMBERS REGARDING AUSCYCLING

Dear clubs and members,

As you know, in March 2020 Cycling Australia held a vote to form AusCycling. Cycling NSW voted “no”, following a vote of our clubs, which voted against the proposal.

WestCycle and Cycling Tasmania also voted against the proposal, meaning Cycling Australia would not join the new organization.

BMX Australia (BMXA) and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) have voted yes to join AusCycling and the venture is set to go forward on 1 October 2020 and be phased in over the coming 12 months.

Cycling NSW has now been advised by Cycling Australia that there will be another vote by the state associations on 19 September, as Cycling Tasmania is to hold a re-vote this Saturday 12 September and may change its vote from “no” to “yes”.

Cycling NSW will again follow the wishes of our clubs and vote “no” at any re-vote, given our clubs have not voted to change their position.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the Cycling NSW directors agreed to seek more information from Cycling Australia on the AusCycling model for our members.

Cycling Australia has advised that progress is being made on AusCycling, but Cycling NSW and its members continue to have questions about how the new entity would operate and how the constitution will work.

Opportunities, issues and questions the Cycling NSW board raised include:

  • Offering a delayed merger of Cycling NSW into the AusCycling model, to offer AusCycling and Cycling NSW an opportunity to assess the performance of AusCycling;
  • How will AusCycling manage BMX and MTB out of the Dunc Gray Velodrome office?
  • What is the Cycling Australia/AusCycling strategy to provide information to address the concerns of the “no” clubs?
  • NSW State Government funding—how will it be managed to ensure it remains in NSW? This also applies to other sponsorship funds generated through direct NSW initiatives: will these funds remain within NSW for NSW members’ use only?
  • Will every state have its own bank account?
  • Will current NSW funds belonging to members remain with NSW, or will they be put into a collective “big pool” and then redistributed across the country?
  • If funds are to be allocated from a central office to each state, how is the level of funding determined? Will it be on a pro rata basis according to membership numbers in each state?
  • Will Cycling NSW own and manage its own junior development program?
  • The board would like to see all clubs on the same membership platform by the UCI World Championships in NSW in 2022.

The Cycling NSW board is not opposed to joining AusCycling, but cannot encourage members to vote for AusCycling until further questions are answered.

Simply put, from the outset, based on the information and details shared around the above points, we still have concerns and questions about the current structure, support and financial position for Cycling NSW clubs in any future AusCycling model.

An additional concern relates to the ability to join AusCycling as an individual member, meaning the option to bypass club membership will be a reality. This raises concerns for the longevity and viability of existing Cycling NSW clubs and their long-term ability to provide the grassroots and community support that has been, and still is, fundamental for NSW club open road and track racing and the associated volunteer support structure they offer.

Fewer clubs will mean less racing and fewer events. So how will AusCycling be able to offer guarantees for the ongoing benefits that are currently offered to members through their club membership and association? Fewer clubs may also mean just a few larger clubs dominate nationally, that could facilitate change without regard for the wider membership.

The board is committed to working with the new organisation, whether we join or not. That, of course, will be a decision for NSW clubs.

Cycling NSW will continue to communicate with our clubs and we are interested in hearing from you as to what information you might need. We are also open to hosting another forum with Cycling Australia if you have questions you’d like to put forward directly regarding the AusCycling proposal.

Kind regards,

Matt Bazzano
Chairman
Cycling NSW