AusCycling Update Issued to WestCycle Road and Track Members: 11 September 2020
As many of you would be aware, WestCycle was issued a Notice for a General Meeting of Cycling Australia on 28th August 2020 to be held on Saturday 19th September 2020.
The notice has raised some serious concerns around the process that has been followed by Cycling Australia and information that has been provided in relation to the Special Resolution to wind-up Cycling Australia and to join AusCycling. Significantly, no supporting information has been provided with the Notice to explain the purpose and effect of the Resolutions, and the “what next” for CA, AusCycling, CA Member States and their Clubs.
At the end of 2019 we were asked to ‘take a leap of faith’. Given AusCycling is due to be operational in just 21 days, there is absolutely no justification for us to be taking a ‘leap of faith’ given the absence of full disclosure by Cycling Australia in advance of a proposed General Meeting to decide on the future of road and track riding in Australia.
Today we have written to Cycling Australia to outline these deficiencies. The letter highlights the significant deficiencies in the Notice of Meeting.
In essence, the State Member bodies of Cycling Australia are being asked to wind-up Cycling Australia and join AusCycling from 1st October 2020 with no detail or information to inform this decision. This is very concerning not only in context of this decision but as a sign of intent on how AusCycling intend to operate into the future. We have urged CA to postpone the General Meeting until such time as all of WestCycle’s concerns have been properly addressed, and all deficiencies rectified. In the meantime, we have reiterated that WestCycle remains open to meaningful discussions with AusCycling/CA as to how a future AusCycling and WestCycle can operate in Western Australia in a way that best supports road and track, and cycling in general.
There is a large amount of information that is presently outstanding which we need further detail on as a member of Cycling Australia. Some examples include:
- The last financial modelling that WestCycle was provided in respect of AusCycling was compiled in October 2019, and that used financial information dating back to 2017 in its assumptions. No current information has been provided.
- To our knowledge, the proposed AusCycling model assumes that all State Sporting Organisations will transfer their cash and assets – however we know this is not the case (WestCycle for example will not be transferring any of its assets)In the cases where that will occur, we are not aware that an assessment on the impacts of Covid-19 on cash reserves has been factored in. No current update taking into account these factors has been provided.
- To our knowledge, there has still been no official commitment from Sport Australia to contribute $2.5mil to commence AusCycling which we understand is a key requirement to the future sustainability AusCycling and therefore, cycling in Australia. We need to further understand the status of this.
- AusCycling have not addressed how they will overcome the significant financial shortfall they will face with respect to Western Australia, given the State Government has made clear it will not fund a national entity. We need to understand how AusCycling proposes to account for this in ensuring a sustainable future for WA cycling.
For an organisation that is due to go live in 21 days, we don’t understand why we have not been provided an updated budget to base our decision on, a decision that will commit the Clubs of Western Australia down a path that we do not know is sustainable.
Given this, we are currently unable to make an assessment on how, or if, to vote at the Cycling Australia Special General Meeting on the 19th September 2020 and to request Member States to do so displays a complete disregard for the significance of what is being decided.
Draft AusCycling Constitution
- The Draft Constitution for the proposed future AusCycling that has been provided as part of the Notice dates back to November 2019. Given the further steps taken to establish AusCycling since then, we find it unusual that a more current version of the document has not been developed and have asked for an explanation. Moreover, we would like comfort there would or can be no further changes to the draft Constitution (for example, to things like future Club voting rights) after it is voted upon, but before it is implemented as a “final” Constitution.
- Further but related, we are aware of AusCycling having held a ‘director’ meeting at least once this year, but have not been able to identify if and when AusCycling has been formally established as an entity. Because we are being asked to vote on a “draft” Constitution, we assume that AusCycling has not yet been formally established. Unfortunately, again the lack of information from CA about the (future) AusCycling means we do not have a clear understanding of next steps.
Membership Fees and Club Charges
- Since the AusCycling Roadshows held in September 2019, there have been no updates provided on future AusCycling Membership fees. Since that time, there has been an increase of member insurance costs in addition to a reduction in many revenue sources, such as sponsorship. We need to understand what impact this will have on the previously published Membership fees, before making an informed decision about AusCycling.
- Details on Club Affiliation Fees have still not been provided to WestCycle. To commit our Affiliate Clubs to a model without this information would irresponsible and disrespectful to our Affiliate Clubs.
Event Fees and Charges
- We have seen a document sent to BMX Clubs that shows the fees and charges that AusCycling will impose on Clubs to run events under the proposed model. As an example, a State Championship event that is run by a Club will see 100% of entry fees, 100% of government grants (if eligible), 100% of sponsorship revenue and 100% of all merchandise fees go directly to AusCycling – with the club left to cover their costs through taking 100% of parking, catering and team tent fees.
- In all other event tiers AusCycling will take a ‘levy’ on all riders, but it has not been confirmed how much this will be.
This structure of running these events has not been provided directly to WestCycle, nor has a structure for Road and Track been made available at all. We hold concerns for what we are essentially signing Clubs up to under this future model and expect this detail would be provided in advance of such a decision.
Management structure in Western Australia
- There has been no detail provided on how AusCycling will service Clubs in Western Australia from 1st October 2020, including any commitment on staff. In fact, the wording of the draft Constitution suggests that if a State Body does not transfer its assets, AusCycling may not set up an office in that State.
- The Road and Track Clubs of Western Australia could go from having an office of staff involved in the administration of cycling from advocacy through to high-performance, to no representatives based within the State at all.
- No information has been provided about what happens from the 1st October 2020 should Cycling Australia dissolve, and AusCycling take over road and track cycling. If WestCycle votes against the Resolution, it is not clear how will cycling be run in Western Australia, given there will not (at least initially) be an AusCycling office in the State How will Club events be sanctioned? Who will be running events? Who will manage Commissaires? Who will be responsible or talent identification and high performance? Who will manage State Teams?
We have seen no details to understand the impact of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in this context. To request we make a decision without this information is incredibly short-sighted by Cycling Australia.
These are just a handful of examples which highlight WestCycle’s position. To be asked to vote on a very significant decision, on behalf of our Members, without full and proper context or explanation, shows lack of regard to proper governance and the magnitude of the decision to be made.
We have highlighted this to Cycling Australia, and advised them that the Notice of General Meeting is defective, not in accordance with the Corporations Act, and as such the General Meeting must immediately be cancelled until they provided the appropriate details to ensure members can vote with all relevant information before them. We trust that this memorandum clearly explains WestCycle’s position; we will keep you informed of further developments as they arise.