[CAMWEST-discuss] Reform Bicycle NSW

Danny Hannan danny_hannan at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 10 00:17:40 UTC 2006

I think the dissatisfaction with Bicycle NSW comes
from two causes.
1.  The Board are volunteers and give up much of their
time to effect worthwhile causes on the members
behalf.  As volunteers the work that they can get done
is limited in an arena where the work to be done is

2.  The financial state of Bicycle NSW severely limits
it's ability to get things done and to have a strong

The NRMA since demutualisation has become a largely
toothless tiger. the carving off of the insurance
(money making side) spelt doom for the motoring arm of
the organisation, it will be a slow and lingering
death but will be a death all the same.

Until Bicycle NSW becomes financially stong, the
current problems will exist.

I personally commend the current board, they have
turned things around and removed some of the problem
people.  Now lets see if they can increase Bicycle
NSW's profitability.

I agree with Rob, just filling the positions on the
board is a difficult task, getting all the right
people on the board is almost an impossibility.


--- Rob Kemp <robkemp at tpg.com.au> wrote:

> Hi John (and Ian).
>  Here are a few of my thoughts on the ideas put
> forward.  See comments 
> under the applicable dot points.
> >  ? To increase Bicycle NSW s commitment to and
> involvement with its 
> > members,
> >    we suggest that positions on its Board be
> 'elected by lot' , 
> > specifically
> >    to liaise with and promote BUGs throughout NSW.
> (please note: 
> > 'elected by
> >    lot' means random selection from membership
> list.)
> I'm not sure what purpose this would fulfill at
> present.  As far as I 
> know, for the last few years they've either been
> short or just managed 
> to scrape together numbers for the Board.  You could
> argue (and I would 
> agree) that there hasn't been a push to advertise
> the vacancies to the 
> wider BNSW membership in the recent past.  However,
> from my point of 
> view, this has finally been addressed at least to
> some extent by Robert 
> Hamilton's 'From the President' column and another
> small paragraph in 
> the latest Push On.  I think that anyone who has the
> time, inclination & 
> committment to be involved on the Board already has
> ample opportunity to 
> pursue these aims.  Put another way, I think the
> pool of members that 
> you're talking about that may be interested in
> 'ticking the box' to say 
> they'd be interested in taking part in the 'election
> by lot' would be 
> extremely small.
> I guess a more basic question that needs to be asked
> is why do you think 
> the 'elected by lot' idea should be considered?  Is
> it because you think 
> the current Board members are out of touch with
> cyclists in general, or 
> you feel that there's a lack of communication from
> them to the general 
> membership?  Other reasons?  How would you see an
> 'election by lot' 
> addressing the issues?
> >
> >  ? Some weeks prior to the AGM there be a special
> boxed section of 
> > Push On
> >    outlining the main purposes and issues to be
> taken up at the AGM.
> >
> >  ? The AGM to occur during the last half day of a
> two-day BUGs workshop
> >    dealing with
> >
> >      (a) BUG purposes and activities, (b) BUG
> governance, and (c) BNSW
> > governance.
> >
> The first AGM I attended several years took place
> directly after a BUGs 
> workshop.  From memory it was a one day workshop,
> held in the old 
> Castlereight St office of BNSW.  The thing that
> struck me at the time 
> was just about the complete turn-over of
> participants between the two 
> events.  There were only a handful of people who
> were present for both 
> the BUGs workshop and the AGM.  Having attended a
> couple of the weekend 
> BUG workshops, I think it is quite a challenge to
> get a reasonable 
> number of the appropriate people together for that
> length of time - even 
> in Sydney.   Many people's weekends are just so
> busy.
> >  ? The BUG workshop be organised and hosted by one
> of the larger/more
> >    successful BUGs at no substantial cost to
> Bicycle NSW as an 
> > organisation.
> >    So, for example, if Bathurst BADBUG or Bicycle
> Wagga Wagga or Northern
> >    Rivers Cycling Club or NAMBUG or BUG LE BUG
> (Leeton) or Cootamundra 
> > BUG
> >    hosts the workshop, then they would provide the
> appropriate 
> > facilities for
> >    the AGM also.
> >
> While great in theory, I can't see this working from
> a practical point 
> of view (but would love to be proved wrong).  A few
> issues that 
> immediatley come to mind include:
> - As mentioned above, the time issue.  It's
> challenging enough getting 
> people together in Sydney, where the majority of
> members are supposed to 
> reside, let alone adding 2 - 6+ hours of travel in
> each direction.  (One 
> of your suggestuons was Wagga.  I used to often
> drive to Wagga for work, 
> and had to allow the best part of a full day's
> travel each way.  
> Suddenly, for anyone coming from Sydney or further
> north, the 2 day 
> meeting has turned into 4 days....)  In theory, the
> best place to have a 
> meeting would maybe be around the Bathurst area
> (heading towards the 
> centre of the state, but close enough to the main
> population centres so 
> that travel for the majority of people is not too
> onerous).
> - Contradiciting (or at least modifying) the last
> point, some members do 
> not own or want to drive cars unnecessarily - myself
> included.  If you 
> were looking at incorporating a morning ride or
> similar into the program 
> (as has been done on previous BUG workshops that
> I've attended), it may 
> be prudent to choose a location which you can get a
> bike to easily on 
> public transport.  As you may be aware, once beyond
> the inter-city rail 
> network of Bomaderry (Nowra), Goulburn, Lithgow and
> the Hunter Valley, 
> trains are fairly infrequent, and you need to box
> bikes up in order to 
> get them on.  Then there's generally and there's
> generally a limit of a 
> few boxed bikes per train.  This would rule Bathurst
> out.  Therefore, 
> I'd think you'd have to be looking at locations like
> Newcastle, Lithgow, 
> Blue Mountains, Moss Vale, Goulburn Wollongong,
> Kiama or Nowra.  The 
> Shoalhaven BUG hosted a successful weekend workshop
> in Nowra a few years 
> back.  The Goulburn BUG (GADBUG) is fairly small.  I
> think a number of 
> the other BUGs in these areas are too.  Maybe
> Newcastle (If NCM wanted to)?
> - I've noticed that some people from inner suburban
> areas are less 
> inclined to travel distances for short periods of
> time than those from 
> outer suburbs or rural areas.  This may impact on
> the number of people 
> that are willing to attend.  (A non-cycling related
> example of this idea 
> was when someone made a comment to me that  I'd come
> a long way from my 
> place in Rooty Hill to theirs in Manly.  In
> contrast, I was thinking 
> that Manly wan't too far away from Rooty Hill).
> - Like Bob, I'm not sure how any local BUGs would
> fund such an event.
> - What would be your aim in holding the AGM outside
> of Sydney?  To 
> attract non-Sydney board members?  A few years back
> one of the Goulburn 
> BUG members was on the Board (and President).  I
> know that he became 
> quite disallusioned with the travel to Sydney
> required.   If the 
> meetings had been held closer to Goulburn, then the
> remaining 
> Sydney-based participants would all have had to
> travel..
> I guess what I'm getting at is that while BNSW might
> be Sydney-centric, 
> realistically I can't see many Board members
> choosing to travel over 
> vast distances to attend meetings.  I guess there
> may be some scope  for 
> using  electronic communication means for meetings
> in the future.  With 
> the rollout of  higher speed internet services into
> rural areas, there 
> may be possibilites of incorporating lower cost VoIP
>   conference calls  
> into some or all of the meetings. This would require
> inital purchase of 
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danny_hannan at yahoo.com

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