SMCC are interested in sharing information regarding OneCycling so that everyone can make their best informed decision.
Cycling NSW have posted as follows:
Cycling NSW has been in regular discussion with Cycling Australia and the other state associations regarding the One Cycling project.
On 4 August, Cycling NSW representatives attended a group seminar with all the state cycling association presidents and CEOs. Most recently on 25 August, Cycling NSW attended a combined-discipline seminar including mountain biking and BMX.
After those seminars, Cycling Australia asked each of the state associations to write letters to the federal Minister for Sport to express support for One Cycling. The Western Australian Minister for Sport had previously written to the federal Minister of Sport recommending the immediate suspension of the project, primarily due to concerns about federal bodies commandeering state funds and assets.
Cycling NSW has written to the federal Minister for Sport to set out its position, which agrees with the WA Minister’s position. The contents of our letter are set out below. We have chosen to publish the letter in full so that our members are aware of the Cycling NSW board’s position on the project. Ultimately, however, a decision on the Cycling NSW position will fall to the club delegates and members at a meeting to be called in due course.
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Minister for Youth and Sport
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600
by email only: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 August 2019
As you are no doubt aware, Sport Australia has recently proposed that 16 State-based cycling entities (the State Sporting Organisations that represent cycling, mountain biking and BMX) and the corresponding three National Sporting Organisations are combined to form a new National Sporting Organisation.
Cycling NSW is strongly opposed to this proposal for a range of reasons.
The One Cycling proposal by Sport Australia is designed to assist the existing national organisation, Cycling Australia, overcome its poor financial standing and performance. In 2014 Sport Australia gave Cycling Australia a $1.5 million loan, while the States provided a further loan of $500,000 to Cycling Australia. Cycling NSW provided more than half of that tranche of funds and is still awaiting repayment of 50 percent of that loan. It is with considerable consternation that Sport Australia now requires Cycling NSW to ‘voluntarily’ forego the outstanding repayments still owed by Cycling Australia.
Under the proposal the new body would obtain legal agency over, among other assets, $1.2 million in cash currently held by Cycling New South Wales. This has been built up through the efforts of thousands of volunteer officials and amateur competitors in club-based cycling events. I understand that some State administrations, which have few resources or are running deficits, are in favour of the proposal, but others are not.
States have been told this proposal is predicated on not just continued support from Sport Australia but increased support in the short, medium and longer term. The level or detail of that support, however, have not been confirmed.
This transfer of assets, authorities and responsibilities to a financially weak and administratively inept centralised organisation, from solvent volunteer-based State organisations, is unprecedented.
The current Cycling Australia Chairman indicated in December 2018 that there were “many things broken at Cycling Australia” and that as a federated system we “lack the financial and human capital to fix them in the normal, commercial way”. Cycling NSW is aghast at the preparedness to forego a “normal, commercial way” of addressing issues in favour of annexing resources accumulated through the efforts of volunteers and community-based clubs.
Of even more concern is that this program is occurring without any strategic plan or assessment. Cycling Australia’s strategic plan “Vision 2020” has not been renewed, reviewed or assessed despite failing in most of its objectives. The One Cycling plan, devised off the back of the December 2018 Ernst & Young report, that was paid for by Sport Australia, was such a poor piece of work that it still has not been released to the clubs, volunteers, members and riders that make up the Australian competitive cycling community.
There is a lack of documentation outlining the impact of the One Cycling proposal. Sport Australia has previously identified federated systems such as Swimming Australia, Netball Australia and Tennis Australia as examples of sports successfully delivering their desired aligned commercial, financial and digital behaviours. In comparison, golf and sailing as hybrid unitary and federated structures, were cited by Sport Australia as delivering desired behaviours in regard to staff.
However, the One Cycling proposal does not explain why a unitary structure in cycling would work better than the current structure. Our assessment indicates that key management expenses in a unitary structure would increase. This is supported by a Sport Australia and Cycling Australia presentation which showed additional resources are to be placed in some States and current management is to be replaced but kept on as consultants for a period of six months.
Cycling New South Wales is eager to explore ways to improve the sport’s administration and effectiveness. We are supportive of the three cycling disciplines coming together. We believe the cyclists of NSW could be best served by amalgamating three State-based cycling organisations into one organisation that would be specifically focused on serving and developing the New South Wales cycling community. However, the egregious plan proposed by Sport Australia would stifle the development of cycling in New South Wales for the foreseeable future.
Whilst this is not currently on the table, we see it as a logical next step towards a more effective arrangement.
I would appreciate your commitment to not proceed with the current proposal but to work with Sport Australia and the cycling bodies to find a better solution.
I would welcome a chance to discuss this matter with you, should you have any questions.
Glenn J. Vigar
Chairman Board of Directors
Cycling New South Wales