It's a crucial time for cycling infrastructure in Australia, with key votes on the AusCycling proposal set to decide the form that road and track cycling pursues for the foreseeable future.
By
SBS Cycling Central

12 Sep 2020 - 10:33 AM 

On the eve of an important vote in Tasmania that could see the dissolution of Cycling Australia and the addition of road and track cycling to BMX and mountain bike under the umbrella of soon-to-be organisation AusCycling, a number of organisations either dissatisfied or yet to be fully convinced of the AusCycling proposal have issued statements.

Cycling Tasmania is due to hold a vote tonight, September 12, with all member clubs participating to reconsider their 'no' vote to the initial AusCycling resolution.

When the Cycling Australia (CA) vote - representing road and track racing within Australia - for AusCycling was held on March 27, 2020, the result was five states and territories for, and three states against. CT, CNSW and WestCycle (Western Australia's cycling body) were the 'no' vote, and the bylaws required a 75 per cent majority, or 6 of the 8 voting bodies to wind up CA and move to the unified cycling model.

If Cycling Tasmania change their vote, the movement to AusCycling could be formalised on September 19, with a General Meeting requested by the five 'yes' votes states to reconsider the resolutions. That could also face opposition, with WestCycle voicing their concerns about the process and stating that the meeting should be cancelled.

WestCycle sent out a strongly worded update to members yesterday, opposing both AusCycling and Cycling Australia's process in calling the meeting citing a lack of information provided in both cases. Below are the significant paragraphs, read the full statement here. 

"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.

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."

Cycling NSW was also a 'no' vote at the March 27 meeting, and the board reconsidered whether to hold a new vote by Cycling NSW member clubs at a board meeting on September 8. Similar to WestCycle, Cycling NSW are seeking clarification on a few issues before they call for a new vote. Cycling NSW issued an open letter which details their concerns more fully here.  

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

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 (detailed in the open letter) points, we still have concerns and questions about the current structure, support and financial position for Cycling NSW clubs in any future AusCycling model.

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."

In addition to the already established 'no' votes making their objections clear, information provided to Cycling Central indicated that ten Victorian cycling clubs yesterday requested the Cycling Victoria board to convene a Special General Meeting for the clubs to decide whether to become part of the new Auscycling structure.

In a statement circulated by Martyn Hughes, president of Southern Masters Cycling Club, they outline similar concerns about the lack of update to financial information that could affect the AusCycling proposal.

"Ten Victorian cycling clubs yesterday requested the Cycling Victoria board to convene a Special General Meeting for the clubs to decide whether to become part of a new Auscycling structure. Should Victoria become part of Auscycling, Cycling Victoria would cease to exist and all its assets would be transferred to the new entity.

Should Victoria become part of Auscycling, Cycling Victoria would cease to exist and all its assets would be transferred to the new entity.

No new information has been provided in regard to the implications of the current economic situation on Auscycling’s implementation or viability."

Even if Cycling Tasmania change their vote to a 'yes' vote, there could be more hurdles for Cycling Australia, either from WestCycle's call for the meeting to be cancelled or a potential re-vote in Cycling Victoria, to navigate ahead of achieving a move to the unified AusCycling model. 

Cycling Central conducted an interview with Cycling Australia CEO Steve Drake, a proponent of the AusCycling proposal which details some responses to the above, but clearly aren't as detailed as those seeking information would prefer.

At the eleventh hour, AusCycling is looking more of a reality for road and track
Recent indications out of Cycling Tasmania (CT) and Cycling New South Wales (CNSW) are pointing towards both those states coming on board with AusCycling, allowing Cycling Australia (CA) to join AusCycling when it begins on October 1.