The future of BNSW ?

The future of BNSW ?

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:58 pm

Interesting discussion on the BNSW website - Where is Bicycle NSW headed & does anybody out there really care?

Funnily enough every post appears to be that BNSW is headed for extinction
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by BNA » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:48 pm

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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Wow. I didn't know Liz Hole was made redundant. She seemed to be the only one doing anything there. Big blow.

three full time staff & one part time employee to be supervised by a CEO & seven Board members


LOL. There are more board members than there are staff. Wt? What are the board members actually doing?

And allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds from this ex-employee should ring alarm bells:

I have not been a member since the Annual Financial reports did not meet accepted accounting standards in 2007 and 2008 and neither the CEO nor the Board members could answer questions I (and others) asked regarding large sums of so called "miscellaneous" expenditure.  Now they do not make their financial statements available on the web site and one has to be a member and be available in office hours to physically go to the BNSW office to request to see the reports (and, I presume, not make copies to take away for close analysis and comparison).  Not good enough Board.  If you have nothing to hide then stop hiding things.


Nah, say goodbye to BNSW. Totally dysfunctional and nothing but a clean sweep of the board is required for this org to get back on its feet.

Your fault board members. Totally disgraceful. Not putting any more into an organisation that quacks, talks and walks like a corrupt organisation. Echoes of the HSU here.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby Ozkaban » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:02 pm

I'm currently a member. Wont be come renewal time.

the only initiave I liked was ride to work day and that was a BV initiave.

Closed books is a bit of a worry. Whiff of corruption is a huge worry.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:13 pm

The failure to make the financial statements publicly available to members is a pretty terminal issue as far as I'm concerned. It is a gross breach of governance and integrity standards, if not an outright breach of ASIC and Fair Trading NSW requirements for incorporated bodies. Unsurprising I suppose in the light of the political blocking of Omar's reforms, but I agree nothing less than a complete board spill would now be acceptable.

Those who care about cycling advocacy and have the skills and contacts to do so in NSW should be planning for a replacement body. Basing the constitution around Omar's reforms would be a good start towards preventing a repeat of this imminent implosion.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:50 pm

Can you imagine if BNSW gets reported to ICAC? Fat Barry is going to have a field day. Not only are cyclists a danger to the public, their peak body is a bunch of corrupt no-hopers.

Thanks a lot BNSW for a whole lot of nothing. Didn't realise the enemy to cyclists was within and I didn't realise when I signed up for BNSW I had to conduct my own due diligence. Funny given most of the BNSW board members are lawyers. Too bad they aren't a public corporation or there'd be sections of the Corporations Act that apply for prosecuting directors that didn't discharge their duties properly.
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The future of BNSW ?

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:52 pm

CommuRider wrote:Totally dysfunctional and nothing but a clean sweep of the board is required for this org to get back on its feet. .

trailgumby wrote:... I agree nothing less than a complete board spill would now be acceptable.

unfortunately this highlights yet another significant issue- the constitution is designed to preserve the encumbants. A clean sweep is not possible as only 1/3 of elected board members are up for election each year.

If you were designing an organization where control is to be isolated from the members, the BNSW constitution would be a good blueprint.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:58 pm

So who nominates the other 2/3? Who are the auditors? It is a moot point but jeez, wt? is wrong with BNSW that it can't even run its own self? Who controls BNSW?

As for the miscellaneous expenditure, are we looking at 6 hour lunches here or are the CEO cycling jaunts to Europe paid for by membership fees?

What a mess. Start over again.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:03 pm

I just posted to the discussion over on the other forum and thought I'd cross post here since this is a much more vocal forum and I respect the opinions of many people here:
In the mean time, what's the solution here? Can BNSW work with it's current structure even with a new CEO? Does it need a completely new structure? The BUGs in NSW seem to be very active in their local areas - is a Cycling NSW/Australia model appropriate? (i.e. people join a local club [or BUG in this case] but these clubs are overseen by CNSW and CA).

One of the things I've learned about dealing with those in power is that if you're going to go to them with a problem, also go with a solution. What do the BUGs and interested individual members actually want in the "peak" cycling organisation?
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:17 pm

Bfv, I'd prefer a new start. Actually if BV feels like it, they can create a BV-NSW subsidiary since they seem to be the most well run out of the lot. They can call it Bicycle Eastern Australia for disaffected QLD members too. Since the current structure of BNSW is totally dysfunctional and it will take a couple of years to sweep the current board its detritus. Unless of course said board and CEO do the 'honourable' thing and out of respect for the future of cycling in this state they resign en masse and allow the visionary and leaders to take the reins over the organisation. If they do that, I might return after a couple of years but it is going to be a pretty bleak future for BNSW given the stories ex-employees are posting now about the board's behaviour.

If it's going to be a BUG-path, that is totally going to decrease the membership numbers.

If BV and BSA can be functional, the problem isn't the structure but the members of the board and the management.

Of course BNSW can reinvent itself as an insurance company since that is the only thing they lure members with. That doesn't mask their lack of professionalism in the board. Jeez, the auditors didn't want to even sign off the financial accounts. How f**cked up is that.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:24 pm

find_bruce wrote:
CommuRider wrote:Totally dysfunctional and nothing but a clean sweep of the board is required for this org to get back on its feet. .

trailgumby wrote:... I agree nothing less than a complete board spill would now be acceptable.

unfortunately this highlights yet another significant issue- the constitution is designed to preserve the encumbants. A clean sweep is not possible as only 1/3 of elected board members are up for election each year.

If you were designing an organization where control is to be isolated from the members, the BNSW constitution would be a good blueprint.

That's actually a pretty standard corporate approach to board member terms. What I was gettign at was if they can't be sacked, they need to resign.

Maybe these issues are part of why they've been very careful not to get in the face of government and confront them with their stupidity when required? Don't want to draw attention lest someone look too close and uncover the skeletons in the closet?

Anyway, if it's going to implode and blow up in our faces I'd rather get the pain over early so we can start rebuilding sooner. It's pointless putting off the inevitable. Let's just get the cancer surgery done and cut out the malignancy and focus on getting healthy.

Agree a fresh start is the go. These guys at BNSW aren't going to go quietly or voluntarily.
Last edited by trailgumby on Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:26 pm

trailgumby wrote:Anyway, if it's going to implode and blow up in our faces I'd rather get the pain over early so we can start rebuilding sooner. It's pointless putting off the inevitable. Let's just get the cancer surgery done and cut out the malignancy and focus on getting healthy.


100% agree. Excise it and let new healthy tissue grow.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby x8pg2qr » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:28 am

I don’t know the historical reason for a state-based peak body. But I don’t know why it is a good idea. If I lived in Tamworth, why would I care about Spring Cycle? If I lived in Sydney, I would like my bicycle association to be concerned about how to get from Ashfield to Sydney CBD, or about people parking in those off-road cycleways, rather than the Fernleigh Track (actually, I love the Fernleigh Track).

I remember when Omar was CEO, and he made a post about doing some promotion in one of the rural towns—could have been Armidale or Tweed Head (sorry, can’t recall). I first thought it was good that BNSW is doing something. And then I thought... why do I care? I’m paying for membership, and those will never benefit me. I lived in Sydney.

I think more local bicycle groups, possibly with paid memberships would stimulate more interest. More local, but covering wider areas than the current BUGs. e.g. if I’m not mistaken, riding from CBD to Ashfield, passes through 3–4 Local Government Areas (and corresponding BUGs). Even riding to Bondi or Leichhardt passes through 2 LGAs (and 2 BUGs).

Compare what BIKESydney does, have stands during public events, bicycle parking, lobbying for the City West Cycle Link (in vain, I think). And yet I don’t pay them a membership fee. If they could do more with paid membership, maybe that is desirable.

FWIW, BNSW only has about 11000 members, compared to BV who has about 40000 (rough numbers).
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby zero » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:35 am

Legislation, standards for bicycle infrastructure, a serious rethink about the way sydney goes about its infrastructure, general pro-bike lobby (as much to cancel out the NRMAs lobby efforts) are all reasons for having a peak body. A lot of stuff can be done once, and then its an improvement for everyone that lives everywhere in the state.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby trailgumby » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:24 pm

zero wrote:Legislation, standards for bicycle infrastructure, a serious rethink about the way sydney goes about its infrastructure, general pro-bike lobby (as much to cancel out the NRMAs lobby efforts) are all reasons for having a peak body. A lot of stuff can be done once, and then its an improvement for everyone that lives everywhere in the state.


Ha! :lol: :lol: :lol:

In the current issue of Australian Cyclist (BNSW's magazine) the NRMA is sponsoring a "helmet design" competition, presumably aimed at kids, getting them to design helmet graphics. Kind of like a Ronald McDonald colouring-in competition.

<shakes head... >
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby gururug » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:55 pm

What is needed is a body that has two primary purposes;

-Uniting all of the NSW BUG's, Everyday Cyclists, Clubs etc. etc. with a common forum and game plan to interface with all levels of Society and Government.
-Insurance, legal assistance.

"Advocacy" to current cyclists is a bit of a toss, leave this to the existing bodies and support them to make them more approachable, synchronised and targeted. Running a token ride once or twice a year as a token to legitimise your validity is and has shown to be futile.

If they want to do events, do lots, in collaboration with the existing groups in the community.

There is a need for a unifying, spokesperson, go-to authority for cycling in NSW. There is not a need for an organisation that is 90% words and efforts that benefit few.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby x8pg2qr » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:34 am

I guess I don’t think a state-based advocacy group is going to be effective.

As a comparison, NSW has a similar population to London (≈7–8 M). BNSW has a similar membership size as The London Cycling Campaign advocacy group (≈11000 members). Both offer third party insurance.

And yet, NSW is physically 500x the area of London. i.e. advocacy-wise I think this alone may cause BNSW to be incredibly unfocussed.

To extrapolate further, why not have a Bicycle Australia instead of state-based groups? “Bicycle Australia” would perform advocacy coast-to-coast, big city or not. Because that would be impractical.

In think in Sydney at least, where >50% of the population of NSW resides, a smaller “peak-body” may cover a smaller area more relevant to their membership.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby find_bruce » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 pm

It's funny how sometimes what people don't say communicates far more than what they do.

Speaking of which, the april bored news link purports to "provide feedback to our members in response to John’s questions".

Executive summary "problem, what problem ?"

In failing to address many of the concerns, the clear message is that the views of members are not important to BNSW and the current "leadership" have no interest in either listening to the views of members or in openly communicating with members.

But you knew that already.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:55 pm

Interesting to note two things:

1: They are still not reporting to members the full audited financial statements, only a summary thereof.

2: The Audit Report is qualified. In lay terms, that means the financial statements do not comply with accounting disclosure standards.

I agree, it's BAU. Trouble is, Business As Usual got us where we are. And we're not in a good place.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:34 pm

After receiving the latest email missive from BNSW I finally unsubscribed. Sorry. All this gloss and Liz Hole's message that she enjoyed her time at BNSW but in reality being made redundant is just laughable. Sorry Liz. If you are reading this, good luck with your new venture and not orgs behave despicably like BNSW.

As for the apologists in the BNSW thread saying have a pity on the board members. WT? weed are you smoking? Those board members were not pushed into those positions so I don't feel sorry for them. Was a gun put to their heads to become board members? They are just warming the seats and spending $X on miscellaneous expenses instead of letting others who have the vision and drive to promote a cycling future in this state and being ACCOUNTABLE to MEMBERS' MONEY and RESPECTFUL of cycling needs. Nobody pushed you to be nominated and if this is just a mates' club where you all nominate each other - shame on you.

So for those lazy fat cat board members and totally impotent CEO wasting my family's membership money - I am counting down the months (soon will be weeks) when I can transfer my BNSW membership to another because you don't and never have represented me or my family. You board members do not represent cycling or cyclists in this state. You are part of the problem and not the solution.

Thanks for the insurance coverage and don't let the door shut your backsides when you ALL depart.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby gururug » Wed May 16, 2012 11:23 am

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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby trailgumby » Wed May 16, 2012 12:47 pm

Interesting.

I nominate Omar Khalifa ;)
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby Ozkaban » Wed May 16, 2012 12:52 pm

trailgumby wrote:Interesting.

I nominate Omar Khalifa ;)

+1 :mrgreen:
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Wed May 16, 2012 2:05 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

My bet is they'll get a blonde bimbo with big tits (Lara Bingle clone) so everytime they ask for comment from BNSW she'll just flash her tits and people will forget what BNSW stands for.

Omar is too above this position. Obviously the CEO can't communicate or engage with BNSW's stakeholders currently. In that case, what is the point of the CEO position?

Tellingly this is what BNSW is facing:
"This, when coupled with the requirement for financial sustainability makes sponsorship acquisition and servicing a key accountability for this role. "


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Since when has the board been accountable?
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed May 16, 2012 2:42 pm

Maybe they'll hire someone who'll give me an interview. The large breasted blonde would be fine.
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Re: The future of BNSW ?

Postby CommuRider » Tue May 22, 2012 6:36 pm

The magazine publisher has gone bust!

Should shave $30 off membership then. Maybe they could hire one or two of the freelancers as their stakeholder/comms manager.


It is with regret that I have to inform you that the publisher of Australian Cyclist magazine, Nuance Multimedia Australia Pty Limited (Nuance), went into liquidation without warning on Monday 30 April 2012.

Bicycle NSW has worked closely with the staff of Nuance since it took over publishing Australian Cyclist in 2006 and we are saddened by the uncertainty that these people now face. There are many freelance contributors to Australian Cyclist who are also affected; this is a very difficult time for everyone concerned.

Nuance has published the May/June 2012 issue of Australian cyclist, which you should have received recently, however arrangements for the publication of further issue of Australian Cyclist may be impacted.

Please rest assured that the Bicycle NSW team is working hard to explore all options to try and deal with this situation, including seeking to appoint a new publisher.

The liquidation of Nuance does not impact any of the other benefits you enjoy through your membership of Bicycle NSW, including your insurance cover.

We will keep you informed of our progress and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding. I thank you for your continued support of Bicycle NSW.

Yours sincerely,

Alex S Unwin
Chief Executive Officer
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