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The recent formation of a new body, the Victorian Rally Organisation, to look after the interests of Victorian rallyists should sound a warning to CAMS that all is not well within their management of the sport.

That it has been necessary to form a breakaway group to manage rallying in the state speaks volumes about the discontent that many in rallying have about CAMS’ management and perceived disinterest in the future of rallying at State and grass-roots level.

The decision to form an independent group, the VRO, to foster the development of the sport, comes after lengthy discussions at many levels about the increasing restrictions imposed by CAMS on matters such as the grading of officials, licensing, excessively harsh OH & S regulations, and the not-inconsiderable matter of $70,000 of funds generated by the Victorian rally community under their own initiative, for promotion, prizemoney and the road damage levy which CAMS have, until now, refused to return.

There is no doubt that the Victorian rallying community have been increasingly disenchanted with the way CAMS have administered the sport in recent times, and the decision to start an alternative organization to manage rallying comes out of sheer frustration at CAMS’ lack of support for rallying.

While there was a period where the proponents of the VRO were prepared to sit back and see what developed under the leadership of Ed Ordynski as chairman of the Australian Rally Commission, Ordynski’s resignation before his term was up was the catalyst for the formation of the new body.

Ordynski’s interest in the lower levels of rallying and his hands-on approach to see things change was widely welcomed, but many people now feel that CAMS’ agenda is one which positively discourages the administration of the sport by the elected rally panel.

As an independent body with no ties to CAMS, the Australian Autosport Alliance (AASA) or the Australian Motorsport Action Group (AMSAG), the VRO will be in a position to suggest alternative bodies from whom competitors can obtain their competition licences or directors can obtain event permits. It will also introduce a degree of transparency of funding collected in the future and which, despite the current fund collection being managed by the Victorian Rally Panel.

There is still much to do to popularize rallying again, but the VRO’s  aim to foster the development of the sport, improve communication and facilitate the conduct of rallying within the state is certainly a step in the right direction. If nothing else, the establishment of the VRO should send a clear message to CAMS that Victoria’s rally fraternity demand a better deal.

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