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The Victorian rallying community has established a new non-profit association to foster the development of their sport, improve communication and facilitate the conduct of rallying within the state.

The Victorian Rally Organisation (VRO) has been incorporated as an association with broad terms of reference and a position of independence from CAMS, AASA and other bodies that provide services such as event permits, licencing of competitors and officials, or event insurance.

Importantly, VRO’s function will be complementary to the work of CAMS, AASA, AMSA and other motorsport service organisations, not a rival nor a substitute for them.

Announcing the formation of VRO, founding Chairman, Ian Crook, said that the new association had a simple aim - to foster the development of the sport of rallying in Victoria, facilitating a wide range of options to take the sport forward.

Non-aligned

“VRO is all about the development of a thriving sport that is based on the power of diversity and choice in categories of events, categories of cars and service providers,” he said.

“VRO is an independent body that springs exclusively from rallying with the interests of rallying in mind.

“We have no alignment to any existing club or any of the organisations that are issuing permits for rally events in Victoria or other states – such as CAMS, the Australian Automotive Sporting Alliance (AASA) or the Australian Motorsport Action Group (AMSAG),” Crook said.  

“Our intent in forming VRO is in several parts. The first is to provide an independent forum for enthusiasts to discuss and set the direction for rallying in Victoria.

“The second part of VRO is to provide for improved co-ordination and control of the community’s finances.

“For instance, at this moment, there is more than $70,000 of the rally community’s funds held in trust at CAMS, earning no interest whatsoever. These funds are the result of levies that the rally community has been collecting over many years for road damage, promotion and trophies.

“For some months, the Victorian Rally Panel, of which I have also been Chairman, has been asking for these funds to be returned to the Victorian rally community.

“It is intended that these and other rally community funds will be aggregated in VRO. This will enable greater transparency in accounting and improved management.

“As a result of recent discussions between the Rally Panel and the CEO of CAMS, I have written to all clubs involved in the VRC and the VCRS and the HRA, seeking their support for this transfer,” he added.

Vital equipment

“VRO will also provide an entity for clear, transparent ownership of the various rally community assets in equipment and other resources – in most cases that is in the safe custody and care of volunteers.”

VRO wants to support these volunteers in their care and custody roles.

Crook said that much of this commonly owned equipment had just ‘grown up’ as the result of voluntary activities and was ‘the backbone of event management.’

“However, some of it is getting long in the tooth and needs to be updated and upgraded,” he said.

“With the blessing of the rally community, we shall accelerate the radio set replacement program, buy another repeater station, upgrade, repair and add to the electronic and other timing equipment.

“This will take up the smaller part of the funds we have developed through levies – the greater part will be invested to earn interest, something that CAMS has refused to pay.”

Crook said that the time had arrived for the final retirement of some units that have been kept in service through a cannibalisation program that has progressively run down equipment stocks.

“VRO will provide an entity for clear, common, ownership of the rally community’s funds and equipment, so that the volunteers who have custody and maintenance of these commonly owned assets can be properly resourced from the rally community’s funds,” he said.

The founding office bearers of VRO are:

Chairman and Public Officer: Ian Crook
Deputy Chairman: Stuart Lister
Secretary: Mark Hallowell
Treasurer: Rick Hartmann

Membership is $10 per annum with a $10 per person joining fee. Further details of the Association, its Purposes and Rules, membership application forms and contact details are available through: www.vicrally.com.au


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