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The Victorian Rally Advisory Panel is very pleased to see CAMS re-affirming its support - especially of Club rallying via a recent news release.

This support has never really been in philosophical doubt since CAMS is a confederation of car clubs.  Although latterly, it should be said, that CAMS Limited has been increasingly focused on the higher (non-club) levels of rallying.

CAMS CEO and Mr Col Trinder should be well aware that club level rallying is managed and directed by volunteers such as the Panels and Committees (and their many volunteers), with CAMS as one of the sanctioning bodies that provides permits/insurance cover and the like.

But Clubs and their volunteer members are the people who make club rallying ‘happen’, not CAMS.

Recently, for instance, the VRAP has sought clarification of the management of levies that it and predecessor Panels have caused to be collected over many years for the road damage, VRC trophy and promotions funds. The VRAP have found that these incoming levy monies have been treated by CAMS as its own business operations revenue and applied to CAMS own bank account.

These funds - currently showing more than $70,000 in the case of the VRAP - have had GST deducted from before being reported to the Panel, so the real amount of levies raised is more than the balance reported by CAMS.

While the VRAP welcomes the statement from the CEO, we believe it is valid to say that CAMS’ actions do not align well with the expressed sentiments.

The reasons are:
•    CAMS has counted voluntary club levies as its own revenue
•    CAMS has not quarantined club levy funds in separate trust accounts
•    CAMS has not paid interest and has refused to pay interest on these club funds
•    CAMS has said that if these funds are to be applied to buy equipment required by the rally community then any equipment so bought will become the property of CAMS and will appear on the CAMS inventory, to be used by the rally community under terms still to be agreed.

The VRAP assumes that other rally panels and other category panels that forward levy funds to CAMS will have been treated the same.

The VRAP does not see these actions of managing levy funds as properly consistent with the expressed position of supporting club rallying.

For instance, had these funds been correctly quarantined in interest earning accounts, their value to the contributing clubs would greatly exceed their current ‘face’ value.

CAMS Limited has used these affiliated club funds as its own operating capital without benefit and at cost to club level rallying. The VRAP suspects that this position may not have been made clear to contributing clubs – it was certainly not made clear to the VRAP until we made direct enquiries about the fate of our levy funds.

Other states’ rally panels should perhaps consider their position. Other categories such as Off Road, Hill Climb and so on should perhaps also consider the trusteeship of any funds that are being held by CAMS.

The VRAP will welcome constructive suggestions from the CAMS Board in regard to improved stewardship of the rally community funds in Victoria, including making these available so they may be invested to earn interest and support the rally community’s on-going and successful program of investment in equipment, services and other resources that make club level rallying possible.

The VRAP would also add that it is the availability of this club level equipment that can make possible the conduct of higher level rallies that are not run by clubs, but which do use the rally community’s equipment in the conduct of their event/s.

ISSUED by  Ian Crook (Chairman), Stuart Lister (Deputy Chair), Rob Dyer, Gary Gourlay, Darryn Snooks on behalf of the VRAP.

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