Attendees: Brian Webb, Rohan Grant, John Reynoldson, Rohan Holtkamp, Keith Lush, Mike Zupanc, Rob Woodward*, Phil Pritchard* and Craig Worth (Minutes Secretary).
* Note: Rob Woodward and Phil Pritchard in attendance for the first two days only.
Guests (at various times during the meeting): Stewart Dennis, Belinda Head and Peter Bowyer.
Apologies: Bill Moyes
Note: Items are not minuted in strict chronological order.
Meeting Commenced: 12 noon Saturday
Brian Webb welcomed the Board members.
Business arising from the Minutes of Meeting (31 Aug to 2 Sept 2000)
All action items have been completed other than the following:
Action 00.39 not yet completed, though now in draft form. The Safety & Ops Committee and Phil Pritchard will further address this item re apprentice training in the future.
Action 00.40 completed.
Discussion led to the process of issuing Visiting Pilot Memberships.
Motion 01.01: That VPMs are pre-sold similar to the TM system where the agent selling the VPM pays in advance and collects the fee for a commission. Commission to be 20%.
Moved: Brian Webb Seconded: Phil Pritchard Motion carried.
Action 01.01: General Manager to implement the system as of 1 October 2001. The visiting pilot’s passport number is to be included on the form.
Action 00.42 - not completed though the problem of Board member communication with HGFA members in SA and WA has been resolved with the new Board appointments.
Action 00.47 not completed. This action has now been passed to Rohan Grant and the AG/Skysailor sub-committee.
National Sport Aviation Centre
The current status of the National Sport Aviation Centre and the possibility of recovering the second phase of the money invested were discussed.
Action 01.02: Rob Woodward to investigate the current position of the sale of the NSAC property and determine whether a caveat on the title is necessary to secure the money owing to HGFA.
Active Australia Site Projects
Craig Worth provided an update of the Active Australia Site projects. The National Site Development Officer, Damien Gates, has recently been contracted to carry out the projects. The site database has been set up and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service controlled sites have been added.
It was identified that the site usage agreements being developed to secure member site usage will also need to secure commercial operator access.
Action 01.03: Craig Worth to advise of the National Site Development Officer of the need to include commercial operators in site usage agreements.
Site Development Loan Scheme
Brian Webb presented a proposal aimed at fostering the development and long term retention of sites. This included the following points:
Guidelines for the allocation of the loan were provided, as follows:
These criteria for the assessment of applicants were discussed. It was suggested that an additional criterion be added: that the site must have both launch and landing areas secured.
Brian Webb asked that the Board commit a fixed amount to this project for each year prior to further effort being put into the project.
Motion 01.02: That the proposed site development loan scheme be supported and up to $30,000 of HGFA funds be made available for the scheme in the coming financial year.
Moved: Rohan Holtkamp Seconded: Keith Lush Motion carried.
Action 01.04: Brian Webb to continue to develop the site loan proposal.
Craig Worth provided a graph that identified that there has been a substantial reduction in training injury accidents over the past eight years. Despite this there are still around three claims against instructors being lodged each year. Seven fatalities have occurred in HGFA aircraft during the current financial year, four hang gliding, two paragliding and one microlighting. The circumstances of these accidents were discussed.
Following the paragliding fatality in North East Victoria it has been suggested that EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) should be made mandatory. It was agreed that these should be recommended for pilots flying XC, but not mandated. It was also identified that there is a need to reinforce that pilots are advised to lodge a flight plan with a responsible person prior to flying XC.
Air Operators Certificates
An update of the CASA proposal for implementation of the AOC (SA) was provided. It is proposed that the system will be “cost neutral” to the sport aviation administrative bodies.
Rating System Proposal
The proposed upgrade to the current rating system was discussed at length. The Safety & Operations Committee has recommended the system’s introduction.
Concerns were raised regarding the cost implication of the system. It was estimated that the system would cost approximately $15 000 for printing of manuals and associated material.
Motion 01.03: That the proposed rating system review be implemented.
Moved: Rohan Holtkamp Seconded: Rob Woodward Motion passed with two abstentions.
Action 01.05: Craig Worth to progress the implementation of the system with the assistance of Godfrey Wenness.
Regional Operations Coordinators and Subcontractors Proposal
Craig Worth proposed that there be regionally based operations auditors appointed and subcontracted to carry out facility audits, accident investigations, to assist with disciplinary matters and other safety & operations related tasks.
Action 01.06: Craig Worth to identify and train appropriate persons outside the instructor fraternity to carry out audits of training facilities.
Action 01.07: Craig Worth to place a notice in Skysailor seeking a volunteer to assist with the Accident Database.
Active Australia Club Development Project status report
Belinda Head, the HGFA National Development Officer, provided an update of progress to date with the Active Australia projects. Discussion followed into various aspects of the projects. Belinda agreed to place an article in Skysailor to advise members of progress with the projects.
Club Development Officer Applicants
A sub-committee was formed to address the applicants for the Regional Club Development Officers (CDO). It had been proposed that Craig Worth undertake the role of CDO for NSW. He suggested that given his current workload there should be another CDO appointed for this purpose. It was agreed that a CDO for NSW be sought.
National Office report and review
Recent problems with the HGFA National Office were discussed. Margaret Crane has encountered many unforeseen difficulties in the past nine months since Ian Jarman’s departure. The Board members discussed the office problems at length. It was agreed that the Board should offer Margaret as much support as possible to get the office again operating effectively. It was agreed that the operating efficiency of the office should be reviewed at the next Board meeting.
During discussion, the possibility of outsourcing the office functions was raised. Brian Webb indicated that should the office administration be put to tender in the future, his company would be keen to lodge a tender. This led to concerns from other Board members that should this situation arise, Brian’s intentions could be conceived as a conflict of interest and that the functions of the Board could be compromised as a result. Brian Webb therefore tendered his resignation as HGFA President.
Motion 01.04: That Brian Webb’s resignation as HGFA president is accepted.
Moved: John Reynoldson Seconded: Rohan Grant Motion carried.
The current Vice-President, Rohan Grant, agreed to take on the role of HGFA President.
Motion 01.05: That Mike Zupanc is appointed as HGFA Vice President.
Moved: Brian Webb Seconded: Rohan Holtkamp Motion carried.
YTD Financial Performance
Year to date figures were provided and several items discussed. Of concern is a 10% reduction in membership income.
Review of Management Procedures Manual
The current Management Procedures Manual was reviewed and several inclusions discussed. Board members who had not fully read the Manual undertook to do so and provide any feedback.
Review of Executive Employee Contracts
It was identified that the executive employee contracts were for continuing employment. The thanks of the Board were provided to the Office Manager and General Manager for their efforts over the past year.
Motion 01.06: That the General Manager’s salary is increased in line with the current CPI increase effective 1 July 2001.
Moved: Rohan Holtkamp Seconded: Rob Woodward Motion passed.
Motion 01.07: That the Office Manager’s salary is reviewed at the Board’s September meeting.
Moved: Rob Woodward Seconded: John Reynoldson Motion carried.
Proposed Constitutional Changes
The proposed constitutional changes from WASSP were discussed. The proposal is to limit the number of new Board members elected at any one Board election. It was decided that this should be put to clubs for consideration and feedback.
Constitutional changes were also necessitated by the restructuring of the HGFA administration to replace all references to the positions of Executive Director and Operations Manager to General Manager. Additionally the HGFA legal advisor, Kieran Tapsell, has proposed several changes relating to member-to-member liability.
Action 01.08: The President to poll clubs via email and seek member feedback on the proposed constitutional changes.
It was identified that current membership numbers and income have decreased by 10% over the past nine-month period. This will need to be considered when drafting the coming FY budget.
Membership Fees and Levy Structure
Due to recent increases in insurance (the premium now being $345 000) it is apparent that changes to HGFA fees and insurance levies are necessary. The best quote for third party cover (without instructor public liability insurance) was approximately $210 000. It was therefore agreed that members should fund $210 000 of the premium and instructors and joining members should cover the balance. Feedback from instructors indicated a desire for any increase to instructor professional indemnity insurance to be based on student turnover. It was identified that to cover the current third party, non-commercial passenger carriage and member-to-member insurance, membership fees will need to increase by 50%. This results in around $10 per member being used to cover instructor insurance.
Various options were considered and the following fees and levies were decided upon:
This will result in having to draw an estimated $16,000 from HGFA revenue to cover the insurance premium.
Brian Webb argued that rather than increase the membership fee by $55, the increase should be $45 and additional funds drawn from HGFA reserve funds or paid by instructors. Counter arguments were that all members should be assisting the cost of entry in HGFA sports, as without new members the federation will not be sustainable in the long term. Additionally, new members should be assisting to fund insurance, as they are the ones that are most likely to have claims against the policy.
Motion 01.08: That the proposed fee structure be implemented as of 1 June 2001.
Moved: Keith Lush Seconded: John Reynoldson For: Rohan Grant, Rohan Holtkamp, John Reynoldson, Mike Zupanc and Keith Lush. Against: Brian Webb. Not present: Phil Pritchard and Rob Woodward. Motion carried.
Action: 01.09: Craig Worth to circulate the breakdown of trainee membership numbers per instructor to instructors via Aussie Instructor.
It was also decided that the term of the current trainee membership be reduced to three days (over a period of up to four months) and students undertaking a training course be required to join as full or short term HGFA members. This is to become effective at 1 September 2001.
Action 01.10: Craig Worth to advise instructors of the proposed change to the term of Trainee Membership as soon as possible and apply for the Operations Manual to be amended accordingly.
AG/Skysailor Sub-Committee Update
Rohan Grant provided an update on recent developments within the AG/Skysailor Sub-Committee.
It has been identified that there should be two separate magazines:
1. A “glossy” GFA/HGFA joint magazine capable of being placed on Newsstands that would be outsourced to a commercial publisher. It will include “quality” photos and articles; and outsourced advertising. This could be produced either quarterly or bi-monthly.
2. A “Skysailor” a black-and-white low cost circular that could be provided to clubs and placed on the web site. It could include: safety, discipline specific stories, market place, jokes & banter. The format of this would likely be monthly; a “boilerplate” format; and provided to clubs for inclusion in their monthly newsletters, or provided to members via email on request.
The need for this matter to be dealt with as a matter of urgency was reiterated.
Action 01.11: That the Skysailor sub-committee provide a proposal for the future of the magazine to the HGFA and GFA Boards by 14 May 2001.
Website Sub-Committee Update
Brian Webb provided a report from Mike Bruce, convenor of the website sub-committee.
The revised website is 95% complete and is two weeks away from being put online. Mike Bruce has volunteered to be web administrator provided he is not required to maintain key areas of the site. Content is required from HGFA News & Contact Information, Competitions and Skysailor. This information needs to be added to the web site and updated regularly. Discussion led to the inter-relationship between the magazine editors and the proposed web site maintainers. It was identified that the proposed restructure of the magazine, provision must be made for maintenance of the Skysailor section of the website.
Responsibility for each of these three areas was discussed, and the following identified:
Action 01.12: John Reynoldson to determine whether Richard Lockhart will maintain the Skysailor news area of the web site in the immediate future. Should he not be prepared to do so, John is to advise Brian Webb that the Board will accept his offer to do so.
Discussion led to the number of “hits” on the HGFA website.
Action 01:13 Mike Zupanc to circulate recent website hit figures to the Board.
Member and Club Communication
Brian Webb provided a presentation outlining the benefits of using email to communicate with clubs and members for poling and advisory purposes. He advised that 45% of HGFA have email access.
The Board agreed that the proposal to use email for club communication was desirable and should be utilised on a monthly basis by the HGFA President.
Action 01.14 The President to provide a monthly report to Clubs via email on HGFA matters.
It was agreed that email could be used to determine the validity of the HGFA database.
Action 01.15: Brian Webb to poll members via email to determine the accuracy of the database.
Pacific Flyer Special Issue
The magazine is now on the newsstands. It was disappointing that the list of HGFA instructors was not included.
Action 01.16: John Reynoldson to determine the deadline for the next magazine to ensure an updated instructor list and updated articles are provided to the editor for inclusion.
Speed Gliding World Series
Craig Worth and Keith Lush provided an update on progress with series. Richard Scotts has taken over the pre-organisation of the Series. Filming has been scheduled for the third week of September.
National Teams Selection
Craig Worth has recently spent considerable time on the selection of the National Hang Gliding Team (and some lesser time on the Paragliding Team selection).
The funding of this process and all other competition areas was discussed.
National Team Funding Increase Proposal
The following motion was put to the Board from the HGFA Competitions Committee:
“That HGFA financial support for National Teams competing at FAI category 1 events nominated by the CC be increased to $1000 per pilot as in past years.”
The philosophy behind funding national teams and funding entry-level competitions was discussed at length. It was identified that the HGFA’s return from funding national teams is difficult to measure; and the competitions committee fills a vital role in the promotion and conduct of competitions. It was agreed that at this time greater priority should be placed on “grass roots” competition funding rather than elite level funding.
Motion 00.09: That the proposal for funding national teams to the level of $1,000 per team member be accepted.
Moved: Mike Zupanc No seconder was forthcoming and the motion lapsed.
Discussion turned to the current policy in funding national team entrants. It was agreed that the practise of funding national teams should be made more transparent to members. It was identified that in the current financial year the national teams funding is around one and a half percent of the HGFA budget and the competitions committee around a half of a percent. In stating this it was identified that this current financial year expenditure has far exceeded that of last year as attendance at the pre-world events was minimal. The Board agreed that the level of competition funding should be further considered once a budget for the coming financial year is drafted.
The Board were briefed on the proposed competition calendars currently being finalised. It is anticipated that the calendars will be finalised in the near future.
Paragliding World Cup Proposal
The Board was advised that it is proposed to lodge a bid to hold a PWC series in Bright, Manilla and New Zealand over the summer of 2002/03. Further HGFA involvement will be requested as the bid is progressed.
HGFA Membership Card
Brian Webb proposed that the current membership card be improved. The Board agreed that there is room to improve the current card’s layout and presentation. Brian Webb sought Board approval to determine a means to improve the card.
Action 01.17: Brian Webb to work to improve the current card format. Craig Worth to have Margaret Crane forward Brian several samples of the iMIS file used to transfer daily data from the database to the word processing program.
Complaint against the General Manager from Jules Sanderson
A complaint has been received by the HGFA President against Craig Worth. The process for dealing with this complaint was discussed.
Action 01.18: Rohan Grant to review the complaint with Jules Sanderson and propose a means for its resolution.
Next meeting date and venue: The HGFA AGM and Board meeting to be held 7-9 September 2001 at a venue to be determined.
Close of Meeting: 3.10 p.m. Monday
Manager, Hang Gliding Federation of Australia
phone/Fax: 02 6559 2713 Mobile: 0418 657 419
Postal address: P.O. Box 71, Hallidays Point NSW 2430 Australia