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Brief Summary of the Club Constitution and related issues


 OK, as part of the Incorporation thing we needed to have a proper set of rules - setting this up was definitely not as much fun as riding our Ducatis ::)

However, rather than just take the standard ("model") Incorporation rules we figured it was worth doing properly (or at least as good as we could), so here they are:

If you want to pick through the lot please feel free to go fer it! However, if you have a pretty good idea what the model rules are all about you might just want to skip straight to Appendix 3, which is where all the bits of the main document we've fiddled with are listed in one place.

In general summary, there are two parts to club rules. Firstly, the Objective, which is simple: "The Hunter Ducati Owners Group Inc aims to provide a fun social riding focused club for motorcycle riders at all levels who have an interest in the Ducati marque and the Hunter community area."
Then the Rules themselves, which are basically the standard rules but making modifications so it is easier to join the club,  the president decides how many people we need to run it (at least 2 total) and we can just appoint people (confirmed at the AGM), we can organise meetings about whatever we feel like over the net or on rides if we want, volunteering for a committee job is easier, we can use net banking as we see fit, we can make up more rules if we want to, and if the standard rules change we can just use the new ones if we want without having to have a 75% vote and pay another fee!

The standard rules cover things like club administration, how members can come and go, responsibilities, liability and disciplining of members, dispute settling and appeals. Then they get into management committee formation, duties, operation and delegation, and move on to the requirements for and the issues about meetings and AGM's, before finally covering a bunch of miscellaneous things like funding, record keeping, notifications and other administration type stuff.

But that is just a very brief summary, you will need to read the rules and any updates as an ongoing requirement of membership.

One thing we would like to make clear is that we have decided not to take out insurance. We will rely on the personal protection that being incorporated provides, as well as a general risk management approach to club activities. The govt removed the need for incorporated associations to hold compulsory public liability (or any other) insurance some years ago, it is now a voluntary choice for each club and many are uninsured. As a part of the process of formation of the club we have discussed this issue at length with many people, some of whom are very experienced in this regard.

The general weight of opinion was that insurance is not required, or even particularly viable, for a motorcycle club such as ours (ie without its own premises), and that the best course of action is to rely on an appropriate disclaimer for club activities in conjunction with a risk management approach. We have attempted to get quotations for public liability insurance and found it is a lot more complex than one might think, it is difficult to define and obtain cover for all the conceivable circumstances, the line between personal and club liability is quite blurred, and the concept of reasonable behaviour in the insurance industry seems to have gone out the window! The upshot of these investigations is that any insurance premium would need to be very high (more than $1,000pa) and it seemed to be poor value for future members when you consider what activities we actually expect to undertake and our individual liability for our own actions.

Of course there are no guarantees in life, against stupidity or any other untoward event, and you will need to make your own mind up about this issue when considering club membership. But the club formation committee has some very experienced riders and strongly encourages feedback and participation of general "ordinary" members (is there such a thing? well yes, in the model rules definitions, dunno about real life!), so we are hopeful that real problems can be minimised. We rely on the fact that the club is incorporated to keep us from getting caught up in the problems of others, beyond the extent that we choose to anyway.

Any q's after all that? Well let's just go for a ride then!


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