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Michael Monck announces candidacy for RAAus board

Another email from Michael Monck in which he announces his intention to stand for the RAAus Board. If you live in NSW, vote for Michael!



It’s been a while since I have sent out an email so I figure it’s about time for an update. Once again, I apologise for the length of this email.

While I would like to say that things are positive unfortunately I can’t. It seems to me that the association is leaping from one extraordinary mess to another. In recent times the board has made a range of promises to get things back on track. These promises were made at the February general meeting and reiterated more recently at NatFly. Several things, however, seemed to have gone off the rails.

One of the most significant of these is the work of the restructure committee that was formed following the February meeting. Geoff Kidd put his hand up to help guide this process but recent events have seen him left less than satisfied with the progress and he has reluctantly stepped away from it in disgust.

While there are a number of reasons for Geoff’s decision two are quite concerning. The first is a response to a question Geoff himself asked at the February meeting and related to legal actions being taken by Ibis aircraft owners. The question is referenced in the minutes* and was directed to Steve Runciman in a straight forward manner – “I’ll specifically ask you, have any Ibis owners, as a group or individually foreshadowed or indicated that they intend to take legal action against the RA AUS”?

Steve Runciman’s response was also straight forward – “I’m certainly not aware of any legal action that maybe forthcoming from the Ibis owners.”

I won’t go as far as saying Steve lied to the membership but two things come to mind. The first is that he made no attempt to consult with the remaining board members to seek further information. The second is that Geoff has since found out that, at the time of the meeting, Ibis owners had indeed made hints that they were considering their legal options and at least one of the board members was aware of this.

The second major point that led to Geoff’s resignation relates to insurance. This is one of the single biggest expenses that RA Aus faces on an annual basis and is also one of the most significant in terms of its legal and financial ramifications. To ensure the best deal was obtained for members a competitive tender process was initiated. Peter Bugg, an insurance specialist and member, was engaged to provide input into the process and assess the responses to the tender. Mike Smith, a board member, and Andy Saywell, an ordinary member, also participated in the process. It should be noted that Peter Bugg did not tender for the work himself and instead acted on behalf of members and the association in an independent manner.

A clear recommendation was put forward to engage one of the brokers that responded to the tender process with the terms and conditions they provided being more favourable than anything RA Aus had seen in the past. The efforts of these members who donated their expertise and time free of charge was ignored by the executive with little substance in terms of an explanation. The insurance provider chosen did not participate in the tender process and actively sought to withhold certain details of their proposal from those evaluating the offers. The only thing I can come up with thus far is the following email from Myles Breitkreutz supplied by someone else who wasn’t happy with the process:

“Hello Steve,

I am concerned with all RA-Aus members benefits and protection and feel comfortable with the decision made to carry on with the current insurer for another term. By doing this I know that the members are covered, sure it may not be the best cover then again it may be, the time was too short to evaluate all tenders to the extent needed to make such an important decision.

However the members have coverage and we now have time to review the insurance issue and get the right scheme and benefits to cover the members into the future.

You know it wasn’t long ago that we had no insurance, and it might surprise some that the insurance came out of our business plan as did our own building and our corporate policy and so on, there are still things like our own airfield but planned things take time especially when all members are affected.

Cheers Myles”

I can’t get much out of this except for a number of things:

  • The board did not have time to evaluate the tender responses (insurance is a regular expense and the expiry is known well ahead of time so I can only assume they left it too late to do anything about it)
  • The board is not sure if the choice of brokers is the right one or not or if RA Aus got the best deal for its members
  • The board has acknowledged that it is “such an important’ decision but not made arrangements to give it the treatment it deserves (reminds me of the lack of response to the CASA audits that led to aircraft being grounded and makes me wonder what other important matters aren’t being dealt with appropriately)
  • The Treasurer who is responsible for ensuring adequate fiduciary care is taken when spending the associations money is not sure if this is the best decision
  • At some point in the recent past we had NO INSURANCE!!! Were you aware that RA Aus was being managed in such a way???

In short, the board (and especially the executive) has once again demonstrated that it is a law unto itself and will not listen to the guidance of its members, sub committee’s or, it seems, anyone else that might provide an alternative view point to their own. Their actions are clearly contradictory to the words they have spoken to members.

It’s time that things change. I urge each and every one of you to vote at the next election. The current board and executive is slowly destroying our organisation and I fear, if left to their own devices, will slowly but surely erode our privileges until we no longer have the right to fly.

There are several positions due for election this year and I will be running for one of them in NSW. If you don’t like what you are reading in this email then please, give me a call and see if I am the right person to represent you and our association in the future. I have attached a flyer and a draft election statement for your review. Please circulate it amongst your fellow flyers as you see fit.

I also ask that you forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested in knowing what is really happening with RA Aus.

Thanks for your time,

Michael Monck

*It’s worth noting that the Secretary is required by the constitution and thus the law to provide minutes of any general meeting within 30 days of that meeting taking place. The Secretary (and therefore the board) opted not to meet this obligation and instead posted a copy of a transcript of the meeting on the RA-Aus website choosing to call it minutes. To this date the actual minutes have not been made available to the members. Furthermore, the NatFly general meeting was held more than 30 days ago and as far as I am aware we haven’t had any minutes from that meeting either. Yet another display of their blatant disregard for members and the rules under which an incorporated association must operate…

Michael Monck Flyer
Michael Monck Story

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