NSWBA Transition - Summary of Separation Terms
As we approach the holiday season we thought we’d let you know briefly where we are at in terms of the separation project for NSWBA. It’s been a big year and we’ve made great progress. Proxy boards representing the interests of both the Club and the NSW peak body have agreed to high level separation terms, and the NSWBA council has endorsed the proposal. Soon, at the AGM on 28 February, we’ll be asking for members’ endorsement of the plan, including changes to the NSWBA constitution - so it’s important that you are up to date.
A full explanatory memorandum with more detail will be sent to members in early February. In the meantime, here is a summary of what’s been agreed.
Key elements of the Separation Agreement
Create a new peak body to govern and promote bridge in NSW
- A new peak body, Bridge New South Wales (BNSW) will be created and the current NSWBA’s peak body activities transferred to BNSW.
- The members of BNSW will be the 130+ clubs around NSW.
- The NSWBA legal entity will continue the current duplicate bridge and lessons at Goulburn Street and at Canada Bay, in association with Strathfield Bridge Club. The club operations will continue to trade as Sydney Bridge Centre (Club) for the time being.
- The current NSWBA members will be members of the Club.
- A new Constitution for BNSW is being developed and will be approved by the NSWBA Council after consulting with affiliated clubs in NSW.
- Changes to the NSWBA’s Constitution will be made to remove clauses that are no longer relevant once the organisation’s role changes to become only a club.
A sustainable and vibrant home for bridge in central Sydney
- The Club will own and control the property at 162 Goulburn St. Again, as this is important to some: there is no need to sell the property to achieve separation, and there is no intention to sell the property.
- BNSW has rights to use the property up to 20 days per year for the next 8 years.
- BNSW gets a 12.5% payment if at any point in the future Club sells or leases the property.
Cash and assets
- Cash is to be shared roughly equally between Club and BNSW. Some payment of this to BNSW will be over the next two years.
- The cash and 2024 affiliation fees are expected to be sufficient start-up capital for BNSW.
- Both organisations will need financial care, however both will have sufficient cash to operate within their tight budgets.
- Assets and liabilities relating to their trading operations will be separately owned by Club and BNSW.
Championships and events
- There will be plenty of events targeting our NSW championship players – this will be fairly similar to recent years. The BNSW Events Committee will determine how to evolve this area.
- In addition, a newly energized Club plans to create a face-to-face offering for top quality players in Sydney. This is still a work-in-progress, and Club will communicate more on this in 2024.
- Our people have been looked after - all employees and contractors’ employment has been protected.
- There is an opportunity for more rewarding roles through a focus on what they love doing.
- While not a separation term, there are plans for a small increase in people resources, which will help make resourcing for Club and BNSW more sustainable.
Why are we doing this?
NSWBA Council and both proxy boards all agree that there are many benefits in the proposed separation. We hope that members will agree, and will vote in favour of the necessary motions at the AGM.
- Current NSWBA members will have a home for bridge play in a central Sydney premises, that is well known in the bridge community, without debt and with some working capital. A new skills-based board, focused on the club’s needs is expected to strengthen the club.
- NSW championship players, several of whom are NSWBA members, will continue to have the opportunity to play the current top-quality events, an Events Committee that receives extra support, and another large club that wants to provide face-to-face events targeting them. A new focus to develop further championship events and grow the competitive bridge player community will see gains in time.
- NSW affiliated clubs will receive for the first time a direct say in the peak body and how their affiliation fees are spent, plus sufficient working capital to commence independent operations. Member clubs will also have the option of voting for a revitalized skills-based board and key committees. As governance challenges of recent years will have been resolved, they can focus on growth and development of bridge in NSW.
Thank you for your support through this process. Ultimately, this change is for you.
On behalf of the NSWBA Transition team and Proxy Boards, wishing you a wonderful, bridge filled festive season.
The Project Team
NSWBA Transition Project