Should Bicycle Tasmania merge with Bicycle Network?

The background

Most members would be aware that, for several years, Bicycle Tasmania (BT)’s basic membership administration and rider insurance have been provided through Bicycle Network (BN).  In addition, BN has taken on the employer role for us by recruiting and paying the salary of locally based bike advocacy staff, utilising the membership income of our members.  

Our local committee has focussed on supporting advocacy staff, organising events, promoting bike riding in the community, and providing local services to members.

This relationship has worked well and we have been exploring ways to further increase our advocacy impact and membership growth in the next year and beyond.  One way to do this is to merge fully with Bicycle Network, enabling us to take advantage of their size and experience and allowing them to invest in Tasmania with confidence that it is for the long term.

At our last Committee meeting we talked through the benefits and risks of this proposal.  We invited along a number of BT members who were interested in assisting with the discussion.  After many views and similar experiences had been aired, we found we had a consensus view that, yes, there was sufficient benefit for the Tasmanian cycling community in the proposal to justify working on a detailed proposal with Bicycle Network for our members to consider.

Key points

We have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Bicycle Network to ‘...take the necessary actions to attempt to merge the organisations by 31 October 2014.’  Whilst the details are subject to discussions, these are the type of outcomes we will be negotiating:

  • Membership benefits and fees will remain unchanged

  • Advocacy funding will increase and cover Northern and Southern Tasmania

  • A part time Membership development officer will be employed

  • A small office will be opened in Hobart

  • A regular Bicycle Network signature "big ride" will be instituted in Tasmania

  • Local Committee, local advocacy and service activities, website and social channels will continue 

How do I have my say?

More information and a more detailed list of the issues to be considered is being sent to members via email this week, together with options for getting more information and for having your say. Please also feel free to comment and to ask questions via the Comments section on this page.

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