EGM for Constitution Review FAQs
Members are advised that an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) has been scheduled for Tuesday 4th June 2019, to be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Darling Harbour. The meeting will commence at 6.30pm.
To assist in answering any questions members may have regarding the EGM or the Constitution Review, the following set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been developed. These FAQs will be a ‘living document’ – new details, as well as answers to common member questions, will be published as they arise.
- Why is the EGM being held at the ICC?
- What are the issues with holding it in the Clubhouse?
- Will it cost more to hold it at the ICC?
- Why was Tuesday evening selected?
- Why is the meeting commencing at 6.30pm?
- How do I get to the ICC?
- Is there parking near the ICC?
- Is the Club providing transport to the ICC?
- Is there anything I should bring with me to the meeting?
- When will I receive information about the Constitution Review?
- What will the Constitution Review information include?
- I believe my EGM Information Pack has been lost in the mail. What should I do?
- What are the Club By-laws, and where can they be found?
- What is the latest time I can enter the meeting?
- I am unable to attend the meeting. Is there somewhere I can pass on my formal apology?
Do you have a question that is not listed above or answered below? Contact the Office of the General Manager at email@example.com for further enquiries.
The General Committee has made the very difficult decision to hold the EGM at the ICC for several compelling reasons. Most notable of these is that the Clubhouse’s maximum attendance capacity (excluding staff) is 1,175 persons, and also the practical considerations of seating space, exit aisles, and emergency egress. Historically, Club general meetings which have the potential for strong contestable views have experienced high Member attendance. The Fitness Centre EGM in 2008, the 2018 AGM and 2018 EGM (and even the recent 2019 AGM) had high Member attendance, and there is every possibility that the maximum capacity could be surpassed for this EGM.
The overriding challenge is to ensure all Members who attend are accommodated. The meeting will be a general meeting of the Club and will not lawfully be able to pass resolutions or otherwise conduct business in circumstances where members of the Club are excluded on the night. In practical terms, this would require the Club to postpone the general meeting.
The Club has therefore thoroughly investigated opportunities to expand the certified capacity of the Clubhouse (including the use of the Car Park and marquees in spaces adjacent to the Clubhouse). All alternatives presented too many risks, high costs and practicality issues. The resulting risk profile was unacceptable to the General Committee. These circumstances therefore had the potential to inhibit the fair participation of Members in the EGM discussion and the promotion of a cohesive meeting. Planning has therefore proceeded on the reasonable assumption that up to 2,000 Members would need to be accommodated.
The Club also investigated opportunities to hold the general meeting at a number of other venues in the Eastern Suburbs. No facility, suitable for the Club’s needs in this general meeting, could be identified.
A large attendance at the Clubhouse – of the numbers anticipated for this EGM – would cause a significant number of legal, safety, cost, accessibility and practicality issues.
As mentioned above, the Clubhouse’s maximum capacity (excluding staff) is 1,175 persons. As this is a general meeting, it cannot lawfully pass resolutions or otherwise conduct business in circumstances where members of the Club are excluded on the night.
Given the potential length and complexity of the several resolutions to be considered at the EGM, the registration process will require a high level of precision and accuracy. As a consequence, entry into the Clubhouse is likely to be slower (even with a larger number of ‘check-in’ systems).
Car Parking Options
If an overflow seating area was created in the bottom level of the Car Park to accommodate attendees, the Club would lose 60 parking spaces out of 250 spaces. This would leave only 190 car spaces for Members parking, potentially forcing members to find parking a significant distance from the Clubhouse. Inclement weather on that night would significantly exacerbate this issue.
Additional Seating Requirements
Measures to expand the seating capacity to 2,000 would require the use of satellite locations inside the Clubhouse such as the Club Bar, Snack Bar, Fitness Centre and Dining Room. Outside the Clubhouse, the Northern Lawn, Car Park and, quite possibly, the 1st Fairway of the Championship Course would also have to be utilised.
Not only would additional audio visual requirements need to be established for these locations, but Members seated in these satellite areas may be compromised in their constructive involvement in the meeting – especially when considering access to microphones and sound equipment, as well as Clubhouse amenities such as toilets. If inclement weather was to occur, these Members might also experience issues with rain, wind and the cold.
Closures of the Clubhouse
To accommodate the ‘bump-in’ and assembly of all furniture and equipment required for the meeting, the whole of the Clubhouse would need to be closed for that day, and possibly the day prior and day after as well. This would not only include the Clubhouse and its outlets, but also accommodation and sections of the Car Park and the Championship Course.
Emergency and Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)
To hold the EGM at the Clubhouse, the Club would need to overcome certain regulatory hurdles. We would need to apply for a special WHS certificate and there would be an enormous workload attaching to the certification initiative – the securing of which is not guaranteed.
Emergency evacuation could also become problematic with such a large attendance.
No. Holding the meeting at the ICC is considerably less expensive than holding it at the Clubhouse. The ICC is a purpose-built facility for exactly these kinds of large functions, inclusive of all the seating and furniture, audio-visual equipment and amenities that would need to be temporarily added on to the Clubhouse.
Conversely, preparing the Clubhouse for the EGM would incur a series of high expenses. This includes hiring costs for upwards of 2,000 chairs throughout the Clubhouse and outside areas, marquees and overlay, additional audio-visual equipment and cabling for the added satellite areas. High levels of staffing would also be required to prepare the Clubhouse for the event, as well as to coordinate the various areas on the night. Additional WHS professionals would also need to be onsite to manage and mitigate potential safety and evacuation issues.
There would also be lost revenue from closing the Clubhouse for at least that day to accommodate preparation work for the meeting. Additionally, the Club would be unable to honour accommodation bookings, as the bathrooms associated with the accommodation would be dedicated – for certification purposes – to Members attending the EGM.
The Club estimates that the cost savings derived from holding the EGM at the ICC is not less than $100,000, based on the level of Member attendance referenced above.
The Club has always sought to hold its general meetings mid-week: this means they fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. For example, the Fitness Centre EGM in 2008 was held on a Thursday (22nd May), while the 2018 EGM was held on a Tuesday (19th June), the 2018 AGM was held on a Wednesday (21st March) and the recent AGM was held on a Thursday (4th April).
Wednesday 5th June was avoided due to the State of Origin Rugby League match being held that evening. Not only is this a popular event watched by many Members but, perhaps more relevantly, draws large crowds of people to the entertainment venues located around Darling Harbour.
Due to the nature of the EGM, in which thorough discussion of the Constitution Review content and associated special resolutions are anticipated to take place, it is conceivable that the meeting may run for some time. The quality of the time spent in discussion and deliberation will be critical to informed outcomes.
The voting process will also be time-consuming. At the meeting, more than one vote will take place – in fact, up to five separate votes may need to take place to decide certain outcomes.
The ICC is located in the new entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour. Click here for a Google Maps location of the venue.
The ICC is located on the Pyrmont side of Darling Harbour, with a turnoff available from the Western Distributor (A4). If you are coming from the Eastern Suburbs, the Cross-City Tunnel can be used to avoid CBD peak-hour traffic.
The ICC is conveniently located near several key transport locations.
- Light Rail – the ICC entrance is a five minute walk from the Convention Centre light rail stop. Click here to view the route.
- Ferry – the ICC entrance is a 12 minute walk from Pyrmont Bay ferry wharf. Click here to view the route.
- Train – the ICC entrance is a 12 minute walk from Town Hall train station. Click here to view the route. It is also a 15 minute walk from Central Station. Click here to view the route.
- Bus – If heading from the Rose Bay / Vaucluse area, the 324 and 325 buses run directly to Town Hall, which is a 12 minute walk to the ICC. Click here to view the route. If heading from North Sydney, the 252 or M20 buses run from the north side of the city towards Town Hall / Wynyard, from where the ICC is a 12-20 minute walk.
Members taking taxis or Ubers should request to be dropped off at Iron Wharf Place directly outside the Darling Theatre to minimise walking distance to the ICC.
ICC Sydney has two car parking facilities located within the Exhibition Centre and ICC Sydney Theatre, comprising a total of 826 car spaces. These facilities charge a night flat-rate of $28.00 (entry after 5.00pm).
Additionally, there are secure car parks located in and around Darling Harbour, including Wilson Harbourside Car Park and Wilson Darling Square Car Park, as well as various street parking options.
The Club has also arranged coaches that will run from the Club to the ICC prior to the meeting, and from the ICC back to the Club after the meeting has concluded.
The cost of a return journey will be $20.00 per person. One-way journeys are not available. Amounts will be charged to members’ accounts.
Bookings can be made via the EGM Bus Booking Form. Bookings must be made no later than Friday 31st May at 5.00pm.
All members are advised to bring their green Membership Cards with them to the EGM. This will allow a faster registration process at the beginning of the meeting. If you have lost your Membership Card, you should immediately contact the Club to have it replaced by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Members are also well-advised to bring all the items from the Constitution Review Information Pack. More information about these items is detailed below.
All members will have been delivered an EGM Information Pack in the mail as of Monday 13th May. Please note that items may have arrived after this date for members who reside further from the Club.
All items in the pack, as well as additional information about the EGM and Constitution Review are available to be viewed, downloaded and printed via the ‘Constitution Review’ section of the Club’s website.
This Information Pack includes:
- A personal letter from the President, which provides background on the Constitution Review and a brief overview of the EGM documents.
- A Voting Guide, which helps explain how voting on the various Resolutions will be conducted at the EGM.
- The official Notice of Meeting & Annexures, which includes the order of business and provides further information on the resolutions being voted open.
- A full copy of the Proposed New Constitution.
- The Summary Table, which provides a summary of the key constitution changes.
As indicated above, all of these items and additional material regarding the EGM and Constitution Review is available via the ‘Constitution Review’ section of the Club’s website, and will be arriving in the mail to all members from Monday 13th May.
Taking into consideration postal time for addresses in the country, interstate and overseas, if you feel your EGM Information Pack has been lost in the mail please contact Reception at email@example.com or on (02) 8362 7000.
Alternatively, digital versions can be viewed, downloaded and printed via the ‘Constitution Review’ of the Club’s website.
The Club’s by-laws are the various rules, practices and procedures currently set out in the Annual Handbook (Green Book), Membership Policy documents and various Member Notices. In the interests of ease of access, consistency and transparency to Members, the General Committee has now adopted by-laws (the ‘By-laws’) that consolidate these rules, practices and procedures.
The By-laws can be viewed by clicking here.
There is no lock-out time for the EGM – members may enter the meeting at any point in the proceedings.
Either three or five votes will take place throughout the meeting to cover all resolutions (click here to view a guide to the voting procedure). Please note that once voting has closed on a particular resolution, no further votes can be cast on that resolution.
Members unable to attend the meeting may wish to submit a formal apology by emailing Meeting.Apologies@rsgc.com.au. Please provide your full name and Club number.