Sydney Dragway Chairman update 7th April

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As we approach the first 100 days (on April 17) since the Sub Board was installed I trust you have seen some changes.  Some at the track are obvious – new sponsors, new signs and a paint job.  Some are less so – but I hope you are sensing a new attitude; and some are not yet apparent.
When I was elected Chairman late last year one of my first tasks was to ascertain the financial position of the company.  There have been any numberof rumours about why the company was in financial difficulty – suffice for me to say it was but is something we are attacking.

Sydney Dragway is a Not for Profit company so all surplus funds are to be used for site improvements.  And all such improvements are intended to enhance your time at the track.

It is something we address each day.  Expenditure on staff, advertising, and event costs have been reviewed and curtailed where possible.  At this time we are meeting all current commitments and are working closely with ANDRA on outstandings due to them.

In the time since January 7thPieter has worked with Sandra Garland and an independent Accountant and reviewed all the financial accounts, the Contracts and Agreements the Dragway has with a range of suppliers and sponsors; the processes for ticketing and the accounting of cash; the procedure for purchase orders and work orders and the payment of invoices. Event budgeting and cash flow projections are also being reviewed so that a new process can be introduced for next season. These are normal business practices and as these are re established I know you will see a difference in the business of the Dragway.  As a condition of our Lease we are compelled to have the accounts audited and an Audit has been completed each year.  The Annual Financial Report for the year ended 30thJune 2010 is still to be finalised.  Pieter is also auditing all invoices which pre date the appointment of the Sub Board to confirm purchase orders and work orders match actual work undertaken.  This is taking some time.

One issue which has direct impact on the tracks financial position is of course the weather!  And this affects costs and refunds.  I am aware some of you are unhappy with the decision not refund entry fees for the Pro Series event.  However, once the event commences – that is you arrive in the pits – our costs begin to accumulate.  All staff, officials, security, car park attendants, cleaners and paramedics have minimum call out fees – and once on site they must be paid.  Additionally all track preparations must be paid for, all catering must be paid for, and all printing and any advertising must be paid.  These costs are very significant.  I am very appreciative of the many of you who have accepted the decision for the benefit of the track.

I have received some suggestions we adopt a pro rata refund policy based on the number of runs you have – difficult since costs are not pro rata.  We are also looking at how best to structure the entry fees and balance administration and event costs.  Insurance has also been raised and this is also being investigated.  Please appreciate that your Entry Fee does not cover the actual cost of an event and we need both event sponsors and spectators to not only cover all costs but also make a profit for future development.

I previously mentioned we want to establish a way of becoming a “Friend of Sydney Dragway” so I ask you use access via the website to express your interest.  You might like to include suggestions how you can display your support and what we as friends can collectively do.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank the staff at the Dragway; those of you who have been to watch our events; the racers who continue to compete at our track, your track; and the members of the Sub Board for their dedication and passion – It’s been a good 100days – bring on the next 100!!!

Sam Sofi

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