Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green with new chairman Steve Bracks. Picture: Michael Klein
FORMER Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has been appointed Cycling Australia chairman.
Bracks, a regular early-morning cyclist around Williamstown, will take the reigns of the national body aiming to achieve financial stability while unifying the sport across the country.
“Cycling is a mass participation sport. There’s more bikes sold in Australia per year than cars. It’s massive and getting bigger and bigger,” Bracks told the Herald Sun.
“We perform very well on the world stage at the elite level and have done so for some time, but improvements can always come.
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“We want to do better and that really relies on making sure the organisation is running well, that it’s effective, has a clear strategic direction and we’re united and that’s clearly what I’ll try to do.”
Bracks said his experience as chairman of the Geelong 2010 road world championships organising committee had left a lasting impression.
“It was the first time the Worlds had been held outside Europe and it was a spectacular event. That exposed me to the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and Cycling Australia and that was part of it,” he said.
“I’m like so many others in that I’m passionate about cycling. I also thought this was something I could do to give back and to utilise my skills in chairing the board, bringing about a unified position, a clear strategic direction and a way forward for the organisation.”
Steve Bracks has been appointed Cycling Australia chairman. Picture: Michael Klein
According to financial reports, Cycling Australia posted a $572,000 loss in 2013, $1.8 million in 2014 and was still about $1.6 million in debt at the end of 2015.
But the body’s financial problems were behind it, Bracks said.
“It is back in the black,” he said.
“The important task will be to stabilise the finances in the future and make sure there’s good long-term financial stability.
“I think it’s important that everyone’s on the one page, everyone’s clear and signed on and we’re all pointing in the one direction. I see that as one of my key performance indicators.”
Bracks will combine his new role with a busy work life that includes being chairman of Cbus Super, chairman of Kardinia Park Trust, AFL SportsReady chair and his position on the boards of two Sydney-based finance companies.
“I’ve got a full book, but I try to get on the bike as much as I can,” he said.
“I try to get out about three times a week. It’s not as much as it should be, but it never is.”