TDCA to vote on merger

A date has been earmarked for clubs in the Traralgon and District Cricket Association to decide the fate of the competition’s future structure and whether it will merge with the Central Gippsland Cricket Association.

The TDCA is expected to hold a special general meeting for clubs to vote on the proposed merger in the last week of February, but no official notice has been sent to clubs.

Despite a request for a special general meeting by three of the league’s 11 clubs, the TDCA’s executive said it was “disappointed” with the review process undertaken to date.

For the merger to take place 75 per cent of the league’s clubs would have to vote in favour of forming the Latrobe Valley Cricket Association and merging with the CGCA – which voted overwhelming in favour for the move in November.

But TDCA secretary Gavin Foenander said a merger of the region’s two top cricket competitions would have “significant impacts” on the future of local clubs.

“This proposed restructure is calling for significant change and in our role as the TDCA executive we will act in the best interests of our clubs and ensure that they have all the facts and are making any decisions with all the necessary information at hand,” Mr Foenander, who has publicly voiced his opposition against the merger, said.

“We want to ensure that the clubs understand that any changes they make now will have a significant impact on the future of their clubs.”

Last week The Express revealed Glengarry Cricket Club had lodged a request for the meeting only days earlier with the support of Traralgon West and Morwell Tigers Yinnar Raiders.

It comes only weeks after the CGCA registered the Latrobe Valley Cricket Association name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“From discussions we have had with clubs to this point, it’s clear that there are some of our clubs that see a lot of merit in the proposed restructure and there are also clubs that are very reluctant to consider a restructure based on the current model proposed,” Mr Foenander said.

“Up to this point the TDCA executive and some of the clubs have been disappointed in the review process that has been undertaken.”

Mr Foenander said the review, which was completed by members from both cricket associations, was never sanctioned by the TDCA, and the review community was put together by “self-appointed” community members.

“There were also draft recommendations made and published before any of our clubs had even had the pleasure [of] a one-on-one formal meeting with the review committee,” he said.

But despite his opposition, Mr Foenander said he was keen to move forward with the special general meeting and “respect that some of our clubs have positive views of the changes proposed”.

But Latrobe Valley Cricket Association review committee member Tim Darby dismissed Mr Foenander’s claims and said the review had been a transparent and well-organised process.

“Prior to the committee being formed at a TDCA delegates’ meeting, clubs were asked if they would like to be part of a group to meet with CGCA representatives to look at and discuss the future of cricket,” said Mr Darby, who is also a TDCA executive member and stated his support for the merger.

“After the group first met, the TDCA executive were presented with a copy of the terms of reference of the group and project management plan which mapped out how things would progress if it was determined by that group that there was something worth exploring.

“From the research that the group completed, the review committee released a discussion and consultation paper to every stakeholder, and it was made publicly available, and from that discussion paper numerous clubs arranged meetings with the review committee to discuss the paper.”

Mr Darby said an additional two public forums were also held where members from both associations and the general public were welcome to attend.

“Those meetings informed the draft recommendations and then from the draft recommendations there was another consultation period which again included opportunities for discussions before the final recommendations were drafted and released.”