(** Disclaimer: I am paid by the ACT Junior Chess League(ACTJCL) for chess coaching services **)
In 1999 the ACF began to charge the states a levy on all the teams participating in their junior teams events. Actually, to be more correct, it was a levy on teams that were playing in competitions that could qualify that team for the Australian Schools Teams Championship. It was part of developing new income streams for the ACF, but I was of the opinion then, as well as now, that it was strange that they chose to take money from a group of people who were fairly distant from the ACF (school children), while not looking at ways to charge chess players much closer to the ACF (via a membership scheme).
Well it did succeed in generating more money for the ACF, although who carries the burden threw up some unusual figures. The ACT (population 300,000) was being asked to pay around $1,000 a year in the period 2004-2006. Multiply that by the population of Australia and the ACF should have been generating about $70,000 a year from the levy alone. Of course this wasn't nearly the case as how the levy was calculated turned out to be problematical.
In the case of the ACTJCL they ran a schools championship for each geographical zone (eg Amaroo Primary won the Gungahlin Zone this year). The ACTJCL then invited schools from each zone to play in the ACT Schools Championship (the number of teams from each zone depended upon the strength and numbers of the teams in each zone). They did this for the Primary, High School, Girls Primary, and Girls High Schools competitions. When the ACF asked them to report on the number of teams participating they included teams that had played in the zones (but who didn't play in the finals), assuming this was both the intent and the practice of the ACF levy. However, they discovered that this certainly wasn't the practice of other states, with the exception of Queensland. Astonishingly, states with a far greater population that the ACT were reporting team numbers a half or a quarter of the ACTJCL numbers. Some of this could be explained by the lack of a viable schools chess competition in that state, but in some cases it was the structure of the competition that allowed the states to exclude teams.
Realising that this was a problem, both for the ACTJCL (if the returns were below ACF budgeted predictions next year might see a fee rise, increasing the disproportionate burden on ACT teams) and the ACF (a reduced revenue stream), a letter was sent to the ACF Secretary (Jey Hoole) on the 25 April 2006, from the ACTJCL, laying out their concerns and asking the ACF to reassess the ACTJCL contribution, in light of the payments being made by the other states.
At the time the ACTJCL received no response to this letter.
It was only last week that the ACTJCL did in fact receive a response from the ACF. It reads
The ACF Council considered your response, and passed the following Motion in relation to this issue.
"That the ACF advise the ACTJCL of the following:
1) The ACTJCL in its letter of April 2006 notes that it has not paid the
ACF school levies for 2004 and 2005 and those levies are currently still
2) The ACTJCL has not provided the ACF with figures for 2006 so the ACF
is within its rights to base the 2006 levy on the 2004/2005 levies.
3) The ACF reduced the levy effective 2007. This reduction was not
retrospective. The original levy structure for 2004-2006 remains.
4) The levies for 2007 and 2008 are outstanding.
5) That if the ACTJCL does not pay the outstanding $3020 covering the
2004-2007 school levies by 31st August 2008 then as from 1st September
2008 the following sanctions will apply:
a) No ACT teams will be permitted to play in any ASTC event
including the 2008 event.
b) No ACT junior will be eligible for selection for overseas events
and as such will not be endorsed for overseas events and no grants paid.
(Juniors currently selected are not effected.)
c) No ACT junior will be accepted into future ERGAS training
d) No ACT Junior is eligible to win any ACF Junior title.
6) The above sanctions will be lifted once the ACF Treasurer confirms
the $3020 from the ACTJCL has been paid into the ACF account".