Growth in memberships has enabled the Association of Motorcycle and Automobile Clubs (the AMA) to test funding models that could be used for acquiring land and establishing facilities in suitable localities throughout Australia to support the objects of the AMA.
It was decided that the co-operative (coop) model was the most appropriate legal model for this enterprise because it was capable of bringing in investment from AMA Clubs members and engaging the same community in its activities through active membership.
The AMA has now moved to its operational phase where AMA coops can issue shares in order to finance the acquisition of land and associated infrastructure for camping, driving, riding and any associated activities.
What are the primary activities of AMA coops?
As described in the rules, the primary activity of an AMA RV Park, is to provide an area where people can stay overnight, or longer, in allotted 'campsites', whereas the primary activity of an AMA RV Village is to provide an area where people can live with their RV's and visitors can stay overnight, or longer, in allotted 'campsites'.
The primary activity of an AMA ORV Park, is to provide an area where camping and associated activities and driving and riding skills and knowledge can be learnt and practised ‘off road’, whereas the primary activity of an AMA ORV Village is to provide an area where people can live with their ORV's and visitors can camp overnight and participate in associated activities and learn skills and knowledge from practising driving and riding 'off road'.
Are AMA coops distributing or non distributing?
Any AMA coop that does not charge a fee to access the coop property, will generally be non distributing, ie. the benefit of membership to the coop is for property access only for the purposes of camping and associated activities.
Any AMA coop that does charge a fee for property access or could be considered commercial in nature, eg. a 4WD park will be distributing, which means the AMA coops have share capital and members must hold at least the minimum shareholding specified in the rules of the coop. As a distributing coop, members shall receive a part of the surplus generated in a year by way of:
- a rebate, or
- the issue of bonus shares to members, or
- the issue of a limited dividend.
The AMA coops idea is simple, to provide an avenue where Australians can come together and affordably own their own slice of Australia.
In short - the AMA coops are about people coming together to share in the cost of buying land for their personal use.