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Meeting held at the home of Carolyn Baird.

  1. Meeting declared opened at 2.05pm.

  2. Members Present:

    • Carolyn Baird
    • Gavin Condon
    • Peter Longworth
    • Nigel Bell
    • Jemina Pickering
    • Craig Pickering

  3. Apologies:

    • Justin O'Leary
    • Joe Costello
    • Marc Walters
    • Alan Gillanders

  4. Minutes of September 19th, 1999 Regional Meeting: A printed copy of the previous minutes was circulated and read by all present. Peter approved the minutes. Seconded by Nigel. Accepted unanimously.

  5. Regional Report: A printed copy of the Co-ordinator's report and the Treasurer's report for end of October were circulated.


    • Finances:

      With the renewals from members in October, our finances gained some ground but since our display ad appeared in The Star on November 3rd, the situation is Hunter has improved dramatically.

      Our yearly income currently stands at $6900 which exceeds our Ozemail fees and Telstra charges by $1600. This, of course, is still not enough to pay off our debt to the national body in the short term but it does indicate that in the longer term we are now a financially viable region provided we can maintain our membership at this level or higher until the APANA debt is settled.

    • Equipment:

      Apart from a few modems not resetting properly; the continuing problems with news access and a minor glitch with sendmail, all of which were able to be attended to promptly by the admin team - thanks to members bringing them to their attention without delay - there have been no major problems with our equipment during this time.

      New member, Alan Gillanders, has donated a 175MB Seagate hard-drive and 16MB of EDO RAM to the region (Thanks Alan!).

    • Members:

      In the past 10 days, 6 new members have joined and one member of the Wollongong region has transferred to us. Bringing the total of members receiving access through our system to 40. A further 7 applications were mailed out during this period.

      Members are now being encouraged to print out and distribute our flyer produced with the help of Chris Roughsedge of the Wollongong region (many thanks, Chris!). I've already received two responses to the flyer but expect more over coming weeks.

    • Complaints:

      No complaints were received from existing members during this period. A few new members experienced difficulties in configuring their machines and received free support from two RC members to complete their connection to us. However new members are reminded that:

      "Please note that we are a volunteer-run organisation, and do not have the resources to provide much technical support. All members will endeavour to assist you in any way we can, but ultimately the responsibility of establishing a reliable connection is your own since we are together as a group to provide ourselves with Internet Access and we are not Service Providers."

      So any member continuing to experience problems with their computer which they are not able to resolve on their own or from advice given through email with other members are expected to bring them to one of our fix-it days for any additional free support.

    • Expenditure:

      Printing, postage and phone call costs are the only expenditure since June 30th. The account from The Star has not been received as yet, but it is expected to be for $70.

      	2 x cartridges (B/W & Col) plus 2 x refills	$ 130.90
      	Paper & Staples					            $   9.15
      	Postage						                $   9.00
      	Telstra						                $   9.00
      	Optus						                $  19.86
      							                    $ 177.91

      Printing costs are high due to the production of the flyers and information for applicants and new members. It is however expenditure that is expected to pay for itself in coming months.

      Expenditure approved by Gavin. Seconded Nigel.

    • Conclusion:

      Our first barbeque and fix-it day following our AGRM on October 24th was so successful that it is intended to make these regular features of all future regional committee meetings. Two members were delighted to finally have their computers fixed after a month of trying to sort their problems out themselves (Thanks Gavin!). Nigel was assigned the role of cook and did an excellent job despite setting off the smoke-alarms by having the barbeque on the front verandah due to the rain (Thanks Nigel!). It WAS a fun-day so I hope that many more members will attend such events in the future.

      The future of the Hunter Region is looking exceptionally bright from all angles.

  7. Fees for Year 2000
    • Dialin Access: Carolyn proposed that no increase in the fee for dialin access be considered for the new year due to the increase in membership numbers. Seconded Gavin. Accepted unanimously.
    • Permanent Connection: Carolyn proposed that a setup fee of $386 and yearly access fee of $490 be adopted for permanent connections. Seconded Nigel. Accepted unanimously.

  8. Policies
    • Expired access: Carolyn proposed that on receipt of notification from the database of overdue access fees that member's regional account be frozen until the access fees are paid. Seconded Gavin. Accepted unanimously.
    • Revision of boot policy: Carolyn proposed that the current boot policy be amended to an hour between boot and reconnect instead of the current half an hour. Seconded Jem. Accepted unanimously.
    • Revision of connect times: Pik suggested that the length of previous session remain in effect for an hour following disconnection to deter members from disconnecting and reconnecting immediately in order to avoid being booted after 3 hours. Proposed Carolyn. Seconded Gavin. Accepted unanimously.
    • Permanent connections: Carolyn proposed that the region adopt a policy of having only APANA's equipment at the hub for the purpose of providing permanent connections to members (ie members cannot negotiate a reduction in fees by offering to provide their own equipment for their connection). The phone lines for the permanent connections will be installed as APANA's lines and will be incoming only. Seconded Nigel. Accepted unanimously.

  9. Advertising

    Carolyn advised that 5 members had distributed a limited number of flyers in their areas. Economical ways of printing and distributing the flyers were discussed. Carolyn to investigate the cost of having them commercially printed.

    With the success of the ad in The Star in recruiting new members, Carolyn proposed that the ad be run again in December. Seconded Peter. Accepted unanimously.

    Copies of the letters sent to the White Pages - requesting an entry - and the Yellow Pages - requesting information regarding cost of an entry - were circulated for approval. Approved: Jem. Seconded: Nigel

    Carolyn advised that no further information was to hand regarding Andrew's suggestion of producing business cards.

  10. Ozemail

    Carolyn advised that from October 17th until November 7th, 3 of Ozemail's mailservers were spam-blocked by and therefore some of our outgoing mail was being bounced. Despite notifying Ozemail of the problem in 3 emails and 4 phone calls over a period of a week, none of their suggested 'solutions' worked so we just had to wait until they finally contacted and had the spam-blocks removed.

    Discussion of other options ensued but no further actions were recommended.

  11. Insurance for Region

    Carolyn advised that an individual public liability policy for the region would cost $278 plus @ year, so she proposed that this be deferred until August next year when the region can look at organising a separate insurance policy for the region's equipment and include the public liability in that policy.

  12. Discussion

    Carolyn advised that APANA's amended rules came into effect on October 29th, 1999. A copy of the rules were circulated and new definition of Member discussed.

  13. Other Business

    Carolyn & Nigel reported their experience with a new member added to the region on Friday who had already subjected both of them to verbal abuse as the result of her failure to comprehend the aims or purpose of APANA or the Hunter Region. It was proposed that application be made to the Management Committee to have this new member's access fees returned to her and her membership cancelled. Seconded Gavin. Accepted unanimously.

  14. The next meeting will be held in the latter part of January. Date and time to be advised.

  15. Meeting declared closed at 3.41pm.

(prepared by Carolyn on 20/11/99)