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Journeys : Oct Nov 2010
RACT Annual Report 09–10 4 Group Chief Executive’s Report Our RACT Community Fund has continued to offer support to Tasmanian organisations doing valuable work in various parts of the state. In the fourth round we awarded grants to organisations including Play Group Tasmania’s Play Spots program; PCYC’s Inclusive Trampoline Sports project; and Delta Therapy, for its Pet Partner Program, in conjunction with Dogs Australia. Again this year the RACT has performed strongly in its roles as community sponsor and supporter and as a public advocate for the motorist. “”After nearly 12 years at the helm of the R AC T, this is my last annual report before I step down to embark on some new challenges. I am very pleased to be able to report that, at year’s end, the RACT recorded a surplus of over $3 million. In reaching this yea r’s result the RACT is indebted to its members and its staff. Our staff have increasingly excelled in terms of their professionalism, their approach to product development and service management and their enthusiasm. In return, members and customers have responded by showing great trust and loyalty in the services and products offered by the RACT. Our three key business areas of Roadside Assistance, Insurance and Travel all performed well over the course of the year. RACT membership at the end of the financial year stood at 184,538, comprising 113,964 Roadside members and 70,574 Access members. This is an increase of more than 14,000 on total membership at the end of the previous financial year when total membership stood at 170,446, comprising 111,63 6 Roadside members and 58,810 Access members. Our members include a special contingent of 1,200 Tasmanians who have held their RACT membership for 50 years or more. During the year we held two presentations for members who had just achieved their 50-year membership milestone. RACT Insurance, now into its 25th year, experienced a tough first half due to a series of weather related incidents including an historically wet winter period. However, the second half was a period of benign weather and RACT Insurance ended the year with growth of 10 percent in its Gross Written Premium. At the same time, it firmly entrenched its position as Tasmania’s largest general insurer. Much of its success can be attributed to the fact that RACT Insurance is Tasmanian based, staffed and run. The policies it offers are based on uniquely Tasmanian conditions and experiences. I am particularly pleased to be able to report this year a return to surplus by RACT Travelworld. Our travel arm enjoyed a small surplus after a strong performance in the second half of this year when travellers shook off the concerns of the global financial crisis in 2008 – concerns which lingered into the first half of this year before a strong turnaround in the second half. In my contribution to the annual report last year I noted that the economic uncertainty at the time meant that travel and tourism were deeply affected all over the globe. I related that travel was an important service for our membership and our customers and that we would continue to support this part of our business until international travel returned to its growth trajectory. So I am pleased to be able to relate this year that our determination to stand by our travel arm sees it now returning to profit and contributing to the strong surplus which has been achieved by the RACT in this financial year. My congratulations to our Travelworld team on their positive and successful response to the fall-out of 2008. During the year we completed a major program to install a computer aided despatch (CAD) system. Over three years it has been an investment of over $400,000 and it represents state-of-the-art customer service in terms of logging incoming calls for assistance and despatching our Roadside patrols. It will give us the ability to roll-out new benefits for members, such as applications for the iPhone. However our capital works program has been dominated this year by the new RACT headquarters building in Hobart. I explained the benefits this will bring in last year’s annual report and I am pleased to note this year that the project remains on budget and on time. In addition, during the year, we secured tenancies for sections of the four storey building
Aug Sep 2010