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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 RACT, this is my last annualreportbeforeIstepdowntoembarkonsomenewchallenges.I am very pleased to be able to report that, at year’s end, the RACTrecordedasurplusofover$3million.In reaching this year’s result the RACT is indebted to its membersanditsstaff.Ourstaffhaveincreasinglyexcelledintermsoftheirprofessionalism,theirapproachtoproductdevelopmentandservicemanagementandtheirenthusiasm.Inreturn,membersandcustomershaverespondedbyshowinggreattrustandloyaltyintheservicesandproductsofferedbytheRACT.OurthreekeybusinessareasofRoadsideAssistance,InsuranceandTravelallperformedwelloverthecourseoftheyear.RACTmembershipattheendofthefinancialyearstoodat 184,538, comprising 113,964 Roadside members and 70,574Accessmembers.Thisisanincreaseofmorethan14,000 on total membership at the end of the previous financial year when total membership stood at 170,446, comprising 111,636 Roadside members and 58,810 Accessmembers.Our members include a special contingent of 1,200 TasmanianswhohaveheldtheirRACTmembershipfor50 years or more. During the year we held two presentations formemberswhohadjustachievedtheir50-yearmembershipmilestone.RACTInsurance,nowintoits25thyear,experiencedatoughfirsthalfduetoaseriesofweatherrelatedincidentsincludingan historically wet winter period. However, the second half wasaperiodofbenignweatherandRACTInsuranceendedthe year with growth of 10 percent in its Gross Written Premium.Atthesametime,itfirmlyentrencheditspositionas Tasmania’s largest general insurer.Much of its success can be attributed to the fact that RACT InsuranceisTasmanianbased,staffedandrun.ThepoliciesitoffersarebasedonuniquelyTasmanianconditionsandexperiences. 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 RACT Annual Report 09–10 5 2009 10 our development of recommendations for consideration by political parties ahead of the state election in March. We also conducted free winter car safety checks in Launceston, Devonport, Burnie and Hobart and we continued our long running support for ANCAP, the Australasian New Car Assessment program, which crash tests new cars to determine occupant safety. As I mentioned at the start of this report I am about to stand down after nearly 12 years as Chief Executive of the R ACT. Over that time RACT Insurance Gross Written Premium has quadrupled and we have gone from number five in the Tasmanian insurance market to number one. RACT Tr avelw or ld revenues have grown from $15 million to $35 million over the decade and we have increased our branch presence significantly around the state. Since we introduced Advantage, Ultimate and Access categories of membership total membership has increased from 98,761 to 184,538. Access membership was introduced to recognise our insurance and travel customers and has proven to be very well-received. By providing these customers with Access membership we give them the opportunity to have a look at us, our services and our products. As a result some 20% of our membership growth in Roadside comes from Access members who decide to upgrade to full membership. which will provide a new income for the RACT. Our business model for this project shows the new building generating over $800,000 per annum in new income from tenancies five years after its opening. We have paid particular attention to designing a new building which features environmentally friendly aspects and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Tasmanian businesses which have assisted in this important development. When we set out on this project we were determined that it should utilise Tasmanian skills and expertise. So almost every business involved – from our architects to our builders – are based around the State. In this way the full benefits of the $17 million development flow statewide. The development has also been timely for our building industry, occurring as it did, during a downturn in the building sector. This year has seen another important result for the R ACT. We have developed a comprehensive program of occupational health and safety over the last four or five years and this year saw particularly low levels of workers’ compensation claims, lost days through injuries, and reportable incidents. Again this year, as reported by the Chairman, the RACT has performed strongly in its roles as community sponsor and supporter and as a public advocate for the motorist. Activities in our public advocacy role have ranged from participation on peak Tasmanian road safety bodies such as the Road Safety Task Force and the Road Safety Council to RACT members assisted the Choir of High Hopes through purchases through our branch network of their CD ‘A Rough Diamond Christmas’. The choir is dedicated to helping disadvantaged Tasmanians to rediscover themselves through the power of song. During the year, RACT Insurance won the Australian Business Arts Foundation’s Encouragement Award for the Tasmanian Portraiture Prize initiative, now in its third year. RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers says that the Portraiture Prize creates opportunities for aspiring young Tasmanian artists and celebrates people who live in every Tasmanian community. Lindisfarne artist Nathan Grey won the 2009 prize; while Rachael Gates’ portrait of legendary jazzman Ian Pearce was named People’s Choice winner.
Aug Sep 2010