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Journeys : Oct Nov 2011
Chief Executive Officer’s Report advice and practical assistance on their installation. We are indebted to the MAIB which offered funding so that this program could be taken to rural Tasmania. I have also had the honour to represent the RACT on the peak road safety body, the Road Safety Advisory Council, which replaced two previous government road safety bodies. While RSAC provides high level advice and recommendations to the state government, our participation has not stopped the RACT maintaining an independent voice when we believe the interests of our members are at stake. Just such a situation arose during the year when the RACT campaigned strongly against Government plans to introduce a blanket speed limit reduction on Tasmanian rural and regional roads from 100km/h to 90 km/h. As part of our campaign, the RACT undertook a web poll of members which confirmed our stance and, towards the end of the financial year, it appeared the Government was moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to rural speed limits in favour of a case-by-case evaluation of roads. The RACT had argued that an across-the-board reduction in rural speed limits would penalise all responsible drivers for little return in road safety outcomes. Similarly, the RACT managed to secure a review of End Speed Limit signs. These signs are not used widely in other jurisdictions but are ubiquitous on Tasmanian rural roads and are a constant source of complaint to the Club. The RACT mounted a campaign – dubbed End the Confusion – which included the production of bumper stickers. At the end of the year we were keeping a close watch on the review of the signage which is now underway. The RACT made a pre-Budget submission to the State Government and subsequently attended a lock up to preview the Budget hours before it was handed down. The Government produced an austerity Budget which impacted on schools, health and policing. It included an $8.1million cut to the Department of Police and Emergency Services budget which caused concern to the RACT because of the implications for road safety policing. Following my appointment as Chief Executive Officer, I made some structural changes to the organisation to focus on our strategic intent of enhancing member service and delivering new services such as health insurance. In particular, these changes place an emphasis on IT development and strategic marketing as important means of member engagement in the years ahead, alongside our traditional channels of servicing member needs. After my appointment as CEO, I travelled the state to brief staff on my plans for the journey ahead. I am very mindful that in 30 years, I am only the third CEO of the RACT. So it is a very great privilege to attain this position. However, many of our staff also have enormous experience at the RACT. Our turnover rates are low and I mentioned to staff at our meetings that we worked for the most innovative and trusted Tasmanian organisation in this state and we had reached this point because of the efforts of the entire team. Staff should feel a very high degree of ownership over the position the RACT enjoys within the Tasmanian community. Our service levels are under constant scrutiny and we all work to ensure they remain very high. Since the RACT was established in 1923, we have added greatly to the list of services we offer Tasmanians based on specific needs in this state. R ACT Health Insurance is our latest service in this spirit of community support. As a new financial year starts, the RACT will continue to listen to our members. RACT Health Insurance will be followed by other initiatives in the years ahead, based upon identified member needs. Harvey Lennon During the year, RACT campaigned strongly on key issues in the area of motoring and road safety. We opposed the Government’s plans to introduce a blanket speed reduction on rural and regional roads and we were successful in securing a review of the confusing END Speed Limit signage. 62 October / November 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011