Page 2044 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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This bill repeals the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust Act 1992. This act was enacted to formally establish the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust as a public charitable trust. The objectives and purposes of the trust, the powers and responsibilities of the trustees and other matters relating to the functions and operations of the trust are set out in the trust deed which is also contained as a schedule to the act.

The bill also includes amendments to the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 to provide transitional measures which preserve sections 5 and 6 of the repealed act for specified periods beyond the commencement of the bill.

Section 5 declares the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust to be a valid charitable trust established for public charitable purposes. This clause is preserved to allow the trust to wind up its current contractual obligations over the next three years. This will avoid any doubt as to the trust maintaining its charitable status until its cessation.

Section 6 of the repealed act provides indemnity for the trustees, the NRMA, the territory and any person acting under their direction from legal liabilities. This section is preserved for a further 15 years after the act’s repeal.

The 15-year expiry will allow trustees to undertake the necessary decisions to cease the trust within a three-year period while also providing the minimum protection of 12 years once the trust ceases operations. This is a requirement which stems from the limitations provisions contained in the Limitation Act 1985. This will ensure that the trust’s activities can be carried out effectively without unnecessarily restrictive constraints imposed by potential legal actions that might otherwise arise.

The cessation of the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust will occur over a period of up to three years. During this period the trust will continue to manage and meet existing commitments for current grants and other projects and undertake other requirements to cease the trust, including allocation of any residual funds.

Under the terms of the deed which established the trust, any residual funds maintained by the trust must be directed to organisations whose objects and purposes are consistent with those of the trust; that is, directed at improving road safety. While the direction of any remaining funds has yet to be determined, as a charitable trust, any residual funds left over at the dissolution of the trust cannot be transferred to the government or to NRMA Insurance.

The trust’s contribution to improving road safety in the ACT has been significant and highly valued by the ACT government and ACT community. The trust was set up to provide funding to initiatives that enhance road safety for the road-using community in the ACT and, in undertaking this objective, the trust has allocated over $20 million to over 350 road safety projects.

A key project funded by the trust is the establishment of the Dorothy Sales Cottages. The trust provided $750,000 to the National Brain Injury Foundation to build and equip a prolonged care facility in Hughes for young people with acquired brain injury resulting from road crashes. The cottages are run by CatholicCare and provide individually tailored therapeutic and clinical support to long-term residents. In

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