Page 2266 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015
When first established in 1992, the trust was provided with a $10 million contribution from the NRMA. However, since 1998 the trust has been funded by a road safety contribution paid when vehicles are registered in the ACT, with the NRMA matching the contributions paid.
Throughout its history, the trust has made many contributions in support of its aims, with over $20 million being allocated to over 350 projects since the trust was established. Most notably, a $750,000 grant from the trust helped to found the Dorothy Sales Cottages in Hughes, a facility which provides care to those who have received a brain injury as a result of a road accident. Other projects funded by the trust include a $43,000 grant to support, develop and distribute materials on road safety to ACT preschool and primary school students; a $35,000 grant to develop safer cycling strategies in the ACT and safer interaction between cyclists and other road users; and an $11,300 grant to help support safe driving practices when going to and from the snow. Many other well-known road safety measures, such as the road ready program, which allows new drivers to receive their L-plates, have also benefited immensely from the trust.
The trust has only been able to operate thanks to the hard work and devotion of the trustees. As the trust begins to be wound down, I would like to thank all those who have served as trustees and have helped to ensure that using the roads in and around the territory becomes safer for all concerned.
In conclusion, the opposition will be supporting the bill today.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (5.10): I, too, speak in support of the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust Repeal Bill. While the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust is a real success story, I agree with Minister Rattenbury’s reasons for bringing the arrangement to an end. We simply cannot have a situation where the government is involved in a partnership with a single insurer; it is clearly not consistent with encouraging competition or the principle of ensuring a level playing field for all insurers.
However, I would like to put on the record my thanks to the trust for the positive work that it has carried out in the last 23 years. The NRMA road safety trust was created in 1992, with original funding of $10 million provided by NRMA Insurance. It represented surplus third-party insurance premiums arising from lower than expected insurance claims during the 1980s. In the 23 years since its inception, the trust has funded over 400 projects, many of which have assisted the government in its management of road safety, seen in our more recent projects and developments.
The funding programs have had a key theme of working with vulnerable and at-risk drivers and road users. In recent years, the trust has targeted funding towards children’s education programs, new driver training initiatives, older driving training programs and cycling safety initiatives.