For more than a century, RACV has supported the needs of members and the wider Victorian community. This year, the RACV Community Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary. RACV has proudly sponsored and consistently contributed to the strong growth of the RACV Community Foundation, which has supported more than 300 charities during the past 20 years with grants totalling some $4 million. I am pleased to report that the RACV Community Foundation is now of sufficient size to be able to expand its grant program to boost the capacity of organisations that prove effective in improving the lives of Victorians.
The first grant from the expanded program sees $290,000 go to the KIDS Foundation (kidsfoundation.org.au), a leader in childhood injury prevention and injury recovery. The grant will enable the KIDS Foundation to engage with 2000 pre-school and early learning centres across the state, increasing safety understanding and responsible practices in the home, on the road and in the community. The grant will assist in reaching 100,000 children and their families. The KIDS Foundation is a remarkable organisation, and one that the RACV Community Foundation is proud to support.
As the latest census data shows, Melbourne’s population is expected to increase to eight million by 2050. This will see the city expand and population density increase in inner and middle suburbs.
With the effects of a growing population – more time in traffic being just one – RACV recognises that members are increasingly choosing transport options beyond their car. Members are motorists, public transport users, bicycle and motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. That is why RACV advocates for all transport users, calling for improvements in roads, public transport, cycling and walking facilities. We are also working to provide a range of products and services to balance the needs of all Victorians – the recent expansion of RACV Car Share is one example.
In research, members say we need new roads, improved traffic management, new and more regular public transport services, parking at rail stations, priority for public transport and safer bicycle facilities.
The Victorian Government has committed to a number of major projects that Melbourne desperately needs, and which RACV has long called for. The Melbourne Metro Rail is a significant first step to improving train access through central Melbourne. With new signalling, longer carriages and re-routing trams within the CBD, the long-term benefit will see increased public transport capacity and reliability, and greater access to employment and education. The fast-growing western suburbs and the freight industry will benefit from the West Gate Tunnel project.
RACV has long advocated for the North East Link and we are pleased to see the strong commitment by the Victorian Government to deliver this critical project.
RACV has also strongly supported a rail link to Melbourne Airport and we are keen to see how Federal and State Governments will partner to make this happen.
Our commitment to members is simple: RACV will continue to provide the services they love and need, as well as advocate on issues important to them to ensure the best quality of life for all Victorians.
Kevin W White, President & Chairman of the Board