From the President February 2017

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

RACV President Kevin White

Welcome to your first edition of RoyalAuto for 2017. We are looking forward to another great year of providing RACV services to members in their homes, on the road and during their leisure time.

I am pleased to advise that RACV has established a new Home Innovation team, which has been formed to help members navigate the new realities of running their homes in an energy-efficient manner.

For instance, changes in the solar feed-in tariff will affect many members who have solar power in their homes or are considering buying a solar power system. RACV’s advice can also help members without solar, with tips on how to avoid ‘bill shock’ and other issues.

RACV is always seeking to deliver value and reward members’ loyalty. I am delighted to let you know that we have removed the establishment fee for Emergency Home Assist and are extending the multi-policy discount to members who insure classic, vintage or veteran cars through RACV.

Our RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel offers members a great holiday location in Tasmania and I thank members for their patience in 2016 while we undertook extensive work to upgrade the facilities.

The refurbished property includes a new reception and hotel entry, new lounge with feature fireplace, a roof over the glass atrium, a new gymnasium and a fully renovated restaurant. The heritage-listed Cascade House has also been refurbished. There’s never been a better time to take advantage of the member discount on great-value accommodation rates.

Over the past year, RACV has been pleased to see action on many transport projects and initiatives we have been advocating for on behalf of members. The rail level crossing abolition program is well underway, the Metropolitan Rail Tunnel will commence in 2017, the Western Distributor, to provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, is close to a final decision and a new package of road and public transport upgrades in Melbourne’s west will commence in 2017.

In late December, we were pleased with the State Government’s commitment to deliver the North East Link – the Metropolitan Ring Road’s missing link. This has long been RACV’s number one project and is strongly supported by the transport and business sectors and the broader community. RACV will be heavily engaged in the route selection study for this link.

I would like to highlight two other matters that have been the subject of community and media concern. These are the state of the road toll, and speculation surrounding autonomous vehicles.

Last year, 39 more people died in Victorian road crashes than in 2015, and there has been a huge rise in serious injuries. In 2017, RACV will be pushing even harder for increased investment in safer roads, along with incentives to enable more people to get a safer car. We also want everyone to ensure they drive safely.

Vehicle manufacturers are introducing new smart technologies, and RACV will keep advocating for these safety systems to be available in all cars, given research confirms that driver distraction causes many crashes. Several companies are also talking about ‘driverless’ car trials. RACV will engage with them to ensure these technologies improve safety and mobility.

Kevin W White, President & Chairman of the Board