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OPEN ROAD 7
On behalf of your NRMA Board, management and staff, let me
begin by saying happy New Year to all our Members. This year
marks an important one on the political calendar, with state
and federal elections expected to be held just weeks apart.
Half of all our Members live in regional NSW, and
unfortunately too many of them are familiar with seeing
underinvestment in infrastructure and services.
In the coming weeks the NRMA will launch a strategy to
help you have your say about what transport issues are
important to you in the lead-up to the election. The last time
we asked you this was in 2015 and you told us the Pacific
Highway on the north coast was the worst road in the state.
You also flagged Bucketts Way in the Upper Hunter, and the
Mitchell and Newell Highways.
These roads have since had important upgrades, which is a
demonstration of how effective the NRMA and its Members
can be in getting positive outcomes through working
together. We can now report that by next year the Pacific
Highway will be fully duplicated; plans have been announced
for upgrades on Bucketts Way; funding has been spent to
realign sections of the Mitchell; and the Newell has new
overtaking lanes and rest areas.
These road projects – and indeed the continued improvement
of all roads in our region – are priorities we want to urge the
NSW Government to continue to keep at the top of their agenda.
Safer roads save lives. That’s why it’s so important that you, as
our eyes and ears throughout the Townsend region, let us know
which roads you want us to continue the fight for and the
broader transport and tourism issues that matter to you.
We want our regional communities to flourish through
connectivity, safer roads and tourism opportunities. Let’s
make 2019 a year of advocating for keeping our regional
HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT TRANSPORT ISSUES
TIM TRUMPER Chairman
We’re ready for the electric future
The NRMA is taking
steps to smooth
the transition to
AS WE CLOSE IN ON the NRMA’s
centenary year, it’s appropriate
that the cover of this Open Road is
all about the future. Only several
weeks after Hyundai released its
Ioniq on the Australian market, the
new Nissan Leaf has arrived.
Both models bring electric
vehicles closer to the budgets of
many Australian families, and offer
benefits to weekly transport costs
and the environment.
That the future of transport
mobility in Australia is going to be
increasingly electric is now a
given. This is not a bold prediction
by the NRMA, nor is it a directive
of the Australian Government, it’s
merely a reflection on the reality
that car manufacturers are
pivoting fast to electric vehicles.
A number of jurisdictions have
already declared an end to fuel
vehicles in the coming decades,
including the UK, France, China,
Germany, India and a number of
cities in the USA. The USA, once
largely seen as a nation of gas
guzzlers, has broken new ground
with the Tesla Model 3 now the
fourth best-selling car in the USA.
The NRMA was at the forefront
of Australia’s first transport
revolution almost 100 years ago
when the nation progressed
from the horse and cart to the
combustion engine. We now
stand at the precipice of this new
revolution and again the NRMA will
play a leadership role.
Our network of 40 fast-charging
stations, of which six are already
built, will ensure our Members can
access the vast majority of NSW
and the ACT. The impact of this
network on regional tourism alone
will be far-reaching.
By playing our part in getting
Australia ready for electric
vehicles we’re also bringing
forward the inevitable financial
and environmental benefits. At the
latter part of 2018 the average
price of petrol was as high as $1.66
cents per litre. A like-for-like
comparison with electricity is 33
cents per litre. Conservatively
speaking, the average family will
save $1500 a year and this will be
much higher in regional and outer-
suburban areas, where families are
forced to drive longer distances.
It’s forecast that by 2030 one-
third of all car sales in Australia will
be electric. As the revolution
speeds up globally with electric
vehicle technology becoming the
new norm, there’s no doubt
Australia’s transport future will look
very different in around the same
time it took for us to progress from
analogue to smart phones.
Getting Australia ready to benefit
from this transport revolution
is a task for which the NRMA is
supremely qualified – having done it
once before. This is shaping up to
be a very exciting year indeed.
Recharging the new Nissan
Leaf outside the NRMA’s
Olympic Park office.
FIONA SIMSON Deputy President & Director
North Western NSW and North Coast (Townsend Region)
14/12/18 4:48 pm
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