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NRMA has the government running scared

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DAVID H a w k e r : Federal M ember for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e


The NRMA must really be worrying the Government. The NRMA’s attempts to keep its membership aware of the appalling lack of commitment this Government has to road funding has led to a series of vicious attacks from the Federal Minister for Land Transport.

The Minister, in his latest attack on the NRMA, suggests that a 6.25% increase in membership fees is "outrageous* (even though it is less than the CPI).

What is more outrageous is the fact that the Federal Minister, himself, has continually tried to interfere with the policies of a private organisation.

The NRMA is interested in looking after the interests of its members.

The Minister has much to worry about. In the past 7 years road funding has fallen by over 25% in real terms. What really worries the Minister is that motoring organisations should have dared to put this fact in front of the public.

The Minister attacks the NRMA because it is increasing its membership subscription as a result of inflation.

There are two things I would like to point out here.

One. If any organisation, however big, has to pay higher prices for its inputs because this Government can’t get inflation under control despite engineering a serious recession, then it will have to increase its output price just to keep its head above water.

Two. If the Government, itself being the largest organisation in the country, can automatically index its taxes (including fuel taxes), isn’t the Minister being just a little hypocritical saying the NRMA need not increase its prices in line with the CPI because it is "such a large organisation".

Another point the Minister conveniently overlooks is that subscriptions to the NRMA are the second lowest in Australia, and one of the lowest in the world for motoring organisations.

May I suggest to the Minister that the best way to get the NRMA off his back is to match his rhetoric with action to ensure that road users get a better deal.

If not, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!

ends 20 February 1991

Contact: David Hawker (06) 277 4231 Janice Wykes (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946 (ah)