OUR NRMA – and let's keep it that way!

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Boy have I got the shits! I can’t believe the power of the NRMA Board Directors. It turns out they’re the most powerful transport lobby group in NSW because of OUR money, and they’ve now come out against cyclewaysnot to mention cancelling the vehicle inspection service, cancelling free membership to those who’ve been loyal to the NRMA for 50 years, making over $300,000 of political donations and paying themselves around $60,000 each a year with a recent 60% pay rise to sit on the Board of an organisation which has just lost $13.5 million after tax. I’ve got steam coming out of my ears – how dare they do this with OUR money!!!!

Click here to read how the president Alan Evans called for the Government not to “bump motorists for bikes” – using spurious figures because obviously few people will use a cycleway if it’s a road to nowhere! …. and check out the fees they’re getting here.

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For crying out loud – it’s not safe to send our children (or ourselves!) onto the road on bikes, the price of fuel is rising again and Australia’s transport sector is one of the fastest growing emissions sectors in the country. I don’t have Sydney figures yet but, even though its population is about half the size, each year Melbourne produces 2.5 million tonnes more greenhouse gas emissions than London.


That’s it – time to get seriously political again! The NRMA election starts on the 26th September and it’s the biggest non-government election in NSW but only around 10% of people vote. Our world and the services we’d come to take for granted are literally being eroded away under our noses and if we don’t act immediately we’ll wake up one day and curse ourselves bitterly …. I can’t even bear to think how much our children will curse us for not acting when we could. So, back to my daily political action – I’ve agreed to stand for Hoddle, the region which runs from Rockdale through to Kiama, but the bottom line is that all members need to recognise the crucial significance of their vote to VOTE THE EXISTING BOARD OUT in whichever region they live in (they’re the ones who’ve put an asterisk next to their name)!

As Churchill once said,

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

12 thoughts on “OUR NRMA – and let's keep it that way!

  1. Ronald Bastian

    Hi Lis,

    I am a member and have been also annoyed at the way they (the NRMA) constantly lobby the Government to spend squillions on “More” motorways and dual highways for the Pacific Highway..Having travelled from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast 3 times last year I am convinced that the only safety problem is the motorists who drive faster on better roads and take more risks when given better roads and go to sleep easier out of sheer boredom.
    They constantly promote the powerful/faster cars and the board members consist of the usual former sporting identities or failed politicians who, in my opinion are not representative of the people who make up the main bulk of experienced and knowledgeable road users…Cars and road use is a way of life, we can’t deny that, however, there has to be more focus on other means of transport that is environmentally friendly and sustainable. The problem is that: Bicycles are not registered, therefore no financial gain. Cyclists do not require a licence or pay any fees, therefore no financial gain. They do not contribute to the road management and replacement so they are considered to have no voice or deserve one. It is (like everything else in this society), viewed as an economic argument, profit as opposed to loss, not an environmental consideration to be found anywhere in their policy, or any Government policy for that matter. More motorists vote than cyclists..therein lies the power, and the money.
    Maybe one idea is to lobby for a cyclist representative to be found a seat on the board???

  2. Lis

    Ronald Hi,
    the best way we can do this is spread the word as much as possible over the next few weeks because voting runs from the 26th September until the 5th November. Write letters to editors, email friends, speak to everyone you know. Each vote counts and can change the system … we have to persuade everyone to take their voting rights VERY seriously.

  3. Frances van Zinnen

    It would be interesting to learn how countries such as Holland manage their cycleways…do they have cyclist lobbies with voices or just Governments that can see the value of providing cyleways for a whole host of reasons?

  4. robbert veerman

    These guys are sharks to be sure! But they catch it form the water they swim in. Vote in a new team and they will be the same in a month or 2. It works like this:-

    1. New team gets invited to secret lunch with car /oil lobby.
    2. “Hey, new guys, look how good things are for us. We can do the same for you!Blah.blah!
    3. But that would not be ‘ethical’. We’ll get our ‘creative accountants’ to show you how to steal from your own membership.
    4. Trust us, it’s much better this way, because it’s legal, and it won’t cost us anything, and, plus, also you won’t be annoying us.
    5. And that’s good ‘cos we are powerful and scary.

    Don’t bother changing the NRMA. They are not the drivers but the driven! We need to SMASH the persistently corrupting, lying, cheating, polluting, war-mongering, car/oil/coal industries!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Take your new car back. Tell them it’s poisonous! Or don’t replace the old one, it just encourages them. If no citizen bought a car next year they would all go bust, because their finances are just as dodgy as the american banking system. Cuba lasted over 20 years without new cars. In Aust, we have enough cars to last us till the oil runs out!

  5. maryellen flynn

    good on you liz, we need more people like you to encourage more people to return to public transport for the sake of the environment.

  6. Malu Hall

    Hi Liz,
    Have you considered getting in touch with “Get-Up”? They are quite powerfull and get most of their directives carried out! I personally prefer to go via one group only, otherwise you are getting mail for petitions, all the time, and I’m afraid I don’t have the time to spare! There’s Get-Up, Amnesty International, WWF, and the list goes on! But I’m with you, where the NRMA is concerned! We need better service from them. I will forward your email to friends, to help us along.

  7. J Mullins

    I am voting to remove the current board – What would u do and recommend re: appointing a proxy for the AGM?

  8. Lis

    A lot of people are confused about their proxy vote for the AGM – this is separate to the election.Voting packs will arrive this week. Just remember Proxy votes entrench power ….

  9. Colin Visman

    I am a NRMA member since 1964.

    I am disgusted that the NMRA donated some of our money to the political election.

    The cancelling vehicle inspection is a large loss to members wanting to know the condition of a vehicle they are interesting to purchase


  10. Ronald Bastian

    What I said back in September 2008, not only still stands, but, is even more critical now.
    The NRMA firstly, is a “Motoring body”, so don’t expect any empathy for alternative types of transport. They want cheaper fuel, dual carriageways across the State and anything “alternative” is simply “glossed-over” and soon forgotten. We (the members) have no idea of the expertise and “interests” the NRMA board members bring with them to the table, apart from their high profile sporting backgrounds they appeaer to be from an “accountancy” background which meand that we can always expect policies to be driven and supported by the “bottom line” and certainly not the “Triple bottom line” which would factor in the “environmental costs”.
    Sadly, I cannot feel any comfort in having a pro-cycling/environmental representative on this board, why?, such a person would be crushed by the imbalance of power and political opposition.

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