MAG MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: 21st June 2008
NRMA Members Now Paying the Price
2 million NRMA members are now paying record increases in their road service fees as well as petrol prices. The average road service fee has gone up from $55 in 2001 to $87.30 in 2007, a rise of 60%. The fee for long term members (25 years membership with increased benefits) has gone up from $55 to $135.90, a rise of 150%
NRMA members were told in 2000 when the NRMA was split-up into 2 separate organisations with the demutualisation of NRMA Insurance (now owned by IAG) that “Road service membership fees will not increase as a consequence of the Proposal” and “It is expected that fees will be increased using the Consumer Price Index as a guide” and “Existing road service benefits can be maintained” (Explanatory Memorandum page 15)
By comparison the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2001 has risen by less than 20%
At last year's 2007 Annual General Meeting, when a $58.3 million net profit (about $30 per member) was announced, a member asked if the profits could be used to reduce the membership fees. He was told profits would “NEVER” be used in this way.
At the same AGM, the Chairman used members' proxies to increase director's fees by 60%.
Richard Talbot, long serving NRMA Director & President of the Motorists Action Group (MAG), said:
“Members are paying too much for their road service. As members of a mutual organisation, profits should be returned to them through reduced fees.
“NRMA members are copping the double whammy: record high petrol prices and record high road service fees. What makes it twice as bad is that just a few years ago members were promised their road service fees would not rise like this
“Road service fees and directors fees have gone up by more than triple the CPI”. To rub salt into the wound, members have found out that hundreds of thousands of dollars of their funds have been used for political donations.
In the court case to demutualise NRMA Insurance and split up the NRMA, Justice Santow stated that there is “no authority for the suggestion that mutual companies and their directors have an obligation to provide mutual benefits to members whether in the form of “mutual pricing”, rebates or in some other form”.
Richard Talbot says it's time to act and correct this situation. Members can take action to ensure that their NRMA is run as a mutual by supporting moves to introduce membership fee rebates into the company's Constitution.
Members can also petition the ABC 4 Corners program to investigate what has occurred since demutualisation by logging onto www.mag.org.au
For further details contact Richard Talbot on 0438 013 211
Visit MAG at www.mag.org.au