Not only does Max Lay have a significant conflict of interest (he’s also a consultant to toll road builder Connect East), but there has been a significant change following the appointment of Colin Jordan as CEO (formerly of VicRoads). Since this appointment, public policy at the RACV has lost its “without fear of favour” character, and has been significantly weakened when it comes to any policy position that’s against current Victorian Labor Party policies.
This weakness has increased since Colin Jordan began bringing over numerous senior executives from VicRoads to the RACV. The RACV is now no longer a motorist advocate but a supporter of Labor Party policies, regardless of motorists’ interests.
Ken Ogden, was supposed to be the voice of the motorist, but he has moderated and even rejected counter Labor Party policy positions put forward by his staff – especially on the “backflip” by RACV on toll roads, congestion charging, and even taxation issues. A non-ALP approach to these issues has been supported by research, but not pursued or even put forward to the RACV Board as they do not get past Ken Ogden and Colin Jordan. Ken Ogden has lost any power in the media and is no longer looked to for serious policy discussion, but left doing “fluff” pieces on ACA or in the Herald Sun – this has happened over the past three or so years, since the appointment of Colin Jordan as CEO.
Not only has David Cumming been gagged, he was also offered a redundancy package about two months ago (while he was on leave). The Public Affairs area has been cut decimated – David Cumming’s redundancy package was later retracted, and now taken off the table – a complete backdown, and proof that this is all just a “gag” on his views – the RACV did not respond to David Cumming’s legal letters.
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The RACV is in serious financial trouble currently with the building of the new City Club. Both the club and insurance businesses have taken RACV’s eye off what they were originally formed for – being the motorist’s advocate.