Our roads play an integral role in connecting communities, and we are committed to supporting those communities by investing in issues that matter the most to them.
Our community investment strategy is closely aligned with our corporate strategy and focuses on three main areas:
advancing transport solutions – by contributing to the development of transport infrastructure
connecting people – by enhancing social inclusion through improved mobility, and
developing communities adjacent to our assets – by addressing social needs for communities supporting our roads.
This year we invested a total of $481,131 in our communities, and we will continue to work towards boosting our presence and investment within our local communities.
Driving instruction for disadvantaged people Transurban will be providing seed funding of $100,000 to establish a social enterprise to provide driving instruction to disadvantaged people in Victoria. The enterprise will be run by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), which supports and manages a number of other small businesses under similar models.
Research shows that some disadvantaged people are structurally ‘locked out’ of obtaining a driving licence in Melbourne because they cannot pay the high cost of lessons or access a car for the required 120 hours of training.
Working with ASRC, we hope to set up a driving instructor program in FY15 that will support itself by generating income from full paying customers, which will allow us to then subsidise lessons for disadvantaged people. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn to become safe road users, and we know getting a driving licence helps to support social and economic inclusion.
Helping people get ‘out and about’ Transurban will be the principal sponsor for Villa Maria’s ‘Out & About Family Fun Day’ on 30 November 2014.
Villa Maria is one of Victoria’s largest and oldest disability and aged care services providers, and we share their focus on promoting social inclusion, connecting communities and enhancing mobility.
The event encourages people of all abilities to enjoy a day out at Albert Park and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, where there will be entertainment, activities and sports for everyone.
Transport and mobility grants In November 2013, we launched our new corporate community grants program focused on issues important to our business – transport and mobility.
By the end of FY14, we had received 67 applications and awarded one grant for $16,000 to Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Services to fund a mentor driving instructor program for at-risk youth.
In FY15, we will open our second round of grants that will have two distinct streams to support communities and encourage innovation. We will provide small community grants for projects near our roads and a large research and innovation grants to support our commitment to investing in and developing innovative technology and materials for our roads.
In the USA, the 495 and 95 Express Lanes Grant Programs continued to support a range of community organisations that benefit the local environment and neighbourhoods, awarding a total of US$77,500 and US$78,500 respectively.
Raising funds through fun runs In FY14, we co-sponsored the Herald Sun / CityLink Run for the Kids for the ninth straight year, helping to raise a record $1.85 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
After the final figure was tallied, Transurban donated an additional $50,000 to round the overall total to $1.9 million. The money raised from the event will help fund a leading-edge clinical trial centre at the hospital.
In Sydney, Transurban sponsors the Run for the Hills fun run. This past year, the event raised close to $30,000 to support Lifestart, an organisation that works with disadvantaged children.
Providing ‘Roads to Work’ As we have increased our presence in the New South Wales market, we have also increased our commitment to the communities in which we operate.
The inner-city suburb of Woolloomooloo is home to two of our assets – the Eastern Distributor and the newly-acquired Cross City Tunnel. The area is also home to many people that face social and economic challenges on a daily basis.
Our ‘Roads to Work’ initiative in this suburb aims to address these challenges by creating sustainable pathways to employment for residents that live in supported housing. The program operates based on a ‘collective impact’ model that brings businesses, government and community organisations together to contribute their unique skills and resources.
The latter part of FY14 was spent recruiting business support for the initiatives. We have been successful in identifying some employment opportunities and will soon commence the pilot stage of the program.