Rugby partnership is about saving lives together

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01 Feb 2017

The new $1.5 million partnership between the Road Safety Commission and Western Force has been negotiated over seven months and its key aim is to reduce the road toll in WA using targeted community engagement.

Road Safety Commissioner, Kim Papalia, said that the partnership enabled the RSC to distribute its road safety messages to rugby supporters across WA including Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Broome (Kimberley), Karratha (Pilbara), the South-West and Great Southern (Albany), as well as Newman and remote Western Desert communities.

“It will be exciting to see the new Road Safety Western Force logo when they play top international teams at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens on February 11 and 12,” Mr Papalia said.

“However, it’s also vitally important that Rugby sends our  message to regional WA, where the road toll in 2016 was higher than the metropolitan area, and this will be achieved through competitions including the Indigenous Sevens, and matches in the South-West and Kalgoorlie.”

Mr Papalia said the RSC had seen the partnership as an opportunity since its first meetings with WA’s Rugby community in June 2016.

“Our research shows that targeting men aged between 20 and 59 will have a strong impact on the road toll and therefore will represent a significant (178%) return on investment for the funds from the Road Trauma Trust Account. This is a strong demographic for RugbyWA.”

“We also chose to partner with Western Force because there has been a conspicuous absence of targeted and engaging road safety activity in this space during recent years, Mr Papalia said.”  

The road safety message will be delivered through the following:

  • Members of the Western Force acting as ambassadors for community education on road safety for 1200 hours over a 12 month period,
  • Road Safety Western Force branding on the front of players’ jerseys will be highly visible at games and during television broadcasts,
  • Match day signage,
  • Media banners at events throughout the year, and
  • Digital media. The Western Force website has more than 1.3 million page views per year. The club has more than 84,000 Facebook followers and 20,000 Twitter followers and the public response to the announcement has been overwhelmingly positive. RugbyWA staff will be promoting the road safety message on behalf of the RSC.

“Our RSC strategy team has put significant time and effort into analysing the benefits of a partnership,” Mr Papalia said.  “We are delighted that the Minister approved our proposal.”


Claire Thomas

0467 802 855

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