Thursday, June 10, 2010

draft Glen Eira Bicycle Strategy released

The GE draft Bicycle Strategy has recently been released for community comment.

The strategy is a comprehensive plan that was developed over the past six months and involved two public consultation meetings.

The last GE strategy was formulated in 2000 and much as changed in the past ten years. Where previously cycling was seen as primarily a recreation open space related activity, increasingly across Melbourne it is now viewed as an important mode of sustainable transport that is vital to relieving traffic congestion and contibuting to a more liveable city.

This is indeed true in Glen Eira. Our relatively flat terrain and gridlike network of roadways lends itself to good bikeways. This is not just about cyclists its about creating a safe and efficient transport network for all - pedestrians and car drivers included.

The strategy is costed at $2.1 million over upto ten years. A significant proportion of this -upto approx 40% can be externally funded .

Presently $100k is allocated in our draft budget for 2010/11. I would like to see this increased to allow for a bold and serious start in implementing this strategy.

Details at - submissions close Friday 2nd July


  1. Neil, I commend you for pushing issues you believe in and for doing it on behalf of communities that you represent. I particularly appreciate your stand on trying your best to engage with communities, get their participation and involvement with Council issues. This is so hard in Glen Eira, as the focus is on negative governance principles (see quote below) and implementation in the narrow sense (rules & regulations), regardless of the wishes of the community and/or unsatisfactory outcomes that communities are up in arms regularly. This suits developers and their lawyers eg MRC, Caulfield Racecourse and Phoenix Precinct. Communities come last in that arrangement as the process is designed that way.

    The critical issue for the Council and Councillors is how to reconcile their ‘quasi-judicial’ role with role as community representatives. The ‘quasi-judicial’ role requires Councillors to obey the principle of pre-apprehension (not to determine position ahead of a vote), where short-term considerations dominate over the longer term problems. How a CEO views such circumstances is critical. Without long term visions and desired outcomes that are acceptable to a community, then all that is left is piecemeal planning and more of the ‘quasi-judicial’ tinkering with process that ultimately benefits no-one except developers and administrators. Clearly community engagement, involvement and input early in the process is the way to go (see Bayside approach to get the community views first as to issues and process). Surely, the CEO view and commitment of the Administration is critical in ensuring that long term problems are tackled not just developers’ proposals. A broad ranging debate on the process that informs, educates and ultimately empowers the community is needed. We have not heard our CEO view on that. Clearly, the six point ‘consultation process’ does not do that.

    Glen Eira is not the only Council that confronts such issues, but somehow other Councils manage to get communities to participate and involve in a much better way as you have suggested in the previous post. This is the challenge for you, your fellow Councillors, the CEO and his Directors.

    Quote from VLGA President:

    ‘negative governance principles espoused by those in power who do not understand, or refuse to accept, that taking away people’s problems and challenges [from the process] is taking away their entitlement to participate.’

  2. Neil, I'd like to concur with the comments made by Anonymous and add the following. Another ploy that has successfully been used by this administration for years and years is clearly evident in the farce regarding environmental issues (ie street lights); kindergartens, and other issues. There is nothing easier than to claim 'it's not our responsibility' and pass the buck continually to State and Federal governments. Once you do this, then you can just sit back (self-righteously!) and never do anything. You thus ignore what the community wants and expects. Sure, it will cost money to build kindas and find staff - but so be it! That's what residents want - a council with a sense of obligation to its constituents - not a council that washes its hands of all social responsibilities.When nearly 60 million of ratepayers money can be spent on sporting venues, then surely a few million can be spent on kindergartens, carbon reduction targets, and so on. But of course, this requires long term planning and the eschewing of such catch-cries as 'it's not our job - it's Brumby's and Rudd's.

  3. Points well made by both 'anonymous'. I sincerely hope you both fomalised your comments in a Draft Budget Submission where your points have to be considered by nine Councillors and taken seriously.

    Cost shifting concerns by council have been a perennial concern and in a State and Federal election year and perhaps I could suggest - it's a good time to become even more active where it can have the most effect. With the candidates who hope to get your votes....