News — August–September 2001
Federal Election Issues
CAMWEST secretary, Robert Catford, was interviewed by The Australian newspaper on 7 July, 2001 (Key seats shift to Labor — CAMWEST is not directly mentioned in the web version). This was for a series of articles on marginal seats. He was interviewed under the Parramatta section.
We believe that cycling issues should be discussed in the coming Federal election — there's a big role for Federal Government. If we can build the Western Orbital by 2007, why can't we build Sydney's bike network by 2005? Federal Government can surely help with funds (it is throwing $350M at the Orbital!). There are many reasons why the Federal Government should get more involved, like our dependence on oil and global warming and the Kyoto agreement.
See our Action Corner for what you can do to improve cycling conditions in Western Sydney.
Rides Coming Up!
CAMWEST's extremely popular Tizzana Winery ride is on again, Sunday Aug 26. This is a social ride along quiet and picturesque roads with many views over the Hawkesbury River Valley, a few challenging hills, a couple of ferries crossings and short stretches of good gravel road to arrive at Tizzana Winery by 12:30 pm for a catered and very social lunch. There are limited spots and they fill up quick, so sign up! See more ride details and photos.
There are many other rides coming up, including CAMWEST's own Bay to Mountains, Bicycle NSW's Cycle Sydney, and Big Ride. See 'Events Coming Up' on the right bar for more details.
The Parramatta Spring Carnival is also coming up, on October 4-7. This includes includes Carnivale, the Parramatta Food and Wine Fair and the Breadmakers Festival. Why not make a ride out of it? Ride to Parramatta, and perhaps return by Rivercat or train. From east, use the Parramatta River Valley cycleway, and from the south via the Parramatta-Liverpool RailTrail. Remember, your bike travels free on trains and ferrys on weekends.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is also holding Symphony Under the Stars, a free concert at Parramatta Park. You could also ride there.
Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust - Developments
A report has been produced by Jamieson Foley Traffic & Transport which “documents the findings of an extensive investigation into the feasibility of the multi-use recreational pathway network within the catchment.” According to the executive summary, “given the commitments and interest of the stakeholders consulted, it is very likely that within the short to medium term future there will be an extensive network of linked pathways that extends from Liverpool to Castle Hill and from Homebush Bay to Penrith, interconnected by numerous short and long internal circuits that can be used by a wide range of users groups for many different purposes.”
This document is a preliminary draft. The document in its current format has been forwarded to local councils by the Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust seeking approval of the councils to publicly exhibit the draft plan for community comment. It is inticpated that this will be done in late August and September subject to Council approval.
Download Executive Summary (PDF, 621Kb)
Elizabeth St Footbridge Go Ahead
Agreement has been reached between Parramatta Council and Sydney Water to build a footbridge with a cycleway. It will be of single span that will carry a new watermain/gas main and Parramatta Councils' cycleway will be constructed on top. The old existing watermain carrier / footbridge will be dismantled. Construction is expected to start around Easter next year. Congratulations to both organisations, and thanks to Evangelina Martinez from Parramatta Council for her efforts.
Western Sydney Advocacy Meeting
A meeting of Western Sydney Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) will be held on August 6, 5:30 pm, at 1st floor of the RTA building, on Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown. We'll report on the outcomes.
Kleins Road Progress
CAMWEST is monitoring the progress on the line markings of Kleins Road, Northmead. Parramatta City Council seems to have put in the cement refuge islands and painted a new centre line. However, as the old painted median strip was still there, the overall effect was rather confusing. It needs to be completed as soon as possible. CAMWEST is not completely happy with this configuration, as we feel it's inconvenient for cyclists to navigate.
Traffic Calming Revised
We have noticed the installation of traffic calming devices on Wentworth Avenue Pendle Hill / Wentworthville (between Binalong Rd & the railway overpass). These designs were reviewed by Parramatta Cycleways Steering Committee in April and comments forwarded that:
- Smooth sealed edges were required
- Blisters need to be moved closer to the kerb so as not to interfere with cyclists use.
Council Road Expenses
Parramatta Council has sent a Pocket Guide to the 2001/02 Management Plan with its Rate Notice. This outlines council's key goals. One of them is to make Parramatta an Accessible City: “people will move easily to and around Parramatta City using a more sustainable form of transport.” It sounds like a great definition of the bicycle to us. If Council is serious about its aims, it needs to accelerate the implementation and expansion of its Bike Plan. It also contains a break down of where money from a average residential rate goes to. The largest item by far is roads maintenance, at $141. This is nearly double the next largest item, at $75. This clearly shows how much our car culture costs us. Enouraging cycling could reduce this high cost — money that could be used in better ways.
Speed Policed at Parramatta Park
CAMWEST saw police checking for speeding at Parramatta Park on 27.6.01. Thank you! Parramatta Park needs to be a sanctuary where people come first, cars second. Parents with children, walkers, joggers, and cyclists need to feel safe at the park. Speeding can not only cause accidents, but also destroy the 'safe' environment.
Childhood Obesity Triples
Federal President, Dr Kerryn Phelps, has highlighted the increasing problem of child obesity in Australia. She said childhood obesity in Australia had tripled in the past 10 years, with 19.5% of boys and 21.1% of girls now overweight or obese. Paediatrician at The Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney, Associate Professor Louise Baur, said the whole community needed to better understand the 'potent forces' promoting obesity in Australia. "Increasingly we are using motor vehicles, instead of walking or cycling". CAMWEST thinks providing better cycling facilities is a key component in addressing this serious problem.
Diabetis week will be held on23-29 July. This illness is considered by many as the 'sleeping giant' in Australian health issues. Type two is related to being overweight.
of the fat, home of the big (SMH, 26.7.01)
On obesity in America. Is this the way we're heading? Let's do something about it before we get there.
Attitudes to Sport Same post-Olympics
A recent survey looking at sport attitudes has found that participation in sports has stayed the same after the Olympics (Sweeney Sports, quoted in an article from MBF's Magazine, LivingWell, June 2001). Although people's interest in sports increased, they're not getting out there and doing it. This may be due to people having little money and time to become involved. CAMWEST thinks that providing better cycling facilities would allow people to become active as part of their lives, going places. For example, children could ride to school instead of having to be driven by their parents. It is well known that this kind of 'incidental exercise' is a lot easier for people to get into: living healthy, active lives instead of having one more thing to do in our busy lives.
Australia neglects Environment
A recent SMH article states that: “Energy consumption rose by 1.6 per cent in the two decades after 1978, with Australians still relying largely on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas for 94 per cent of their requirements. Australia had become the fourth-hungriest energy consumer following Iceland, New Zealand and the United States.” Greens Senator Bob Brown is quoted as saying “While individual Australians are doing a great job, the Government is failing to tackle the big polluters, especially coal-fired power stations and road transport.”
Green issues low on list of priorities (SMH, 17.7.01)
See the ABS Report Summary
in car use beats public transport (SMH, 16.7.01)
Private cars are now used for 70 per cent of all trips made in Sydney, and there's been an 18 per cent increase in car journeys. Action For Public Transport was quoted saying: “The Government is always wringing its hands, saying we have to get more people to use public transport, but at the same time they are refusing to take money off roads and spend more on train and bus services to growth areas,” spokesman Mr Allan Miles said. While there are new buses and rail lines, it pales into insignificance compared with the amount spent on roads. The Parramatta–Chatswood [rail] project is a case in point. It has been virtually abandoned while they are spending millions on developing Windsor Road.”
Cycling Australia Book Launched
Lonely Planet has released ‘Cycling Australia’, a great guide to cycle touring in Oz. What a great idea! Cycle Tourism could be a great boom to the rural economies. It could prove very popular with European tourists, and it could encourage more Aussies to enjoy their bikes. See details on Lonely Planet and Barnes and Noble.
Kyoto Talks — in Bonn
There were big developments at Bonn regarding Global Warming. Below are some news articles:
Burning Bush — The reality of Global Warming (The
A new report from Americaäs National Academy of Sciences confirms the reality of global warming.
must offer the world more than hot air (SMH Opinion,
Instead of resisting the Kyoto protocol, we should embrace it as an opportunity for economic growth.
if global warming was just so much hot air? (SMH,
It would still make sense to ratify the Kyoto protocol even if there was no greenhouse effect. By Ross Buckley.
Bonn deal offers windfall for Australia (SMH, 25.7.01)
Breakthrough in Bonn? (The Economist, 23.7.01)
Environment ministers from more than 180 countries reached a deal in Bonn on July 23rd which should mean the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse-gas emissions will eventually come into force. But without American participation how significant is the breakthrough?
Japan backdown may isolate Australia (SMH, 26.7.01)
Baking in Bonn (The Economist, 16.7.01)
“Although the threats posed by global warming now look even more worrying, the chances of progress remain slim.”
Cool heads needed for a deal on global warming (SMH Feature, 5.7.01)
Australia rejects climate change deal (SMH, 23.7.01)
Sorry, neighbour, we're pretty cool on global warming (SMH, 24.7.01)
refuses lifeline to Tuvalu (SMH, 19.7.01)
The tiny South Pacific nation of Tuvalu — which faces being submerged by rising sea levels — has pleaded with Australia to help resettle its 11,000 citizens, but it has been given short shrift.
Disabled Rider goes to Athens
CAMWEST congratulates Peter Brooks for his bid to compete in cycling in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Peter has only one functional arm. He's a member of the Parramatta Cycling Club.
Rider is armed and dangerous (Parramatta Sun, 4.7.01)
Calling Blacktown Advocates
We are looking for people in the Blacktown council area wanting to get involved in cycling issues. We are hoping a new group will be formed, focused on that area specifically. For details, contact Rob Kemp, 9864 8797, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have noticed grooves along sections of Pennant Hills Road. These are extremely dangerous to cyclists, and should be fixed up as soon as possible.
The new White Pages has a new section on getting around by bike. Have a look!
Choice Magazine recently did an article on buying hybrid bikes.
Policing of car parking has now been transferred from police to Councils. Ilegally parked cars can be dangerous to cyclists as they take away space for riding, and push bikes onto car traffic. Parking needs to be policed, and reclaimed for cycle lanes, etc.
In the Media Lately
for all-day slow zones near schools (SMH, 24.7.01)
All-day speed restrictions of 40km/h should be installed in the vicinity of every school in NSW, according to a major traffic report released today.
Distress (SMH, 25.6.01)
"In Redfern, breaking up is hard to do. Ms Francoise Toman knew there was something wrong with her small Redfern terrace when she tried to shut the front door but found it would not close".
of a road fatality (SMH, 22.6.01)
A feature on the costs of road fatalities.
Commuters with gratitude say the price is just right (SMH, 20.6.01)
Road rage dog-killer is convicted (SMH, 20.6.01)
Environmental Stocktake, produced by the ABC for The World Environment Day, held on June 5.
Drivers opt for rail way — not road way (SMH,
High petrol prices and toll increases have pushed western Sydney drivers away from their cars and on to public transport, new figures suggest.
Comments from EcoTransit Media Release:
“Rises in the price of crude oil saw a sharp increase in petrol pump prices over the last year. These rises are driven by steadily declining oil discoveries and constant increases in world demand. The world is consuming oil at five times the rate itäs being discovered. We can expect petrol prices will now increase constantly in real terms.
“If the Howard Government can find several hundred million for the Western Sydney Orbital, they can find capital for the Parramatta to Chatswood and North-West Rail Links as well. These rail links will provide real benefits to workers and their families in the western suburbs. More roads will not.”
CAMWEST Needs You
We need more members to achieve better bike facilities in Western Sydney. Lately some members have become less involved because of personal circumstances. At the same time, there's a number of projects we'd like to get involved in. Join us and make a difference. This the international year of Volunteers is the perfect time!
Write/Email to Parramatta City Council, thank them for the progress on the Elizabeth St Footbridge.
I write to thank you for the progress on the Elizabeth St Footbridge. This will be an exciting improvement to the cycleways system in Parramatta. I urge you to implement the plans as soon as possible.
NSW Police will now start charging for its services in community events. Bicycle NSW is looking at a bill of more than $75,000 for its popular Cycle Sydney event, which will threaten its viability. It may also affect CAMWEST's rides. It is sad that the value to the community that these events bring are never taken into account. Wirte to the Minister for Police, Hon. Paul Whelan. 176 Burwood Rd, Burwood 2134. Tel 9877 0266, fax: 9877 0405. Email: email@example.com
I am very disappointed at the 'user pays' changes in the NSW Police Service. They will threaten the viability of great community events such as Bicycle NSW's Cycle Sydney. These events bring tremendous value to the community, and this needs to be taken into account.
CAMWEST's Action Corner is where we include one or two suggestions of something simple and concrete that you can do: write an email, letter, representation, turn up for a ride, etc. Join us in making a difference!
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