[CAMWEST-discuss] Reform Bicycle NSW

Jonhol2 at netscape.net Jonhol2 at netscape.net
Sun Jul 9 08:27:05 UTC 2006

    I have not been involved in the politics of Bicycle NSW, nor have I been active within the BUGs. However, the description you give of the problems with Bicycle NSW can be repeated in committees across the nation. I have lived in over 20 communities in NSW and been on the committees of several different organisations & I have found that Sydney is sometimes more parochial than many country areas. I was very surprised when I first returned to Sydney & was working at Bondi. One of my colleagues was complaining because he had taken up with a young lady & he had to travel all the way to Ryde to visit her.

There is no easy answer to the problem except maybe attracting members to the board that have continuing access to all areas of the state and therefore a wider view of what is happening. As an example, I was surprised to see a reference to a BUG at Narrandera. I travelled there recently with work & took my mountain bike for some exercise and to explore the area. It was wonderful, flat roads, an old railway line, irrigation canals and little traffic. I struck up a conversation with the Motel owner as he had a couple of mountain bikes for hire & he was having difficulty convincing the local council of the benefits of a few bike paths as a tourist incentive. He had no knowlege of the local BUG ( nor did I, for that matter). I wonder how active the BUG was outside their own sphere of interest. They may have been similar to others in the Riverina, very active road riders, but little interest in cycling in general. I pointed him towards a couple of web sites which would have helped him with some information. I haven't been back to see how he got on.

It is not too late to contribute some ideas to the next edition of Australian Cyclist to raise the awareness within members. How about an article or some letters to the editor to try and spur some people on to attend the next AGM & volunteer for the board. I am currently seeking to change my working location within my organisation, but I will make a concerted effort to be at the next AGM as well as a letter to the editor re the same. 

It is time to promote all forms of bicycle transport for our own health and the health of our planet. We are reaching, or have possibly already reached peak oil production. All petro chemical products can only increase in price from now on ( look around your house for the effects of this). I believe global warming is real, despite the writings to the contrary. It is time to stop speaking about it.

John Holstein.

"If we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed"

Rob Kemp <robkemp at tpg.com.au> wrote:

>Hi John (and Ian).
> Here are a few of my thoughts on the ideas put forward.  See comments 
>under the applicable dot points.
>>  ? To increase Bicycle NSW s commitment to and involvement with its 
>> members,
>>    we suggest that positions on its Board be 'elected by lot' , 
>> specifically
>>    to liaise with and promote BUGs throughout NSW. (please note: 
>> 'elected by
>>    lot' means random selection from membership list.)
>I'm not sure what purpose this would fulfill at present.  As far as I 
>know, for the last few years they've either been short or just managed 
>to scrape together numbers for the Board.  You could argue (and I would 
>agree) that there hasn't been a push to advertise the vacancies to the 
>wider BNSW membership in the recent past.  However, from my point of 
>view, this has finally been addressed at least to some extent by Robert 
>Hamilton's 'From the President' column and another small paragraph in 
>the latest Push On.  I think that anyone who has the time, inclination & 
>committment to be involved on the Board already has ample opportunity to 
>pursue these aims.  Put another way, I think the pool of members that 
>you're talking about that may be interested in 'ticking the box' to say 
>they'd be interested in taking part in the 'election by lot' would be 
>extremely small.
>I guess a more basic question that needs to be asked is why do you think 
>the 'elected by lot' idea should be considered?  Is it because you think 
>the current Board members are out of touch with cyclists in general, or 
>you feel that there's a lack of communication from them to the general 
>membership?  Other reasons?  How would you see an 'election by lot' 
>addressing the issues?
>>  ? Some weeks prior to the AGM there be a special boxed section of 
>> Push On
>>    outlining the main purposes and issues to be taken up at the AGM.
>>  ? The AGM to occur during the last half day of a two-day BUGs workshop
>>    dealing with
>>      (a) BUG purposes and activities, (b) BUG governance, and (c) BNSW
>> governance.
>The first AGM I attended several years took place directly after a BUGs 
>workshop.  From memory it was a one day workshop, held in the old 
>Castlereight St office of BNSW.  The thing that struck me at the time 
>was just about the complete turn-over of participants between the two 
>events.  There were only a handful of people who were present for both 
>the BUGs workshop and the AGM.  Having attended a couple of the weekend 
>BUG workshops, I think it is quite a challenge to get a reasonable 
>number of the appropriate people together for that length of time - even 
>in Sydney.   Many people's weekends are just so busy.
>>  ? The BUG workshop be organised and hosted by one of the larger/more
>>    successful BUGs at no substantial cost to Bicycle NSW as an 
>> organisation.
>>    So, for example, if Bathurst BADBUG or Bicycle Wagga Wagga or Northern
>>    Rivers Cycling Club or NAMBUG or BUG LE BUG (Leeton) or Cootamundra 
>> BUG
>>    hosts the workshop, then they would provide the appropriate 
>> facilities for
>>    the AGM also.
>While great in theory, I can't see this working from a practical point 
>of view (but would love to be proved wrong).  A few issues that 
>immediatley come to mind include:
>- As mentioned above, the time issue.  It's challenging enough getting 
>people together in Sydney, where the majority of members are supposed to 
>reside, let alone adding 2 - 6+ hours of travel in each direction.  (One 
>of your suggestuons was Wagga.  I used to often drive to Wagga for work, 
>and had to allow the best part of a full day's travel each way.  
>Suddenly, for anyone coming from Sydney or further north, the 2 day 
>meeting has turned into 4 days....)  In theory, the best place to have a 
>meeting would maybe be around the Bathurst area (heading towards the 
>centre of the state, but close enough to the main population centres so 
>that travel for the majority of people is not too onerous).
>- Contradiciting (or at least modifying) the last point, some members do 
>not own or want to drive cars unnecessarily - myself included.  If you 
>were looking at incorporating a morning ride or similar into the program 
>(as has been done on previous BUG workshops that I've attended), it may 
>be prudent to choose a location which you can get a bike to easily on 
>public transport.  As you may be aware, once beyond the inter-city rail 
>network of Bomaderry (Nowra), Goulburn, Lithgow and the Hunter Valley, 
>trains are fairly infrequent, and you need to box bikes up in order to 
>get them on.  Then there's generally and there's generally a limit of a 
>few boxed bikes per train.  This would rule Bathurst out.  Therefore, 
>I'd think you'd have to be looking at locations like Newcastle, Lithgow, 
>Blue Mountains, Moss Vale, Goulburn Wollongong, Kiama or Nowra.  The 
>Shoalhaven BUG hosted a successful weekend workshop in Nowra a few years 
>back.  The Goulburn BUG (GADBUG) is fairly small.  I think a number of 
>the other BUGs in these areas are too.  Maybe Newcastle (If NCM wanted to)?
>- I've noticed that some people from inner suburban areas are less 
>inclined to travel distances for short periods of time than those from 
>outer suburbs or rural areas.  This may impact on the number of people 
>that are willing to attend.  (A non-cycling related example of this idea 
>was when someone made a comment to me that  I'd come a long way from my 
>place in Rooty Hill to theirs in Manly.  In contrast, I was thinking 
>that Manly wan't too far away from Rooty Hill).
>- Like Bob, I'm not sure how any local BUGs would fund such an event.
>- What would be your aim in holding the AGM outside of Sydney?  To 
>attract non-Sydney board members?  A few years back one of the Goulburn 
>BUG members was on the Board (and President).  I know that he became 
>quite disallusioned with the travel to Sydney required.   If the 
>meetings had been held closer to Goulburn, then the remaining 
>Sydney-based participants would all have had to travel..
>I guess what I'm getting at is that while BNSW might be Sydney-centric, 
>realistically I can't see many Board members choosing to travel over 
>vast distances to attend meetings.  I guess there may be some scope  for 
>using  electronic communication means for meetings in the future.  With 
>the rollout of  higher speed internet services into rural areas, there 
>may be possibilites of incorporating lower cost VoIP   conference calls  
>into some or all of the meetings. This would require inital purchase of 
>equipment though, unless participants already had access to it.
>> The effect of such changes to the present operation of Bicycle NSW 
>> would be to
>> shift emphasis towards the role of BUGs vis- -vis the central support
>> organisation (Bicycle NSW). It would also, we hope, tend to provide a 
>> balance
>> to the traditional Sydney-centric operation of Bicycle NSW. We think 
>> it would
>> certainly lead to productive ideas for BUGs to share and could even 
>> make the
>> AGM fun!
>> Ian Macindoe
>> Cyclists  Action Movement WEST
>> Bicycle NSW   Life Member
>> imacian at bigpond.net.au
>> Bike South West Bussies on bikes
>> john kyriazis ioannis_zis at yahoo.com
>> ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 
>> Open multiple messages at once with the all new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
>> ----- End forwarded message -----
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>www.robkemp.id.au   - Trying to live more sustainably
>Ph (h) 9864 8797  (w) 9296 1561 

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