If only Gilbert and Sullivan were still alive. They would have a field day with this, their next plot for a musical:
The Battle for Randwick Council’s Transport Soul
It is being billed locally as the “The Battle for Randwick City Council’s
Next Tuesday night (22nd June) Greens Councillor Murray Matson will go head
to head with No Parking Meters Party Councillor Charles Matthews over
whether unregistered bike riders are a subsidized danger to the community.
Matthews is running for the NSW state upper house on a hard-line policy that
bike riders represent both a safety threat and an economic burden on the
Matson is a former Mayor of Randwick who pioneered an annual “semi-naked
bike ride” from Randwick race course to Maroubra on the grounds that it
would help save the planet and raise money for charity.
On the night Matthews will be attempting force through a motion that other
NSW Councils be lobbied to impose a $50 annual registration fee on bike
Matson will oppose the motion on the grounds that “…it will act as a
disincentive to New South Wales residents trying to adopt a low carbon foot
print and who are already sacrificing a lot for the common good.”
Matthews has justified the motion in a number of suburban newspapers by
expressing some hard-hitting comments designed to provoke the bike lobbying
into coming out fighting.
The Cumberland Courier reports that Matthews has tried to establish a link
between bicyclists and violent crime.
“However, Cr Matthews insisted the plan would also help police deal with
bicycle-related crime, such as a recent incident in Eastlakes when a man
riding a bicycle allegedly caused the death of an elderly woman.”
The same paper outlines Matthews’ economic rationalist analysis of the
community cost of bike riders.
“I encourage bike riders, for sure,” he said, but added that although a lot
of money was spent getting cyclists onto the roads, they paid nothing in
Matson has countered by speaking up for the bike fraternity. He said today,
“The NSW bike lobby has been thrown into emotional free fall by news of the
No Parking Meters Party motion at Randwick. Up until now they were used to
being regarded as lycra glad urban heroes who went out and tried to reduce
road congestion by dodging death every day on un separated bike paths. No
suddenly its’ they themselves who are being condemned as the potential
killers. Matthews has also added insult to injury by insisting that they
should be paying for the practically non-existent bike paths that are
actually threatening their lives.”
Cr Matthew’s motion to Tuesday night’s meeting reads as follows.
“That this Council submits a motion to the next Local Government Association
Conference requesting all NSW Councils to adopt a state wide approach to
introducing registration fees for bicycles in all Local Government areas,
such motion to read as follows:
That all NSW Councils, as part of their respective transport plans, look at
ways of introducing a registration fee for pushbikes in their Council area.
This fee would be payable to the Council and would ensure that cyclists pay
their fair share towards the upkeep of roadways and cycle ways in the
Cr Matson has slammed the wording of the motion as “…unthought through
because bike riders already pay Councils their fair share to up keep roads
and bike paths either directly through their own rates or indirectly via the
rates that their land lords pay. The No Parking Meters Party has just
declared that it stands for the economic persecution of bike riders.”
Cr Matson has also called Cr Matthews political usage of the Eastlakes death
as “shameless”. He said,
“This will be an unfair rate slug on a section of the community that the No
Parking Meters Party thinks it can intimidate into silence by shamelessly
exploiting the death of that poor woman in Eastlakes.”
Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson 0409-984-587