Moonee Valley Council Elections 2016
Candidate Responses – Rosehill and Myrnong Ward
Continuing from the previous post, here are the responses we received from Rosehill and Myrnong candidates.
My E-mail to the candidates
I am a regular cyclist and Moonee Valley Resident. Over the past four years the council seems to have dropped the ball on bicycle related issues. The construction of the Mt. Alexander Road bicycle lane seems to vanished into the bureaucratic labyrinth that is VicRoads and the Cragieburn Line bicycle route? Who knows?
These were the two major developments in the Walking and Cycling Strategy 2012 that were initiated around the time of the 2012 Council Elections and neither has been completed. Now I don’t like to sound like a whinger, but I reckon projects like this should easily be completed within four years. As a result, I feel totally let down by the current group of councillors. So what I’d like to know is, if you are elected, are you prepared to commit to completing these two projects and other overdue cycling infrastructure in the next four years?
In the Rosehill Ward we have bike tracks that are not connected I would like to see them completed so residents in my Ward could ride their bikes along the River all the way to the CBD
Thanks and Regards
John Sipek JP. Adv Dip Bus Mgt. MAICD.
I’m an occasional weekend cyclist only, and probably could do more, living just 100 metres from the bicycle & pedestrian tunnel between St Bernards College and the Maribyrnong River bicycle paths.As the 2012 Strategy was formally adopted, the only thing missing since have been the regular and sufficient annual budget allocations to make it happen. I think Council should allocate funds to complete adopted strategies (unless there’s been some supervening reason for not implementing them, or doing so in a modified form). It would help the Strategy (and to give councillors “cover” to justify budget allocations to such Strategy works ahead of other worthwhile things) if some of Moonee Valley’s cyclists put in short submissions at draft Budget preparation and exhibition time (March/April), urging funds for the Strategy, and requesting to speak at the (required) public hearing (May/June).
If I’m elected I’d be happy to assist with that process, so the Strategy does not get “lost” among all the other demands. If I’m not elected I’d have to put in my own submission!
Lovely to hear from you. It’s great to hear from keen cyclists- my husband used to ride for Brunswick in his junior days and still rides socially, so I am well aware and a big supporter of improving bike lanes.
I am having a meeting about another issue with Ben Carroll this afternoon (who is Niddrie MP and regular bike rider) -would you like me to follow up with him to see where it’s at? It’s disappointing to see so much money going in to plans and then never followed through with.
In answer to you question, if elected I can follow it up and keep you regularly informed of where it is up to. I would advocate for its completion. I would love to say that I can guareentee that it will happen, but I don’t want to make promises when realistically councillors are only a 1/9 vote- but I will do my best and vote in favour of it.
Hopefully that helps, happy to answer any further questions.
Thank you so much for your concern and what you would like to see changed. I definitely agree with your view point and having a young family and a joy for bike riding myself, I definitely want to see this change put in place. I ensure you I will definitely advocate to see this change put forward and to have well maintained bike paths available for cyclists. I really appreciate you bringing this concern forward and if elected will push this point.Please contact me if you have any further points to make.
Thank you again.
To date I haven’t been able to determine what stage these projects are at, and whether either capital works expenditure or Vic Roads funding has been allocated. However, I will commit to a review of the Walking & Cycling Strategy with a view to getting it back on track, as it is an integral part of living in a sustainable environment, something that the Council are supposed to be committed to. (I might add with all the reading I have done there are a number of strategies for projects around the municipality that seem to have come to a grinding halt). I will keep trying to find out more information for you on this.
The Greens are committed to increasing all forms of sustainable transport across Moonee Valley, to assist with lowering our carbon footprint, building healthier communities and removing congestion from our streets.
As per our transport policy for Moonee Valley, we want to fast track the expansion of Moonee Valley’s bicycle network to make it safe, connected, convenient and direct. The two projects you have mentioned would fall into this category, and I agree that more focus and funds needs to be allocated to sustainable transport in the municipality.
It is disappointing they were not completed in the previous Council term, and if elected, I would find out more from Council officers and other stakeholders about the reasons, so we can work out how to get the projects back on track, pardon the pun.Our transport policy and full policy platform is available on our website.
Greens candidate, Myrnong Ward, Moonee Valley City Council
Whilst I’m not over the specifics of these projects as a general rule, anything I can do to reduce the impacts on our roads, be it bike tracks or putting pressure on state government to improve public transport links, then I’m all for it. I hope this is of help Tim. If you like you can give me a call to discuss this in more detail.
Tony De Fazio
thank you for emailing me with your enquiry.
We share a common pursuit of cycling. I have participated in many cycling events and cycle our roads and pathways and we have a long way to go to bring them up to a safe and serviceable standard. I am at a disadvantage not knowing the full circumstances as to why the Moonee valley cycling projects you have cited have not been completed. However let me assure you as a current manager in another eastern council I am aware and able to navigate through council processes, systems, policies and practices and can ask the right questions and challenge the status quo. I would like to say yes I could commit, however I think you would appreciate I could not do it alone and would need the support of other councillors and officers. I have the leadership communication and negotiation skills to be able to lead and pursue your enquiry if elected.
I will commit to act as your voice at the council table in pursuing your issue
Kind regards Tony
Tony De Fazio
I have reviewed the MVCC Walking and Cycling strategy 2012-2022 which was adopted by council in June 2012. I was Deputy Mayor in 2012 and supported the adoption of this strategy, it is disappointing that the two major developments you mention have not been implemented .
It is no excuse but it is a ten year strategy and I commit to you that if I am elected as your councillor I will make sure that in the next four years the strategy is completed as promised.
Thanks for the email and apologies for the delay in responding.
Re the Mt Road bike lane, from the last information I received, this is still sitting with VicRoads despite follow up.
In relation to the Craigieburn shimmy, some of that work has already been done and more is to come shortly – the design for the pedestrian/cyclist refuge at Kent St has finally been completed (it proved more complex from a design point of view than initially expected) and construction should begin shortly. Also, works on Queens Avenue should also be beginning over the next few months (again, from my understanding, the engineers has to finalise some design issues). Some other parts of that project are still to come, particularly the crossing point at Maribyrnong Road – there has been preliminary work done but more work needs to be done with VicRoads and PTV (to work out the best point, how to make it safe in light of the Ascot Vale Rd/Maribyrnong Rd light sequence and the trams).
One thing I thought I’d mention – if you’re interested in cycling and transport more generally, you may wish to apply to join Council’s Integrated Transport Committee. This is a committee made up of Moonee Valley residents, Councillors and officers – we meet a few times a year and the Committee provides advice and guidance to Council on transport related issues. Let me know if you’d like more details.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
Thanks for your email. The Cragieburn Line bicycle route has had a number of measures rolled out, and I believe they are currently preparing the Queens Avenue section of the route. I know the simpler measures (such as sharrows on the roads etc) where installed pretty quickly, however I do agree that the other measures have dragged on. I have experienced a similar scenario with our Local Area Traffic Management Studies – where approved works stay on the shelf for up to three years – and at our last meeting of Council before entering caretaker period I had officers present us with a finite timeline of when all the works will be completed. The same needs to be done for the Cragieburn cycling corridor.
In regards to other projects, Council has started to undertake consultation to fix the aging boardwalk down the end of Montague Street (along the Moonee Ponds Creek), and in particular looking at measures to provide a safer surface to cycle on, and remove the two blind corners on the path.
In regards to the Mt Alexander Road bicycle lane – in all honesty I actually was one of the Councillors who voted against the project, based on the need to maintain three lanes of traffic on that section of Mt Alexander Road in both directions. As such, I haven’t followed that project as closely.
Council does have an Integrated Transport Committee, although it seems like there isn’t a lot of progress when it comes to these big ticket items. If returned I will definitely secure finite timelines for these projects, and ensure they are allocated funds (in full in next years budget).
Once again thanks for your email, and please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.