Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

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Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:22 am

Regulars to this section will know that Cycling Advocacy in Australia has not been an easy ride. A lot of even had some time of involvement and although advocates, as a rule, are generally looking to improve the conditions for cycling for all, so much potential was lost and progress stalled and reversed with the various competitions... all types of groups from state level to splinter groups, regional groups and single interest groups.

Looking at Australia from the outside, it is strange that there hasn't been a long standing single national cycling advocacy body.

But everything is going to be OK now!

Following on from the efforts of David Maywald of DHBC in pushing for enforcement of the Minimum Passing Distance, (with the change.org campaign generating 9,000 signatures) We Ride Australia has brought together the state based advocacy groups along with the AGF and Cycling Australia in a 'call for action' - public push for the governments and law enforcement to prioritise driver education.

I have put together an opinion piece and welcome your comments. For any critical comments, I would also encourage you to come up with some positives as well to help drive some positive energy.

Many of us feel that the state cycling bodies are not as effective as they could be. Many don't communicate their activities well enough and even just show that they are coming up against brick walls... More positive support for advocacy groups for united action is the way forward - from Davids campaign to getting the big and small advocacy groups and activists working together for change.

Australian Cyclists Uniting and Pushing for Genuine Cycling Safety

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:06 am

Last I looked there were 35 cycling advocacy organisations at national / state level in Australia, and this is #36.

I had a look at the site but it's not clear to me what value this new body is adding to the already confusing array of cycling advocacy groups.

When I last looked at it, I posed this question to anyone thinking of putting together yet another cycling advocacy group:

What is it that you are going to do that the other 35 groups are not already or can't?

9000 signatures on a petition is nice but signatures from a small number of cyclists isn't going to get much attention from the people that matter. It took only a couple of days to get over a quarter of a million signatures for the latest Opera House advertising nonsense and these are people from all walks of life, not a single interest group. That's the sort of broad community reaction that does get noticed.

I've said before that I don't have answers/solutions, but I don't see how adding yet another cycle advocacy group is either.

I almost feel like coming up with a new game - Name your cycle advocacy group bingo.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:40 am

I'm with Alex on this - but I'm thankful for DHBC's David Maywald for his efforts on the passing distance regulations.

The issue on the Opera House advertising is that it was brought about by a particularly repulsive individual (Alan Jones) thundering away from his position of advantage (his radio broadcast) to further what looked like his own interests. That doesn't sit well with most people and hence it caused such a furore.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:36 pm

g-boaf wrote:The issue on the Opera House advertising is that it was brought about by a particularly repulsive individual (Alan Jones) thundering away from his position of advantage (his radio broadcast) to further what looked like his own interests. That doesn't sit well with most people and hence it caused such a furore.

I understand the why.

My point was to demonstrate the vast gap in public interest between the "causes" of cycling advocacy compared with something like the Opera House saga. Cycling simply doesn't rate and it simply isn't sufficient to create a desire for a change in policy.

I wish all those involved the best with their efforts even though I consider it ineffectual.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby human909 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:54 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Cycling simply doesn't rate and it simply isn't sufficient to create a desire for a change in policy.

I wish all those involved the best with their efforts even though I consider it ineffectual.

How does that fit in with the observed changes in policy that has occured? I share some of your pessimism but to suggest that advocacy has been ineffectual ignores many of the actual contributions made.

But as far as a new advocacy group is concerned.... If you trying gain supporters how about being inclusive. When it comes to MHLS:

"the evidence to suggest that helmet laws have suppressed or reduced cycling in Australia is inconclusive."
Huh, what? The only thing up for debate here is the EXTENT of reduced cycling, to suggest that it has zero effect is ludicrous.

"We believe that our limited resources can be more productively spent in other areas that promote cycling for everyone."
That is fair enough. But why make statements like that prior?


Though I am curious about their focus on Canberra. Considering that the federal government has little control over the important factors involved it raise the question what their focus will be.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby find_bruce » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:07 pm

Hey if North & South Korea can get on friendly terms again, surely it is possible for cycling advocacy groups.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Thoglette » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:24 pm

human909 wrote:Though I am curious about their focus on Canberra. Considering that the federal government has little control over the important factors involved it raise the question what their focus will be.


Canberra has the states by the short-and-curlies financially so they can blackmail them into whatever policies they like.

e.g. The only reason we (outside Vic) have MHLs is because Canberra tied them to road funding.

human909 wrote:"the evidence to suggest that helmet laws have suppressed or reduced cycling in Australia is inconclusive."
Huh, what? The only thing up for debate here is the EXTENT of reduced cycling, to suggest that it has zero effect is ludicrous.

Where did you find that policy statement? It'd be tragically humorous as one of the publications they list is the 2011 Heart foundation/CPF survey which reliably shows the extent is over a million trips a month.

At least they seem to have found some money (in excess of $170K)

Scratching a little deeper and it becomes clear this is the old Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF), rebadged as the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation Limited

The constitutionally stated purpose is a stinker (as it presumes to know all the answers and all the questions).
2.4 Objects and Purposes
The Company is established to be a charity whose object and purpose is to benefit the general community through advancing health by:
( a ) promoting the safety of cyclists by reducing the risks of serious injury and death through the:
( i ) education of cyclists and motorists on road safety measures for cyclists;
( ii ) gaining of political support and recognition of cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation; and
( iii ) promotion of public investment developing safer cycling infrastructure;
and
( b ) educating the general community on the health and environmental benefits of bicycle riding.

I'll leave driving a truck through the holes in that one as an exercise for the reader.ImageImageImage

(p.s. As to "friends again" go read 3.4b on criteria for membership)
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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby human909 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:14 pm

Thoglette wrote:Canberra has the states by the short-and-curlies financially so they can blackmail them into whatever policies they like.
e.g. The only reason we (outside Vic) have MHLs is because Canberra tied them to road funding.

While both statements are true, if it is hard getting traction on these issues at the local level it would be even harder on the federal level. For christ sake it wasn't too long ago that we had the Prime minister saying federal transport funding was only for roads, not rail. :roll:

The second part is undoubtedly true by the reality the while it might have been a federal topic 30 years ago, it simply isn't on the radar now. NT hasn't had issues partially rescinding its helmet laws.

Thoglette wrote:Where did you find that policy statement?

Here, under policy.

Thoglette wrote:The constitutionally stated purpose is a stinker (as it presumes to know all the answers and all the questions).
2.4 Objects and Purposes
The Company is established to be a charity whose object and purpose is to benefit the general community through advancing health by:
( a ) promoting the safety of cyclists by reducing the risks of serious injury and death through the:
( i ) education of cyclists and motorists on road safety measures for cyclists;
( ii ) gaining of political support and recognition of cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation; and
( iii ) promotion of public investment developing safer cycling infrastructure;
and
( b ) educating the general community on the health and environmental benefits of bicycle riding.

I'll leave driving a truck through the holes in that one as an exercise for the reader.ImageImageImage

(p.s. As to "friends again" go read 3.4b on criteria for membership)


Even if we ignore the points about presuming to know the answers. The other aspect is the cost and scale of education at a national level.

Two of those for points are about educating the public. Unless they plan on be a siphon of government funds that is a lost cause from an advocacy perspective. The $$$ required to bring about cultural change needs come from the various levels of government. Think of all the billions invested in road safety education and accompanied enforcement over the years...

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby human909 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:25 pm

human909 wrote:Unless they plan on be a siphon of government funds that is a lost cause from an advocacy perspective.


Quoting myself here. From the look of this that is exactly what they are. As CPF they have been involved in various federal funded report writing exercises.

That pretty much rules out pushing anything too controversial for government. (Presumed liability, MHLS, non-parity of traffic infringements)

I'm not saying that their contribution is meaningless. But it certainly doesn't fit an umbrella advocacy group described in the first post.

Oh and here is the Linkdin for the Chair of the Board (at least according to its own website)
A director who drives performance and game changing profitability.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:34 pm

While checking out this petition ( no I haven’t looked at it before, I despise “change” type petitions), I noted that the “competition” petition....Force cyclists to ride single file.....has garnered 115,000 signatures. How are these things supposed to work? We present it to politicians as a show of people power in order to prove that a majority or at least significant number of people share this view and force change? Better hope not, aye.

Very, very vocal and disruptive action needs to be taken to affect change beneficial to cyclists. Not hand wringing and kumbayah sessions.

I’m sorry I appear a negative Nellie but if one cracker moron can cop 115k signatures against the 9k the might of the cycling community can raise I’d say that a different approach is needed. The current contest between cycling organisations to have the most prestigious board does nothing for the man on the ground. Or the woman.

Disruptive is effective. Disruptive is good.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:41 pm

g-boaf wrote:I'm with Alex on this - but I'm thankful for DHBC's David Maywald for his efforts on the passing distance regulations.

The issue on the Opera House advertising is that it was brought about by a particularly repulsive individual (Alan Jones) thundering away from his position of advantage (his radio broadcast) to further what looked like his own interests. That doesn't sit well with most people and hence it caused such a furore.


I don’t know what the feeling was in NSW but among people I spoke to Jones didn’t rate a mention. The whole concept of using a national icon in such a way was the issue. Ads for a bet? On the Opera House? Poor freaking Jan, as if we didn’t eff him over enough already, now this.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:47 pm

And what’s with the policy statement on cycle rego?
Repeated studies over the years in various jurisdictions where compulsory registration of bicycles has been suggested, have also found that the revenue raised would not warrant the cost and administrative burden of operating such a system.


I don’t like being taken for a fool. Every advocacy group tries the same approach and it’s bollocks.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:02 pm

fat and old wrote:Very, very vocal and disruptive action needs to be taken to affect change beneficial to cyclists. Not hand wringing and kumbayah sessions.
...Disruptive is effective. Disruptive is good.

Im with you mate. These online change.org petitions are a waste of time. Theres literally thousands of them being created daily and they are worthless. No-one gives a rats.

There were 1.8 million bicycles sold in Australia in 2017. Nothing is going to happen until a million people get off their fat clackers and do something very disruptive and show the bureaucrats that we are not a minority, and that we are a force to be reckoned with. Until that happens, then be prepared for more of the same and worse - systematic, organised and deliberate marginalisation, bullying and murder of cyclists.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby g-boaf » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:43 pm

fat and old wrote:
g-boaf wrote:I'm with Alex on this - but I'm thankful for DHBC's David Maywald for his efforts on the passing distance regulations.

The issue on the Opera House advertising is that it was brought about by a particularly repulsive individual (Alan Jones) thundering away from his position of advantage (his radio broadcast) to further what looked like his own interests. That doesn't sit well with most people and hence it caused such a furore.


I don’t know what the feeling was in NSW but among people I spoke to Jones didn’t rate a mention. The whole concept of using a national icon in such a way was the issue. Ads for a bet? On the Opera House? Poor freaking Jan, as if we didn’t eff him over enough already, now this.

There was a lot of anger at Jones. Occasionally he oversteps the mark, and this was one of them. We know when he does, because the sneaky old sod turns around and plays all apologetic, only then to do the same old trick again. How many more times will it take before he gets kicked off the air permanently.

As for people getting off their fat clackers, people just need to get off their fat clackers and start riding bikes - that would be one step. I mean really, I know people who could ride very, very damn easily to work but they will just sit in a car instead for ages, then whinge about the bloody traffic and the fuel prices. Oh, and how expensive gym memberships are. Gawd.... :roll: A bike is way better than a gym membership.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Thoglette » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:49 pm

human909 wrote:Here, under policy.

Thanks. Major backwards step (or refusal to see what their own research tells them)
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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:19 am

On the 35 state level organisations, many may claim to be state wide but this particular Call To Action is about the ‘traditional’ state based organisations like Bicycle NSW and Bicycle Qld as well as the AGF and CA (yes...)

Many more groups and bugs were supporters and promoters of the change.org petition and one of the plus points, as suggested in my article is the energy of David Maywald is keeping this topic active and I feel was a big contributing factor to this announcement.

We Ride Australia is the public face of he Australian Cycling Industry funded Cycling Promotion Foundation. They have previously concentrated on federal level lobby work and without a public component like the familiar advocacy groups.

They are however increasing their role, still somewhat at a national level and I would view them, particularly here, as a facilitator.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:29 am

List of organisations at state/national level claiming to undertake a cycling advocacy role in Australia with a live web presence (as at June 2018):

In Alphabetical order:

Amy Gillett Foundation
Australian Bicycle Council
Australian Cycle Alliance
Australian Cyclists Party
Bicycle Federation of Australia
Bicycle Network
Bicycle Network Australia
Bicycle NSW
Bicycle Queensland
Bicycle Tasmania
Bicycle Transport Alliance
Bicycling Western Australia
Bike SA
Bike Safe
Bike Sydney
Coalition of Cyclists
Critical Mass Australia
Cycling ACT
Cycling Australia
Cycling Northern Territory
Cycling New South Wales
Cycling Promotion Fund
Cycling Queensland
Cycling South Australia
Cycling Tasmania
Cycling Victoria
Cycling Western Australia
Cyclists Rights Action Group
Freedom Cyclist
Freestyle Cyclists
Helmet Freedom
Pedal Power ACT
Repeal Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws
Safe Cycling Australia
Upright Bicycle Riders Association of Australia

These are not local level BUGs etc.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby MichaelB » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:55 am

The Amy Gillet Foundation is probably the only one that I've heard anything about, but sadly that's run out of steam lately as well ...

Heard of Bike SA, but they only pop up every now and then on the news.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby RobertL » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:34 am

MichaelB wrote:The Amy Gillet Foundation is probably the only one that I've heard anything about, but sadly that's run out of steam lately as well ...

Heard of Bike SA, but they only pop up every now and then on the news.


I think that the general view up here is that Bicycle Queensland has improved leaps and bounds since Ann Savage took over as CEO earlier this year. She is a human dynamo, and is getting the attention of the police and politicians.

It's still too early to say whether she has had much success, but things are looking better.

Also, in Brisbane we have Space4Cycling who are doing great advocacy around infrastructure development.
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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Thoglette » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:33 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:List of organisations at state/national level claiming to undertake a cycling advocacy role in Australia with a live web presence (as at June 2018):

Thanks.

But you can strike off the BTA, it imploded in 2015

The ABC ceased operating in Dec last year and phoenixed as the Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand (CWANZ). in May
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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby tubby74 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:58 pm

MichaelB wrote:The Amy Gillet Foundation is probably the only one that I've heard anything about, but sadly that's run out of steam lately as well ....


anything beyond their rubber stamping of duncan gay's attack on cycling? we could well do without their version of advocacy

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:43 pm

I have reworked the list with comments.A number of groups no longer exist or have no significant advocacy role (incl. Cycling Australia and all of the state CA bodies).

I have retained some of the active single interest groups - also removed BNA as it is an advocacy supporter but not an active advocate body. The ones that are 'just a website' and appear to have no activity are removed.


Amy Gillett Foundation - National Single Interest
Australian Cycle Alliance - (aka Cycle) National Advocacy and Media Relations
Bicycle Network
Bicycle NSW
Bicycle Queensland
Bicycling Western Australia
Bike SA
Bike Safe - Regional Group Vic
Bike Sydney - Regional Group Sydney
Cycling Australia - Peak Cycle Sport body
Cycling Promotion Fund - Now We Ride Australia
Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand - Replaces Australian Bicycle Council
Freedom Cyclist - Single Interest
Freestyle Cyclists - Victorian based - small organisation
Pedal Power ACT


Australian Bicycle Council ceased 2017 - updated listing above
Australian Cyclists Party ceased 2018
Bicycle Federation of Australia ceased 2010
Bicycle Network Australia Community / Media - encourages advocacy but not true advocacy
Bicycle Tasmania - Now Bicycle Network
Bicycle Transport Alliance ceased
Bicycle NT closed - now Bicycle Network starting activity
Coalition of Cyclists Never heard of them - perhaps single interest
Critical Mass Australia Don't think they are action
Cycling ACT - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling Northern Territory - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling New South Wales - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling Queensland - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling South Australia - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling Tasmania - Now Bicycle Network
Cycling Victoria - State Cycle Sport Body
Cycling Western Australia - State Cycle Sport Body
Cyclists Rights Action Group l Last content Jan 2017 - At most a single issue type body
Helmet Freedom aka Freedom Cyclist
Repeal Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws Single issue - still alive?
Safe Cycling Australia Social Media Group
Upright Bicycle Riders Association of Australia More of a community
Last edited by AUbicycles on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:11 am

Cycling Australia, CNSW and Cycling Victoria specifically have cycling advocacy listed in their strategic planning documents and annual reports and they sure make out to their members they do this (whether they should and whether they achieve anything is another matter, but we can ask that of most organisations).

As at June this year, each had active websites. I listed the weblinks here (I couldn't transfer the links easily here for some reason):
https://wattmatters.blog/home/2018/6/3/ ... -australia

e.g. where you say the Australian Bicycle council has ceased to exist, it's been replaced with Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand:
https://www.cwanz.com.au/

No doubt there will be a continual turnover of organisations and the fact a simple search pops up dozens of organisations shows how confusing it is even for those within the broader cycling community. Even the paired down list shows how tricky it is to get a consistent voice for sensible change in the minds of the broader Australian community.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby warthog1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:04 am

Divide and conquer is a tried and true strategy.
Works all too well on cyclists also.
We divide ourselves without any external input.

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Re: Australian Cycling Advocacy Groups - Friends Again

Postby fat and old » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:21 am

warthog1 wrote:Divide and conquer is a tried and true strategy.
Works all too well on cyclists also.
We divide ourselves without any external input.


Funny aye? All posters are dismissive of this developement (Sorry head honcho, I suppose the least we could do is offer constructive criticism as you asked) with only one who has a specific issue. Helmets. Again. I guess the rest of us are just naturally suspicious/dismissive of any new players that want to feed from the same trough?

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