BNSW Responds

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BNSW Responds

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:06 pm

I sent a rocket to BSNW earlier in the week questioning why I should bother trying to recruit friends to join BNSW when they do so little for advocacy.

This is what they sent in response.... discuss ;)

Hi ....,

Thanks for getting in touch. Bicycle NSW offers many benefits in addition to the advocacy we do. Individuals get significant discounts on event rides organised by us (like 50% off off the Spring Cycle), a $25 Scody voucher, relevant local cycling news in Push On (we are trying to find a way to publish Australian after it's publisher went into administration earlier this year) plus a bunch of other things. Of course, it is totally up to you whether the benefits suit you or not.

As for our advocacy, we acknowledge that there are many ways to approach the process of achieving change and it is clear that you feel that we could be approaching it differently. Currently, Bicycle NSW is involved with Government at all levels and we take the approach that it is better to build relationships with decision-makers and be included in the decision-making process than to break ties and be left standing outside the process.

A key way we contribute is by looking closely at various plans on exhibition and providing a voice for cyclists through the submissions we write. For example, we are currently preparing 3 submissions to the NSW Dept of Planning and Infrastructure for new land releases at Box Hill, Edmonson and Leppington East. These are great opportunities to influence the entire blueprint for these new land developments.

We are also totally redesigning our web site to serve our members, affiliated BUGs and regional areas better. A key focus of the redesign is advocacy.

As part of our new web site design, we will be providing:
 educational resources for advocates
 home pages for major campaigns, issues, plans & projects
 improved presence for regional areas
 improved presence for BUGs
 a section that clearly expresses Bicycle NSW stance on major policy issues.
 many other things....

You may even see some reasons to join us again in the future! :-)

Warm regards,

Matt

--
Matt Skinner
Membership Officer

Bicycle NSW
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by BNA » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:23 pm

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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby find_bruce » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:23 pm

Thanks for the laughs TG. They are sticking to their proven strategies. Unfortunately they are proven to fail, but at least they know what the result will be.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby jules21 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:42 pm

i've worked in advocacy. "getting inside the tent" is a proven means of getting results. anyone can jump and shout and make a lot of noise. there are some organisations which specialise in that, and shall remain nameless. that's often a popular method with members, but risks alienating decision makers (eg. govt) and compromising your influence. it's a fine line, as you don't want to be a lapdog either.

i think the major bike advocacy groups have got it about right - they are proactive and seem to prepare professional, evidence-based submissions, without being a bunch of ferals chaining themselves to street lights and making us all look like loonies.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby grantw » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:40 pm

When a government "consults" with those in the tent, or on the bus, or hoist on their petard, that consultation is designed to lend legitimacy to their (ie the governments) decisions, not to seek constructive input about them. BNSW doesn't seem to hear what their members say, so how can they advocate on their behalf?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby jules21 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:45 pm

grantw wrote: When a government "consults" with those in the tent, or on the bus, or hoist on their petard, that consultation is designed to lend legitimacy to their (ie the governments) decisions, not to seek constructive input about them.

cycling has had some wins lately. a lot more needs to be done, but as a movement it's growing rapidly. i don't think it's accurate to say govt is just ignoring us.

grantw wrote: BNSW doesn't seem to hear what their members say, so how can they advocate on their behalf?

what does that mean though? if you read through this forum, everyone has a different opinion! they are advocating for what they feel is best, that's all they can do. what have they done wrong, precisely?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby find_bruce » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Jules, it is not like BNSW are sticking to a winning strategy - whilst you say that cycling has had some wins lately, nothing I have seen would indicate that BNSW have actually contributed to any meaningful change. Such successes as have occured have laregly been at the level of local councils and pushed by local bicycle user groups, who have significantly greater memmbership than BNSW. WHilst there have been various attempts to get those members to join BNSW, such attempts have laregly been unsuccessful.

Politicians respond to what is in the popular press & a group simply cannot be an efffective advocate for change without having some sort of presence in the media. As you say it is not about simply making noise, but the sad fact is that BNSW have simply abandoned the field.

The final aspect is that the one skill that all politicians have is the ability to count. The membership numbers of BNSW are on the decline and have been for quite a few years
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby jules21 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:06 pm

the splintering of advocacy groups is a sure-fire way to erode their influence. the motorcycle lobby is probably the best example of a rabble who have been successul only in making themselves look like a power-hungry, in-fighting side show act. on the other hand, the NRA in the US is an incredibly effective lobby - united, organised, well-funded.

there are some people who are always suspicious of "umbrella" groups and prefer to support their local unaffiliated group, or start their own group. this is a slippery slope. if you don't BNSW - change it. they have elections. but as long as cyclists are not united, we cannot credibly campaign as a group for better outcomes.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby find_bruce » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:08 pm

jules21 wrote:the splintering of advocacy groups is a sure-fire way to erode their influence. the motorcycle lobby is probably the best example of a rabble who have been successul only in making themselves look like a power-hungry, in-fighting side show act. on the other hand, the NRA in the US is an incredibly effective lobby - united, organised, well-funded.

there are some people who are always suspicious of "umbrella" groups and prefer to support their local unaffiliated group, or start their own group. this is a slippery slope. if you don't BNSW - change it. they have elections. but as long as cyclists are not united, we cannot credibly campaign as a group for better outcomes.

A lovely sentiment, however the constitution of the group is written with the express intention of preventing change within. After careful consideration I reluctantly came to the conclusion that the existing body was not capable of being changed from within and that the only alternative is to vote with my wallet. Quite frankly if I want to pi$$ $100 up against a wall I can find more deserving recipients.

Oh & isn't cycling advocacy already splintered - in half into the sporting section & the balance & then further by each state having their own separate group pulling in different directions.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:45 pm

Didn't Omar try to change BNSW from within? How'd that go again?

I don't see how Vic Libs ditching the entire years funding-small as it was- from the budget can be counted as a win :?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby il padrone » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:53 pm

jules21 wrote:if you don't BNSW - change it. they have elections.

If BNSW is anything like BNV, getting a pro-active critic elected is nearly impossible. Their AGMs are highly choreographed affairs and the Board candidates are pre-selected and decided well in advance. They tend to be unknown corporate climber-types as well, with nil background in cycling or serious cycle activism. For the past 20+ years they have been Harry's puppies.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby grantw » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:29 pm

jules21 wrote:
grantw wrote: BNSW doesn't seem to hear what their members say, so how can they advocate on their behalf?

what does that mean though? if you read through this forum, everyone has a different opinion! they are advocating for what they feel is best, that's all they can do. what have they done wrong, precisely?


I have read through the forum, you should too! But I'll give you a quick precis so you are aware :wink:

BNSW countered the grass roots movement of a large section of members (and the CEO) to alter the membership of the board and the direction of the organisation at the last AGM . They, the Board, seem to know best, despite what they are told by the membership. Subsequently the CEO left, as did a large number of members and key staff within the organisation. BNSW is in parlous financial shape, it's bimonthly "journal" has folded, the confidence of members has folded and it's place as a peak body of cyclists in NSW is doubtful at best.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby human909 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:29 am

It has been local councils that have made the biggest improvements in cycling conditions. State wide advocacy groups have had little influence here. Meanwhile the important things on a state level, education, laws and state wide funding have not been good at all. In fact NSW and VIC now seem to have anti cycling state politicians.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby hannos » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:41 am

Bicycle New South Who?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby KonaCommuter » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:46 pm

Those in power love and promote the use of the non-confrontational form of advocacy by constituents. It's easy to pay lip service to whilst actually doing very little, if anything, about the issue at hand.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:08 am

trailgumby wrote:A key way we contribute is by looking closely at various plans on exhibition and providing a voice for cyclists through the submissions we write. For example, we are currently preparing 3 submissions to the NSW Dept of Planning and Infrastructure for new land releases at Box Hill, Edmonson and Leppington East.


And what about working with local councils? That's a way to get good results as well. Box Hill, Edmonson and Leppington East are all well and good, but looking at maps of cycling paths infrastructure, there are a lot that aren't linked together.

That's one of the major things still to do, and maybe a barrier that deters more people from taking up cycling. And the more people who take up cycling, the more advocacy power there is.

But for the moment I'm mostly happy where I am, I can cycle where I need to go without needing to venture out among the four-wheeled battering rams.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:38 pm

grantw wrote:
jules21 wrote:
grantw wrote: BNSW doesn't seem to hear what their members say, so how can they advocate on their behalf?

what does that mean though? if you read through this forum, everyone has a different opinion! they are advocating for what they feel is best, that's all they can do. what have they done wrong, precisely?


I have read through the forum, you should too! But I'll give you a quick precis so you are aware :wink:

BNSW countered the grass roots movement of a large section of members (and the CEO) to alter the membership of the board and the direction of the organisation at the last AGM . They, the Board, seem to know best, despite what they are told by the membership. Subsequently the CEO left, as did a large number of members and key staff within the organisation. BNSW is in parlous financial shape, it's bimonthly "journal" has folded, the confidence of members has folded and it's place as a peak body of cyclists in NSW is doubtful at best.

His is the future of all the State "advocates". Why? Because the membership is purely a dollar sign. As for courting the politicians, thats why the Governments wishes - ie:shut up and publish this for us - take precidence over the wishes of the membership.
We're glad to be a "splinter group" as we have more faith in due process and politics, we have a moral backbone, and our members and supporters aren't
stupid. It should also be note that the pollies aren't stupid either.
As for the renegade non achieving splinter groups being ineffective, unification on a national scale as has happened in the UK is on it's way, and the ball has been rolling for 2 months already. Soon you will be able to choose a State rep Org/body(s) - with national support- to tackle issues WITH governments, and you'll quite likely have insurance and legal assistance if all goes to plan.
That new luxury of choice will sound the death knell for BNV/ BNSW/BQLD et all. Thank God!
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:26 am

I'm locked in this thread. Even restarting my phone isn't working! :(
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby biker jk » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:02 pm

BNSW was silent while the Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay attacked the bike lanes in the CBD and along Bourke Street. This is advocacy! For this display of cowardice alone I will not be renewing my BNSW membership.
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby Xplora » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:00 pm

J21's comment about being "inside the tent" also applies within the advocacy group, not just the external groups they advocate to... getting "inside the organisation" and creating change that way will not work either, because they are not interested in listening, exactly the same way that the Government will not listen to the advocacy group. The only way for a group to be heard is united within itself, and be big enough to be loud enough. Sing the same song, and have a lot of voices who will sing. I will tell anyone who says "gee cycling is dangerous" that driving is just as dangerous and they should have a hard think about how bad things can go wrong in a car. If my tbone accident a few weeks back was in a car then I'd probably be nursing a bunch of facial breaks from the steering wheel/airbag. Hitting ANYTHING at 40kmh is an incredibly bad idea, it is simply complacency that lets people ignore the risks. :shock: Most people who have been in accidents will agree with me. :wink: I'm not interested in slowing traffic down though. :mrgreen:
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:31 pm

biker jk wrote:BNSW was silent while the Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay attacked the bike lanes in the CBD and along Bourke Street. This is advocacy! For this display of cowardice alone I will not be renewing my BNSW membership.

Hi5!
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby hannos » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:56 am

Xplora wrote: I'm not interested in slowing traffic down though. :mrgreen:



I'm more interested in traffic leaving a safe distance between them and the vehicle in front...
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby Xplora » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:35 am

hannos wrote:
Xplora wrote: I'm not interested in slowing traffic down though. :mrgreen:



I'm more interested in traffic leaving a safe distance between them and the vehicle in front...

Indeed! Speed doesn't automatically correlate with lack of safety, but lack of attention and preparation definitely does!
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby holmesy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

I'm in nsw, but for the last year have had bicycle sa just to get the cover (for what little it is worth anyway)- mainly due to what has been said on this forum about bicycle nsw.

A year later, I see that bicycle sa is still cheaper, so I assume there is no reason to switch to bNSW?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby The 2nd Womble » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:03 pm

jules21 wrote:i've worked in advocacy. "getting inside the tent" is a proven means of getting results. anyone can jump and shout and make a lot of noise. there are some organisations which specialise in that, and shall remain nameless. that's often a popular method with members, but risks alienating decision makers (eg. govt) and compromising your influence. it's a fine line, as you don't want to be a lapdog either.

i think the major bike advocacy groups have got it about right - they are proactive and seem to prepare professional, evidence-based submissions, without being a bunch of ferals chaining themselves to street lights and making us all look like loonies.

Yes thanks. A for results from the major org's in 2012/13?






...Tumbleweeds.
Cyclists aren't dying in our shared paths, am I right? I don't see anyone other than the AGF addressing that elephant.
As for "we are involved with government at all levels", shouldn't that be "we are employed by government at all levels"?
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Re: BNSW Responds

Postby Xplora » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:17 pm

holmesy wrote:I'm in nsw, but for the last year have had bicycle sa just to get the cover (for what little it is worth anyway)- mainly due to what has been said on this forum about bicycle nsw.

A year later, I see that bicycle sa is still cheaper, so I assume there is no reason to switch to bNSW?

Without being the bogeyman, I'm not sure you can actually hold an "out of state" membership to get the insurance. I looked into it, and didn't seem to be able to get it done. Ended up with Cycling Australia membership instead. Local club membership is fairly close in price, but you get a much better community from it than a statewide organisation who doesn't care much about you anyway.
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