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Geelong Branch Media Release


Silence on Important Transport Question

Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association and the Barwon Bicycle Users' Group

The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) and the Barwon Bicycle Users' Group (Barwon BUG) have called on the people of Geelong to seek Council candidates' views on their vision for transport in Geelong before voting over the next two weeks.

Tim Petersen, spokesperson for the Geelong Branch of the PTUA, said he was disappointed in the low response rate to a questionnaire sent to all candidates last week. The PTUA and Barwon BUG had asked all candidates to respond to a series of questions about the Draft Geelong Transport Strategy and their views on its recommendation to reduce car dependence.

Only 16 out of 73 candidates gave substantive responses. These 16 candidates represented only seven of the 12 wards, leaving five wards with no transport policy statement from any candidates at all. Of the 16 candidates who responded to the survey questions, only 11 had read the Draft Geelong Transport Strategy, indicating a wider lack of awareness throughout the city.

"This is disappointing, as it is too important a question to leave to chance or vested interests", said Debi Hamilton, Barwon BUG spokesperson. She said it was a particularly critical issue, given that the new council will be given the opportunity to approve the final Geelong Transport Strategy.

"A city is shaped in very fundamental ways by the transport behaviours of the people who live in it", she said, "and all of us need to participate in forming transport policy that is healthy, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable," Ms. Hamilton said.

On a positive note, it was encouraging to see candidates calling for cheaper, more frequent and later-running bus and train services. "Many also wished to see better connections between buses and trains," said Tim Petersen. "Some candidates also called for more on-road bicycle lanes, bicycle lock-up and shower facilities for cyclists, as well as general priority for alternative transport."

Almost all respondents said that they supported the PTUA and Barwon BUG's proposal for "the development of a specific plan to reduce car dependence and provide more equitable access to transport in Geelong." The survey described the plan as "involving detailed plans for the improvement of public transport services and facilities, as well as of pedestrian and cycling facilities."

Tim Petersen said the plan was proposed after it became clear that the Draft Geelong Transport Strategy's measures to reduce car dependence were inadequate. "We wish to see council taking a lead role to improve bicycle, pedestrian and public transport facilities and services across the entire City of Greater Geelong."

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Below is a summary of candidate's responses to the survey:


Rocco Trinchera:
In favour of reduced car dependence, but feels that as a councillor, he would "need to listen to all sides in order to adopt a balanced view." He is a strong supporter of the Fast Train projects, and believes that the Transport Strategy's recommendations for a "revamp of the public transport system" and its park and ride proposals are positive.

Chris Poynton:
Supporting reduced car dependence is a "admirable goal". However, believes that turning the "paradigm of individualism where the car is perceived as an essential key to freedom of expression" is a 20 year project.


No survey received from any candidate.


Roger Lowrey:
Uses buses and believes they are important in reducing car dependence, which in turn will reduce wear and tear on roads. Not sure how cycling or walking can play a part in a transport strategy. When asked what specific things he would do to decrease car dependence, said "anything within reason particularly if it doesn't involve spending a lot of money".

Barbara Abley:
Appears to believe that the Draft Geelong Transport Strategy is adequate. Thinks cycling is good for cardiovascular fitness etc. and would support ongoing improvement of bicycle tracks. Thinks that walking is already being encouraged via scenic walking tracks.

Darren Harding-Taylor:
Did not answer survey questions, but said he has a long time interest in cycling and chooses to walk rather than drive where possible.

Glenda Watts:
Supports the creation of more bicycle lanes and paths, thinks bus travel to the CBD should be encouraged to ease city congestion. Thinks that the Transport Strategy was positive in that it attempted to create an umbrella for transport planning, but lacked detail, with the bicycle plan in particular being poorly thought through.

"It is about time Council used its lobbying power for supporting the little people- the walkers, 'bussers' and riders."


Andrew Hobbs:
Supports cycling as a transport mode because it is non-polluting, healthy and inexpensive, and would lobby for specific facilities to encourage commuter cycling (such as workplace showers, on-road bicycle lanes, etc). Believes bus lanes would be a good idea, and that the bus network needs work.

Craig Farrell:
Will lobby for COGG to undertake an extensive transport feasibility study addressing user and provider needs. Believes Geelong needs to establish itself as a transport hub providing opportunities for road, rail, air and port linkages. Also believes we need better liaison with bus companies regarding connections with bus services and rail, and safe areas and better public awareness for cyclists.

David Kelly:
Supports reduction of car dependence because of environmental issues, "economical advantages" and for health and well-being. Thinks bus services should be increased, relating to the needs of travellers. Believes that better lighting and police presence can encourage walking, and that "access, connections and safety" should be improved for cyclists.


No survey received from any candidate.


Leanne Large:
Believes reduced car dependence would be better for the environment, but also believes that the current bus service can get a person to anywhere in the region (although there is always room for improvement)..Says she would support the implementation of a "better bus service for the community", "safer bicycle paths", and " encourage walking in a safer environment", but does not give specific measures.


Janet Campbell:
Strong advocate of reduced car dependence. Would lobby for improved bus service for Bellarine Peninsula both for commuters and young people. Recognises need for increased frequency and hours of operation of bus service. Supports cycling around CBD and within local areas, and would lobby for secure bicycle parking facilities.


Colin James:
Believes "reduction of car use can only benefit our general community," providing a healthier environment. Would like to see better use of public transport, and believes buses provide an economical means of transport for all the community. Wants to see more cycling and walking tracks with better signage and lighting. As a disabled person, he also supports better wheelchair access to buses and trains.

Robert McCrae:
Would support the PTUA and Barwon BUG proposal to develop a specific plan to reduce car dependence by promoting usage of buses, trains, cycling and walking over car usage.

Bill Aitken:
Thought the Transport Strategy brought awareness of public transport to Geelong, but that it failed to bring together other modes of transport. Supports reduced car dependence, says that cars should not be allowed along the waterfront and some areas of the CBD. Does not believe that the strategy will reduce car dependence because "it brings cars into the city."


No survey received from any candidate.


Bob Treseder:
"Clearly it is not possible or appropriate to answer meaningfully or honestly at this stage, however, should I be elected I would be happy to confer with [the PTUA and Barwon BUG] in the future."


Rod Charles:
Active supporter of PTUA and Barwon BUG. Would work for rewriting of transport strategy by people with expertise in public transport and cycling. Supports employment of a bicycle coordinator.

Anthony Aitken:
Believes that Geelong, as a compact city, has the opportunity to be a model city for pedestrian, bicycle and public transport usage. Would specifically work for better resourcing of Barwon Regional Bicycle Council and a joint review of the bus system by COGG and State Government. Believes the transport strategy focuses too much on roads and making cars more convenient to use.


No survey received from any candidate.

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Last Modified: 27 February 2001