Wednesday 2010 - Estimates Committee B (McKim) - Part 1






1.8 Passenger transport innovation


Mr FINCH - I just want to come back to the subject of cycling.  It was interesting that your previous ride with the Premier was up to the top of Mount Wellington and this was a much shorter journey.


Mr McKIM - It has been unkindly referred to by Minister Green as 'break back mountain'.


Mr FINCH - Yes, but this time you just headed over to the domain.


Mr McKIM - We did, at lunchtime today.  I am fully oxygenated.


Mr FINCH - It was a much shorter chat as you covered a lot of the subjects on the way up to Mount Wellington.


Mr McKIM - We did.


Mr FINCH - And of course you left your ministerial petrol-guzzling and diesel-guzzling vehicles behind.


Mr McKIM - Yes, I have not been in that vehicle today.


Mr FINCH - I am wondering whether you would like to see greater financial support to local councils to help them develop their trails and their bike-riding opportunities.  I speak for a particular issue in my electorate, the link between Beaconsfield and Beauty Point.  We have been striving for many years to get that sorted out, for something to be developed there because you cannot take a long walk between those two locations simply because it is far too unsafe with the road that we have.


Mr WING - On that road it is difficult taking a drive.


Mr FINCH - You have a point there.  I am sure if the West Tamar Council had more support they would look to provide that link that would suit all ages and be a really good innovation for that community on the West Tamar.


Mr McKIM - Firstly, I am not familiar with that road.


Mr FINCH - Come up and you will hear about it.


Mr McKIM - I will come up at some stage.  If there are problems with the road, I hate to buck pass but you will need to ask - well, Norm is saying you can ask him but it is not in this output group so he would need Minister Giddings.  Norm is saying that he is happy to come up with me and have a look at this road and I am happy to come up and have a look in terms of cycleways.


I am determined, as is the Premier, to do everything we can to promote cycling not only as a recreation opportunity but actually as an opportunity to encourage more sustainable commuting in Tasmania.  The urban passenger transport framework does recognise cycling and the contribution that cycling can make to urban transport systems.  We have a strategy, the Tasmanian Walking and Cycling for Active Transport Strategy - do you come up with these names, Norm?






Mr McKIM - It is a beauty.  We will use that strategy to provide planning, investment and decision-making within government.  There is some extra money in this State Budget for cycling - $2 million off the top of my head.  We are not in my area strictly speaking now.  That money is allocated to the Department of Economic Development because they have Sport and Recreation in there.  DIER works closely with the Department of Economic Development in relation to that funding.  My personal view is that cycling infrastructure should not just be viewed as recreational infrastructure; we need to do a lot more to encourage commuting.


As I said earlier, there is a whole range of things we can do there:  Yes, build cycle lanes - which is the obvious no-brainer that people think of when you are talking about cycling - but also  provide facilities, particularly in government buildings, such as showers, lockers, bike racks, secure places to get changed and so forth, so that there is more being done to encourage people to cycle or to rollerblade or jog or sea-kayak to work.  I am not for or against any particular method of human-powered transport; I think they are all in the mix and they all need to be encouraged.


That is a long-winded way of saying that I have not been up and I do not know the specific issue that you are referring to, but we will keep doing all we can.


Mr McILFATRICK - There is currently a program that West Tamar could get involved in with  Sport and Recreation, so it may be well worthwhile talking to them about it  But it might be worth even talking to the mayor about how they can access that sport and recreation.


Mr McKIM - So what Mr McIlfatrick is saying is that there is funding available.  If you have the Minister for Economic Development in, - actually, it is Minister O'Byrne in this case - it is a great question for him and you can tell him that I said you should ask him.


Mr FINCH - Congratulations on putting this focus of a bike ride between Hobart and Smithton, it is  fantastic.


Mr McKIM - It is a long-term proposal.


CHAIR - The member for Western Tiers is already training.


Mr DEAN - The bikeways and bike tracks in Launceston and the one that we are now working on, the concept into the northern suburbs, and even further afield - there is talk about trying to get that through to George Town and to connect the two areas up.  There is money in the Budget this year I noticed and will some of that be released, as I understand it, to the Launceston City Council for the progression of those bike paths?


Mr McKIM - That will be a matter for Minister O'Byrne.