It is absolutely vital we make submissions about bicycle infrastructure funding to Yarra Councils 2017/18 draft budget and if possible, personally speak to these submissions at a Special Council Meeting on 17 May at Richmond Town Hall
Read below for our responses to the Draft Council Plan, Draft Annual Budget and Proposed Waste Service Charge and please feel free to use, expand these and add your own to the Submission Form:
Draft Council Plan 2017–21
A problem with any Draft Council Plan is that bicycle infrastructure funding is not automatically included in annual council budgets. In order to permanently fund bicycle infrastructure, future Yarra Council budgets should include this requirement as standard operating procedure so that projects and funding can not be politicised, as has occured in previous years.
The Draft Council Plan has many positive goals, including community education for all road users, high priority for bikes, walking tracks and facilities and encouraging using public transport, walking or cycling as the first choice of transport (Liveable Yarra community survey)
However these can not be achieved unless there is a serious change in thinking within council and real goals are applied, including the Bike Strategy Refresh (2016).
Yarra has the highest cycling participation rates in Australia with near 10% of residents riding daily, with a growing population and increased pressure on local transport and planning, Yarra Council must:
- integrate and complement sustainable transport solutions with an emphasis upon developing walking and cycling routes that are safe for ages "8 to 80",
- develop safe routes to school, eg: riding routes to the new Richmond High School,
- construct seperated on-road routes, eg: finishing the Wellington St separated lanes, this is a vital infrastructure framework for trips within and through Yarra,
- create more secure bike parking along main streets and trip destinations,
- network with nearby councils and state government to plan, fund and build overdue local infrastructure,
- In regards to improved shared path connections and signage, Yarra Council should consider networking with local councils to share maintenance and wayfinding information
Draft Annual Budget 2017-18
The Strategic Transport budget allocates $821K towards bicycle infrastructure, of which, $500K is for the completion of Wellington St and $90K is combined bicycle network program and bicycle parking.
These figures illustrate the requirement for a more accurate funding breakdown, which in turn can be used to show Service Performance Indicators for how Yarra Councils bicycle infrastructure goals will be achieved.
Overall the bicycle infrastructure spend for 2017/18 has decreased yet again, when compared to Yarra Councils Roadworks budget ($8.4M), given that existing cycling projects take up bulk of allocated funding (Wellington Street, Rushall Reserve, Coulson Reserve), with a relatively small figure remaining to consider any Bike Strategy Refresh (2016) projects or additional bicycle network program and bicycle parking works.
Yarra Councils Draft Budget should be amended to accurately reflect residents usage patterns of near 10% riding to work, eg: an additional $800K in the Draft Council Plan 2017–21.
Proposed Waste Service Charge
This proposed charge has been highly contentious among Yarra residents. However, like all other Victorian councils, Yarra is under a rates cap from State government.
Write how you feel about this charge, maybe you have other worthwhile suggestions for council to source funding?
Make a submission
You can contribute between Thursday 6 April and 5pm, Thursday 11 May (extended deadline) in a number of ways:
Via the online submission form: http://www.yoursayyarra.com.au/shape-yarra-future
You can email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Post to: Yarra City Council
Attention: Your Say Yarra consultation
PO Box 168
Richmond VIC 3121
Speak to your submission
Council will hear and consider verbal submissions at a Special Council Meeting at 6.30pm on Wednesday 17 May at Richmond Town Hall.
If you lodge a submission before the extended deadline (11 May), and your submission included an intention to speak in support of it (or have someone else speak on your behalf) you will be given an opportunity to do so at this meeting. We will advise you of this process after your written submission is received.