Ben Wilson from from Bicycle Queensland was kind enough to let me post this to the forum. I think its worth reading, especially if your from QLD.
As you'd probably know - in response to the publicity following Luke
Harrop's death and other angry events on the Gold Coast, the Premier held a
summit on the Gold Coast last Friday.
It was done so quickly and without clear instruction (was it a Gold Coast
or Statewide summit? and who was invited?) that the process was slightly
flawed. There was no agenda or discussion paper for instance.
Nevertheless FULL credit to Premier Peter Beattie, Police Minister Tony
McGrady, plus the Police Commissioner for getting into a room with cycle
representatives. (And Gold Coast's Mayor Baildon and the Transport
Given the somewhat haphazard invitation list and timing/location of the
meeting (a working day, midday at Nerang) - it probably wasn't as good a
forum as it could have been.
Also, the State Cycle Committee had met in Brisbane just two days before
and spent an hour on the same issue, with reps from Police, QT, user groups
and others providing input. So it was two similar forums in 2 days.
Slightly confusing as some of the same ground is covered twice.
So what happened?
The meeting had invited guests down the front (with name tags without
organisations mentioned) and "observers" at the back. the Premier spoke
very well for 10 minutes, the Police statistics man also for 10 min, then
Police Minister chaired the meeting.
Invited guests included Bicycle Qld (Ben), Bicycle Gold Coast (Linda)
Cycling Queensland (racers - Peter Donkin) Cycling Australia ( Mike Victor
- racers too) Triathlon Aust, MS Society, several local cycling clubs
(racing) and several bike shops, and some bike education instructors.
(others who I didn't get the names of too) They spoke first.
I'd be a little critical that the most common and typical cyclist - the
ordinary person who rides a bike for fun or transport - was not picked up
sufficiently in the above.
Some major points raised included:
- BQ - called for police to consider greater response to cyclists'
complaints about particular drivers who may be habitual re-offenders. (This
was similar to Bicycle Gold Coast written submission) that cyclists who
lodge a complaint with the police in response to dangerous driving are
heard and recorded, and if the same driver is regularly reported then some
follow up (letter, ph call) is delivered.
- police and the public are ignorant of cyclists right to be on the road,
and two-abreast cycling is legal and safer
- Lots of talk of helmets and more stringent helmet waring enforcement -
though given the terms of reference of the summit this was a bit like
blaming the victim (all reported incidents that led to the summit involved
cyclists who were wearing helmets)
- Some mention of licencing riders (MS Society i think) and registration
from someone (missed where this came from) but BQ did circulate an info
sheet against registration and feels similarly regarding licencing.
- Bike Ed was mentioned and some professionals in the field spoke of it.
- There was much talk of off-road cycling tracks for high-speed cycling
(mostly from the racing and triathalon reps) and segregation of cyclists
We took a dim view of this, and said so. Off-road high speed tracks would
be great for some training cyclists and race days, but would be very
expensive and wouldn't help ordinary people riding to work, for fun or to
As always, the thought of segregated off-road tracks for kids is wonderful,
until the $$ and intersection treatments are considered - they weren't in
It was great to see the Minister had a summary of the submissions received
so far - well done to those people - and this week is also available for
more submissions. Most were good, with education being pushed as a key.
Disappointingly, many 'ideas' were raised by delegates or observers that
were not international best practice, nor seriously thought through. Also,
ideas were raised when they are already underway - like "Have a share the
road campaign like southern states" or "paint bike-lanes on the road"
The media reporting was fairly slap-dash. Old ideas were presented as new
and authoritive in print, but really there was not the scope in this
hastily organised summit for due consideration or debate.
Probably the most passionate words came from Col Stewart, who trains many
of the international triathletes, and was following Luke Harrop when he was
hit. He said verbal abuse and intimidation from drivers is rife, with
little police support for obvious cases in the past. He claims
international triathletes have told him they love the coast and its
facilities but the bad driver attitude means they are not training here in
summer anymore - and that came from Italians, English, Swiss and other
All in all - a good summit given the hurriedness of its happening, but no
new ground unearthed apart from a commitment from the Premier to do
something to protect cyclists - in itself a great achievement!