The Full Story

December 2021 Blue Mountains City Council Candidate Responses

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Brendan Christie, Ward 4

Hi David,

 

I support all three measures whole heartedly.

 

I have secured $4m from the State Government to clean up and restore the Glenbrook / Lapstone Tunnel. This project will bring vital tourism to our area, be a much loved asset to our community and support our businesses who have been hit hard through fires, floods and COVID.

 

Glenbrook is a cycling hub and it is vital that candidates support your initiatives, particularly for my Ward. In October I met with business owners and Adam Podolski from your committee after a motion I moved, and worked with Adam on, was passed at council to install bike racks at Glenbrook to make it easier for cyclists to visit our area.

 

I thank you and the cycling committee for all your hard fought activism and if re-elected on December 4 I look forward to working with you closely to achieve even greater success.

 

Thanks

Councillor Brendan Christie

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Mark Greenhill, Ward 4

Hi David
I support opening the Glenbrook Tunnel and the lower mountains network of trails in the BMCSF plan, working towards a network of cycling paths from the lower to upper mountains and investigating more opportunities for off-road mountain biking that are regularised across the mountains.
I believe there is enormous tourism and economic opportunities from developing this infrastructure for the Blue Mountains.


We should capitalise on the grant funding available to us.

 

Regards, Mark


Mark Greenhill OAM
Mayor

Independent Ward 4

Andy Curnow and Peter O'Toole, Ward 4

Hi David

 

Sorry for the delay in responding. 

 

As mentioned previously, I am a keen cyclist (mountain biker) so agree with your entire platform.

We spend quite a bit of time in Wollongong which as you probably know, has a fantastic cycle trail that runs uninterrupted from Wollongong to Thirroul. We use it a lot and I recall when I was studying PDHPE at Wollongong University in the 1980s, the cycle track was being considered. In other words, it’s been there for 30 years or more and is enthusiastically used by cyclists, runners and walkers alike. ‘Build it and they will come.’

Last weekend we spent some time in Bowral which also has a fantastic bike trail (Cherry Tree Trail). In fact the Southern Highlands is littered with bike trails.

The health benefits of cycling are numerous and as a long time teacher of PDHPE, I have taught and fully understand the benefits of health promotion, of creating supportive environments, strengthening community action and building healthy public policy (those last three are straight from the Stage 6 PDHPE program 😁) but are nonetheless entirely accurate.

The geography of the Blue Mountains makes it more problematic than some of those examples mentioned and it’s true that there are numerous off road trails for mountain bikers. However this may not appeal to all, thus the importance of further biking and walking infrastructure that is easily accessed and requires less physical endeavour than many of the trails in the bush.

Part of Peter’s  and my agenda for council involves the regeneration of Blaxland War Memorial Park and an increase in footpaths. Common sense would say that any new footpaths should also have bike access. The redevelopment of the BWMP is also designed to improve the quality of life for those in the lower mountains. There are many young families (approx 40-50) who are in walking distance of the park.

 

To summarise…we fully support your agenda.

 

 Regards

 

Andy Curnow and Peter O'Toole

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Ward 1 – Kevin Schreiber

Ward 2 – Jo Bromilow

Ward 3 – Roza Sage

Dear David,

 

Apologies for the delay, I had thought that I sent this through. Please find our response below.

 

I speak on behalf of the Liberal candidates in Wards 1, 2, and myself in Ward 3. Clr Brendan Christie from Ward 4 has already been addressing a cycleway at the Glenbrook Tunnel and has approached you about his endeavours.

In principle, we are very supportive of developing a cycling and walking network across the Mountains. If elected, as a team we Liberals will actively advocate for the proposals you have put forward and will endeavour to convince other councillors of the benefits and values of the projects.

I note that Council had developed the Blue Mountains Bike Plan 2020 which had some major flaws. It leaned heavily to commuter cycling and had relatively little to contribute to tourism cycling which we feel has great potential growth area given our beautiful Blue Mountains location. It could easily become an international drawcard.

Unlike overseas cities such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, as quoted on Page 50 of the Bike Plan, the Blue Mountains terrain is steep with narrow and difficult streets while the cited cities have level terrain.

We see value in an “End to End” tourism cycling plan that has many layers of infrastructure co-ordinated as physical infrastructure, shared cycle paths and tracks parallel to the highway and railway, connectivity to lookouts and accommodation, directional signage, and so on. 

You know of similar successful infrastructure across NSW that we can use as models.

 

I acknowledge that both the Federal and State Governments have contributed funding to some of the cycleways already in the Mountains and that there are significant other funding pools that can be tapped into. We will continue to actively lobby other levels of government for future funding. 

If elected, we look forward to further engaging with you on this issue and value your advisory input.

Liberal candidates

Ward 1 – Kevin Schreiber

Ward 2 – Jo Bromilow

Ward 3 – Roza Sage

Note - The candidates emailed BMCSF on 26/11/21 to clarify that they support project 3 (i.e Mt Bike trails).

Independent Ward 3

Daniel Myles, Ward 3

Dear David,

 

Hi David,

I strongly support the three core projects outlined in your email.

I look forward to working with you and the cycling community to achieve these outcomes.

Daniel Myles

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Mick Fell, Ward 3

Dear David,

Firstly, let me thank you for the opportunity to meet you last Saturday and to talk over the issues you have raised in your letter.

As I indicated in our conversation, I am fully supportive of the projects detailed in you letter to candidates running in the upcoming Council election.

I will commit to ensuring that all three are closely examined by Council staff and that this examination includes an examination of funding options.

I wish you luck with your endeavours to bring about the benefits outlined in your proposals and look forward to working with like-minded fellow councillors on the new Council.

Warm regards,

Mick Fell
Labor Candidate Ward 3

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Sarah Redshaw, Greens candidate for Ward 1

Brent Hoare, Greens candidate for Ward 2

Kingsley Liu, Greens candidate for Ward 3

Opening the Glenbrook rail tunnel for public recreation and secure grants to complete the lower mountains cycling and walking network

 

We fully support this exciting and innovative cycling project and commit ourselves, if elected as City of Blue Mountains Councillors, to advocate in its favour, lobby for State Government grants and do all we can to see it completed in as short a time as possible. There are undoubtedly important health, environmental and tourism benefits in this project.

Develop a cycling and walking network across the Mountains connecting town centres and schools with defined stages over ten years

 

The provision of active transport options, for example safe cycleways and walkways connecting major community facilities, schools and shopping centres, is a key plank of the recently released Blue Mountains Greens Local Climate Action Plan. There are many environmental, community health and social benefits in well-designed cycling and walking infrastructure. As Council candidates we are committed to see the local Council develop such a network, with appropriate community consultation, and implement it as soon as possible. Securing adequate funding for safe cycleways has featured prominently in our election materials and media coverage.

 

Identify and set aside suitable open space with relevant plans of management for off-road trails to cater for all levels and abilities for mountain biking

The increasing popularity of mountain biking as a recreational activity on the Blue Mountains demands that proper planning be introduced – with wide consultation with off-road cycling user groups, bushwalkers, environmentalists and other interested parties.

 

We agree that, with a carefully developed plan of management, and effective engagement with the community, the needs of mountain biking enthusiasts can be balanced with sustainable and environmentally sensitive ways of protecting the unique and often threatened native flora and fauna of our public lands.

Signed:

Sarah Redshaw, Greens candidate for Ward 1

Brent Hoare, Greens candidate for Ward 2

Kingsley Liu, Greens candidate for Ward 3

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Romola Hollywood, Ward 2

Dear David and members of the Blue Mountains Cycling Safety Forum 

 

Thanks so much for sending me your policy platform. 

 

As you are aware, I am a strong advocate for improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. We already seeing new shared paths being delivered in this financial year following my ongoing advocacy.

 

Council has a plan to integrate the Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan and the Bike Plan. I support this, and if re-elected, want to make sure this happens in a way that works and delivers for our community.

 

For your three asks:

 

  1. Opening the Glenbrook Rail Tunnel for public recreation and secure grants to complete the lower mountains cycling and walking network. Support

  2. Develop a cycling and walking network across the Mountains connecting town centres and schools with defined stages over ten years - Support

  3. Identify and set aside suitable open space with relevant plans of management for off road trails to cater for all levels and abilities of mountain biking - Support with consultation with other key stakeholders such as Traditional Owners, National Parks and Wildlife Service, conservation groups, local residents and the wider community.

 

I am happy to provide more information if required.

 

Regards 

 

Romola

 

Romola Hollywood

Labor Candidate for Ward 2

Independent Ward 2

David Clark, Ward 2

Greetings

Awesome. If it was up to me it would be done, as an avid MTBer who spends at least 1/4 of my spare time out there on the trails, the social, mental and physical benefits of riding and walking in our glorious backyard are understood by myself.

I think that the best way forward is to lobby the council to set up an internal body that spends its time seeking all available grants for everything we can get our hands on, there is quite literally a sea of monies that can be accessed by a knowledgeable team of applicants.

 

It is my understanding that there is plenty of land between the cities' needs limits and the national park, that is not some sort of ecological barrier or environmental corridor needed to support the biodiversity of the land between the city and the wild environment.

There is currently private groups looking for appropriate lands to acquire and develop into MTB areas.

 

The opening up of currently closed areas like the Glenbrook tunnel could be achieved through the grants process, it is my understanding that there are infrastructure needs associated with such places and I am however aware of the financial constraints on councils purse.

In principal I would support any project that would see closed areas opened up for public usage, following the correct procedures and protocols needed to establish as such.

 

Cheers

David Clark

Candidate Ward 2

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Suzie van Opdorp, Ward 1

Dear David

 

It's good to hear from you and receive your election proposals to improve cycling and walking infrastructure in the Blue Mountains.

 

I am interested in your proposals from a number of perspectives:  as a potential Councillor perspective and to promote local  amenity for residents and visitors. As a health worker I see the activities that you're proposing to be integral to the health and wellbeing of the community and this is an area of significant interest to me. In principle, I support the strategies you are proposing. 

I believe that Council's plans, eg the PAMP, are also supportive and aligned with these suggestions. However as we both know, Council is reliant on project funding to implement infrastructure projects like these.

 

If I am elected I will work with my Council colleagues to access funding to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.

 

Kind regards

 

Suzie van Opdorp

Lead Candidate - Labor Ward 1

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Helen Clifford and Nyree Fisher, Ward 4

Dear David,

 

 Thank you for your e- mail below. The candidates on Mark Greenhills ticket, myself,  Mark and Nyree Fisher,  support the principle of your request, (exercise for all community levels). 

 

I’m particularly interested in any outdoor activity which removes barriers to seniors, I being one .

 

Any enhancement of walking, especially if it can cater for all ages,  is particularly of interest to myself, as often the grandchildren wish to join in; so, a degree of flexibility is required. 

 

 I believe we live in a precious and unique environment, which our opponents only see as an opportunity for over development.

 

 David, at the end of the day family and community should be seen as paramount, getting out in the Mountains fresh air to ride or just play is a very valuable asset.

 

Yours sincerely,

                

 Helen Clifford                

Candidate Ward 4

 

Hi David

 

I am writing to show my support for the BMCSF three core projects and the opportunities they present for the Blue Mountains. As the second candidate on the Ward 4 Mark Greenhill ticket, Mark's response in support of your objectives is representative of the whole ticket. 

 

Kind regards

Nyree Fisher, Ward 4