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Response to Public exhibition of the draft Sydney Water Catchment Management Regulation 2008


Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 27 May 2008

I've just sent the following in response to the SCA regulation. It's pretty generic so should work for all. If you'd like to help please copy/paste this (add your postal address to the top and name to the bottom of course) and email to regulations@sca.nsw.gov.au

May 27 2008

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you with comments on the document titled "Public consultation draft - Sydney Water Catchment Management Regulation 2008". The version I write on was displayed on your website at the following address:

http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/home/sidebar/community-consultation/ris-exhibit/public-exhibition-of-the-draft-sydney-water-catchment-management-regulation-2008

As a keen user of national parks and reserves and other wilderness areas I would like to thank you for the chance to comment on your regulations which affect access to similar areas.

It is my understanding that the lands discussed hold many opportunities for outdoor activities, and much of the land is in close proximity to Sydney meaning that a large user base could make excellent use of these areas with relative ease.

Although I enjoy bush walking, cycling is my main passion, off road or mountain bike riding in particular. I am not alone here. Did you know for instance that the Cycling Promotion Fund states, "... a record 1.47 million bicycles sold in 2007... Cycling has become the 4th most popular physical activity with more than 1.6 million Australian adults cycling in 2006, an increase of 17% from 2001.". Further more, Retail Cycle Traders Australia statistics show that 1998-2005 70% of all bike sales were mountain bikes, and 60% of all bike sales were for adult bikes.

Many would argue it is very important with a population with a growing sedentary lifestyle and the health problems this brings to encourage activity in young and old alike. Coupled with the need for more environmentally sustainable (non-motorised) recreation close to large urban centres you are in a unique situation to give many the opportunity to enjoy large areas of wonderful wilderness.

Sadly though I note that users such as myself who may wish to visit and cycle in schedule 1 & 2 lands are excluded by clause 23.1.a (one must not ride any vehicle) in conjunction with 3.1.c which defines a vehicle in a way which would seem to include a bicycle.

While I agree that motor vehicles which carry large quantities of fuel, lubricants and other potentially dangerous fluids should be excluded I cannot see how a bicycle could pose the same risks. In addition, many studies have concluded that on a well maintained track, path or road the riding of a bicycle has the same or even less impact on the surface as a walker following the same path.

For the above reasons I would like to ask that you change the wording of your regulation to allow the riding of bicycles in these lands. I would image this would best be done by excluding the technical definition of a bike (a pedal-driven, human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other) from your definition of a vehicle.

Further more, given the second point I raise above about rider and walker impact on trails I don't see any reason why the riding of bicycles should not be allowed where ever other access (such as bush walking) is granted and ask that you make that change.

Again, let me thank you for this opportunity to comment and hope you take up these suggestions in the final regulation.

Regards,

LadyToast's picture

Nicely written Rob.. Have done the same.

Dylan

CB's picture

Hi Guys

I joined up to NoBMoB around Christmas and while I check the posts every day, I've never posted anything. This seemed like a good topic to start with...

I've done as you asked with the letter above and hopefully if many others do, we might get a successful outcome.

I know a lot of people read the NoBMoB forums without actually contributing ( much like myself...) Can I urge you to come out of the cupboard and add your voice to help keep trails open... The arguments are compelling, it just needs the political will to make things happen and nothing motivates a political decision like strength in numbers.

Keep up the good work

CB

karingal's picture

Well done. I've sent my version off. Hope to get out to meet a few of the NobMob one of these weekends!

Flynny's picture

so if you haven't done so and only have a minute or two to spare send a one or two line email to regulations@sca.nsw.gov.au requesting access rights for cyclists on management trails

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