The state seat of Melbourne is vacant following the resignation of the sitting member. The seat of Melbourne covers approximately the same area as the City of Melbourne. The by-election will be held on Saturday 21 July 2012.
About the Melbourne BUG bike survey
Melbourne BUG has tested by-election candidates on their commitment to a range of bike transport proposals to make cycling safer and easier, and encourage more people to get on their bike. These include setting the bike budget at 2-3% of road spending (around $40 million), building separated bike lanes in St Kilda and Flemington roads, fixing Shepherd Bridge and Dynon Road, introducing 30 km/h speed limits and exempting the Melbourne Bike Share from mandatory helmet laws. The full list of questions is below, and a summary table is available here .
Analysis of responses
A summary talbe can be viewed here .Of the main contenders, only Greens candidate Cathy Oke answered the survey questions. Labor candidate Jennifer Kanis declined to respond to the questions, stating that the proposals would be better considered as part of the 2014 state election.
Cathy Oke supported all initiatives except the helmet law exemption for Melbourne Bike Share. Ms Oke also highlighted her achievements as a Melbourne City Councillor, including removing cars from Swanston Street and securing $5.6 million dollars for bikes in the City of Melbourne's 2012-13 budget. As part of Ms Oke's by-election campaign, the Greens committed to matching the City of Melbourne's bike funding for the electorate of Melbourne and to introducing a vulnerable road user law. The Greens do not however have a fully developed state bicycle plan.
Labor candidate Jennifer Kanis acknowledged that the proposals were 'important and good practical ideas' but said they were better considered in the 2014 state election, when Labor will have developed a state bicycle policy. Labor has not made any bike-related commitments or released any bike transport policies during the by-election campaign. Ms Kanis outlined the previous Labor Government's cycling achievements, including its record investment in bike infrastructure and the introduction of guidelines requiring that cycling be considered as part of new roads and public transport projects.
Independent candidate Stephen Mayne responded too late to include in our media release but has been included on our summary page. Of the other independents, Adrian Whitehead demonstrated the best understanding of cycling issues, and Berhan Ahmed also responded thoughtfully. John Perkins supported most of the proposals but did not give further details. Australian Christian Party candidate Maria Bengtsson expressed an interest in proposals but did not offer an informed response. David Nolte did not respond to the survey but published a policy on his own website. While not hostile to encouraging cycling for transport he showed a lack of knowledge of the issues. Fiona Patten also lacked knowledge of most of the issues but supported some proposals. The remainder of the candidates have not responded.
MBUG asked candidates to indicate support, non support or partial support for the following proposals, with provision for comments:
1. Annual bike spending of 2-3% of road spending (or about 40 million)
2. A physically separated bike lane on St Kilda Rd from Southbank Boulevard to St Kilda Junction
3. A physically separated bike lane along Flinders Street from Spring to Spencer Streets.
4. A physically separated two-way bicycle route along the western side of Clarendon Street, the Clarendon Street Bridge over the Yarra river and along Spencer Street to LaTrobe Street
5. A physically separated bike lane along Flemington Road from Alexander Road to the Haymarket Roundabout
6. An upgrade of Dynon Road to fix safety issues for cyclists and create a high quality route to the north and west of the City from the West
7. A redesign of Shepherd's Bridge over the Maribyrnong River at the western end of the Footscray Road path
8. Rebuild Haymarket Roundabout for safety.
9. 30km/h speed limits:
In the CBD
Around schools, residential areas and shopping zones
10. Exemption to mandatory helmet law for the Melbourne Bike Share.
More detail on the proposals, and candidate's full answers, with comments
You can view each individual survey on the survey page.