Wednesday, October 07, 2009

HCC Candidate's reply: Toby Rowallan

Text below of reply from Toby Rowallan, received 12 October:

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your question, and I appreciate your making the effort to have this issue discussed.

Sadly local government despite its frequent impact on our daily lives gets little attention in our news media. Having said that I believe there has been considerable interest in this particular issue within the Hobart community.

Like my fellow Greens candidate Corey Peterson, I fully support the notion of a walkway around the Battery Point foreshore that caters for cyclists, able-bodied and disabled pedestrians.

I also note that cost and practicalities rarely fail to intervene in such plans, and that if elected as an alderman I would have to consider these against other needs. Hobart City Council is not a bottomless pit of money and the construction of the walkway/cycleway may require many more years of waiting before it is completed, assuming the council approves it. Other sources of funding may be possible, however these are yet to be explored.

Unsurprisingly, being a Green candidate, I am also concerned about climate change. Any walkway will have to take into account likely sea-level rise. To not do so would be foolish and wasteful.

I also believe that it is important to note the concerns of all interested members of the community. Aspects of such a proposal as this have the potential to sharply divide a community, and I believe it is vital that the public is fully consulted with and their concerns heard, before any decisions are made.

Finally, I don’t believe the construction of a cycleway around the Battery Point foreshore should preclude the inclusion of a bicycle lane along Sandy Bay road. Hobart is a very car-dependent city and we need more public transport options throughout, including more bicycle-lanes, but also more pedestrian friendly areas. There are many more options, some much more expensive of course, such as light rail, but at the very least I would like to see bike-racks on buses, to allow for those cyclists who aren’t so enthusiastic about going up hills.

Warm regards,

Toby Rowallan

Greens candidate for Hobart City Council

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