Election 2008 Boroondara

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2008 election Boroondara

See also the 2008 Stonnington election.

Questions posed to candidates

  1. Will you support the construction of the bridge and path to link the Darebin Creek and Main Yarra Trails via Willsmere Park as planned by Parks Victoria?
  2. Bicycle Victoria believes that councils should spend at least $5 per head of population on cycling infrastructure. Will you support lifting expenditure to this level?
  3. What other ideas do you have for promoting cycling in Boroondara?

Candidates' responses


Luke Tobin – incumbent - not standing for re-election

Lydia Bevege

  1. I believe that the completion of the Darebin Creek-Yarra Trails link is long overdue and that cyclists in the area are justifiably angry that successive Governments and Councils have been unable to resolve this issue. We must also be careful to ensure that any potential bridge does not significantly alter the amenity of existing parks and waterways, and that the local environment is preserved and protected for the enjoyment of local residents. As councillor, I would be open to all potential options to resolve this issue.
  2. Clearly it is important for Boroondara Council to support and promote cycling in our local community. As councillor, I would support increased funding for cycling infrastructure on an as needs basis, rather than an arbitrary fixed figure. Some budgets may require more than $5 per head of spending, and other budgets may require less. I believe that it is important that council retains flexibility to adjust funding where necessary, particularly on an issue as important as cycling.
  3. I think that Boroondara Council should play an important part in fostering a cycling-friendly local community by ensuring that cyclists are able to share our roads safely and that existing bike paths are maintained and upgraded where possible. As councillor, I would be accessible to all residents who cycle, and always ready to listen to their concerns and work with them to find a solution.

John Dobinson - no response

Brad Miles

Many thanks for your message and the opportunity to place my views on bicycle infrastructure on the record.

  1. I am strong supporter of bike paths and the desirability of ensuring that they are connected. However, one of the reasons I use bike paths is to visit special areas such as the Kew Billabong. I cannot support a major bike link that bisects such a special area. I understand that there are alternative routes to provide the desired connection between these two trails and I will most certainly support a connection that does not adversely affect the special environs of the Yarra River.
  2. As a candidate it is difficult to respond to this question as I am not in a position to know what the current level of expenditure is. I do however, support Council investing in bicycle infrastructure and my election policy states: " Off-road bike path networks should be extended and maintained – and Council should continue to encourage cycling and further develop cycling facilities and infrastructure".
  3. I consider that a Council has many roles to play with respect to cycling, over and above infrastructure provision. It can promote the health and environmental benefits. It can lead by example promoting bicycle-friendly policies for its own staff - and, indeed Councillors. I would add that I also support linking commuter bike paths – the current situation where designated bike lanes stop and start is dangerous and Council and the State government need to work together to solve this problem.

Judith Voce

  1. I have had a long association with this issue since 1995. In addition, I chaired the Willsmere/Chandler Park Master Plan which submitted its report to Council in July 2001. The Willsmere-Chandler Park Working Group members included representatives from Bicycle Victoria, Parks Victoria, Darebin Parklands Committee of Management, Melbourne Water, Practical Ecology Pty. Ltd., Yarra Bend Park, Green Acres Golf Club, Boroondara Council and residents. I quote from the Executive Summary of this report: Willsmere-Chandler Park is an environmentally significant resource not only for the local community, but also for the greater region beyond the City of Boroondara. The value of the park is its existing remnant vegetation, the Willsmere and Chandler billabongs, and the park's role as a link in the flora and fauna corridor along the Yarra River. It is certainly a natural gem of this City. I am not opposed to a bridge and path to link the Darebin Creek and Main Yarra Trails but not at the location planned by Parks Victoria. There has always been another option proposed by Parks Victoria which has been outlined in successive Melways for at least 20 years. It's time to recognise this fact and safeguard the unique tranquil open space that exists in the river bend area adjacent to the Willsmere billabong as a tangible environmental benefit now and for future generations.
  2. I support the allocation of funds for cycling infrastructure in a responsible budgetary process but I am not in a position to verify a particular $ formula. As a former Councillor I supported the installation of the bicycle path along Kilby Road when it was opposed as a waste of money, unnecessary and wouldn't be utilised. I feel justifiably proud as I witness increased use of this path by a variety of cyclists over the succeeding years.
  3. We are fortunate to have a number of bike trails that could be utilised by schools as part of their sports program. As well as the physical benefit of riding, students could be taught road rules and etiquette, while discovering the joys of our natural and built environment around and through Boroondara. The future benefit of promoting riding in schools has the potential to continue riding through adulthood and supporting advances in providing safe on and off road infrastructure for cyclists and other users.

Marg D’Arcy

  1. I support a bridge and path linking the Trails, but am not convinced that Willsmere park is the best place for such a bridge, given the environmentally sensitive nature of the Billabong and the problems associated with that. I would like to see what other options there are for such a path.
  2. I would support any increase if expenditure on bicycle paths, and would like to encourage more use of bicycle both recreationally and as a means of transport, so would support measures to increase safety for cyclists, part of this means safe bicycle paths.
  3. I would like to see some dual pathways where there is allowance for walkers and for cyclists without competition or either feeling at risk from the other. Being both a cyclist and a dog walker I understand the needs of both. I would like to see Council support moves such as ride or walk to school.

Peter Graham - no response

Tony Michael - no response


Phil Meggs – incumbent - standing unopposed in Glenferrie

Peter Campbell

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on cycling-related matters in Boroondara.

I would first like to declare that I am an active member of the Boroondara Bicycle User Group, and have been for several years.

My responses to the three questions are below.

  1. Support the Darebin Creek and Main Yarra Trails link via Willsmere Park
    Yes, I strongly support this link. I addressed the Boroondara Council planning committee meeting when this matter was discussed and spoke in favour of it. The link is a critical one for joining two disparate trails and providing a safe off road alternative for school children and other cyclists. I am satisfied that the Parks Victoria recommended route is the best one, following their exhaustive studies and public consultation process. The link will be of considerable value to people in Boroondara and neighbouring council areas.
  2. $5 per head funding on cycling infrastructure
    I support lifting expenditure so that safer cycle paths and routes can be provided. Currently, many Boroondara residents avoid cycling due to perceptions it is too dangerous, except along bicycle paths. We need more shared cycle paths for pedestrians and bikes. In particular, an East West link is needed for safe cycle and pedestrian access connecting Box Hill with many shopping centres along the Belgrave/Lilydale railway line alignment to the Yarra. This would be useful for both local short trips and people travelling to and from the city. It would have the added advantage of taking bikes of busy and dangerous roads such as Canterbury, Burwood and Riversdale Roads. It is premature to endorse the $5 per head figure as we will need to identify major projects and their costs so that an accurate and appropriate budget can be allocated.
  3. Other ideas for promoting cycling
    If elected, I will convene community forums with Cotham Ward to get residents input on cycling related matters. I will also recommend that similar forums are convened in all other wards.
    Boroondara's Bicycle Strategy is good, but it needs to be implemented in a planned and efficient manner. I will work with Council to achieve this. I will also work to get cycling concerns and infrastructure considered routinely as part of standard Council road and development planning processes. Safe cycle paths, particularly an East West link, will also promote cycling by providing residents with additional safe and convenient cycle routes free from car traffic. These will also benefit pedestrians, particularly in areas such as Canterbury Road shops and through Hawthorn and Camberwell.

Theo Bila

On one hand I sympathise with your organisation and I can assure you that I am positive toward your cause, however I am a realistic person so without any financial and technical analysis I will try to give some thoughts below:

  1. After I can study the project in respect of: feasibility regarding cost; benefits etc. I will have a firm answer. I am constient that your proposal will have a positive impact on climate.
  2. If Councils of Victoria will do a "lean management analysis" and eliminate waste will may conclude that can be done without any additional taxes but this requires will; knowledge and managerial skills.
  3. I am a pedestrian by nature and a promoter of non polluting vehicles and I believe that the issue has two components as scope:
    • To go from A to B or work related matters.
    • Recreational purposes.

Extending the existing bicycle avenues where we have compliance with safety and road safety rules. Review or redesign the Vic Roads driving rules that make it an offence that cars or bicycles cross the continuos line. Make some streets or main avenues toward the city bicycle band only. I think that around Yarra River can be found routes for week-end recreation bicycle riders whereby no other traffic is allowed, pedestrians only.
Note: These are ideas which may become realities.

Benjie Perryman

  1. I strongly support the plan made by Parks Victoria. Particularly, this plan would join two separate trails and provide a safe off road environment for children and cyclists.
  2. The cost $5 per heard of population on cycling infrastructure is not an issue. As long as it is within the budget of the Boroondara Council and does not increase the rates of the residents.
  3. I am a bike lover. With the high cost of petrol, I think people may use bikes instead the car, especially if they are a short distance from home to work or school. The Boroodara Council may arrange some areas for Bike parking and paths for safety of the rider.

David Bloom

  1. Yes, in principle.
  2. Yes, within budgetary constraints.
  3. I would like to be briefed by you.


Coral Ross - incumbent

  1. I supported the bridge application in Council. I have not changed my view.
  2. I have always been a supporter of cycling and encouraging cycling. However, I do not believe in allocating a dollar amount per person. I believe in allocating funds according to the project. Sometimes the figure could be higher, and sometimes lower.
  3. The recently adopted Boroondara Bicycle Strategy is full of good ideas. I am particularly keen to promote a bridge under the Monash freeway immediately east of Glenferrie Road, linking the shared path in HA Smith Reserve to the Kooyong Park shared path. This will prevent conflict between pedestrians and cyclists and motorists on Glenferrie Road. If re-elected I will continue lobbying Parks Victoria and Transurban for the bridge. As Mayor I have visited primary schools promoting the advantages of not being driven to school. This is something I would like to continue doing.

Charles Kos

  1. Absolutely. I look forward to a time when the Willsmere Park link becomes an important hub for cyclists in linking the Main Yarra and Darabin Creek Trails.
  2. Yes, and I would petition the state government for more funding as well. It is no secret to cyclists that many trails are in need of major overhauls. I am an avid cyclist and an active user of the Outer Circle Anniversary Trail. This particular trail is in need of modernisation-- widening of asphalt as it is rather narrow in places, as well as more signs warning cyclists of upcoming conditions. I view modernisation as a future cost saving for residents of Boroondara. I see cycling as a key way of reducing congestion, and widening and enhancing the safety of trails is a key to encouraging families to utilise this alternative and health-providing form of transportation.
  3. I am a believer in the promotion of cycling as it will bring more fans to the activity. It might be interesting to have something like a `bike day' community festival, with a variety of activities. Perhaps utilising that outdoor velodrome in the Patterson Reserve. It is a shame that council initiatives for public get-togethers declined after the council amalgamations.


Meredith Butler – incumbent - not standing for re-election

Phil Meggs - no response


Jack Wegman - incumbent - no response

Stan Stapar - no response

Andrew Wrathall

  1. Yes, I believe that Boroondara Council has already voted in favour of the link and I will continue to support this.
  2. I am against budgeting for something before doing any analysis and planning into what is actually needed, but am very happy to look at cycling infrastructure plans that are proposed.
  3. I would like to see more community cycling events like the recent Rotary River Ride. If the council supported a family bike day around Boroondara, then I believe it would be quite successful and get the community involved in cycling. The council has to work to make sure that our busy roads are safe for cycling especially for children, so promoting cycling goes hand in hand with danger awareness.


Heinz Kreutz – incumbent

  1. Yes, definitely, as outlined in my decisions at the Boroondara planning meetings in June 2008.
  2. Considering the chronic underfunding on cycling infrastructure by successive State Governments I support the idea in principle. However, further analysis would need to be undertaken before an exact amount could be specified. There are different needs in different municipalities.
  3. The Boroondara Bicycle Strategy 2008-2018 gives a good indication of our priorities, especially section 7 Infrastructure Recommendation. As a member on the Boroondara Bicycle Advisory Committee I would argue that I have lent strong support to cycling in Boroondara.

Ralph Krein

  1. Yes, I do support it but it all comes down to funding. This bridge would be a perfect candidate for the $600 million grants that the Commonwealth has earmarked for Local Government
  2. I believe that spending should remain a "moveable feast" and that locking in a specific funding target restricts other infrastructure projects. I seriously do not know how the councils financial position will fare in light of the current economic circumstances.
  3. I'm a big fan of bike paths. The more bikes we can get off the roads the better and safer for all. Cycle access and carriages on our rail lines and stations as well as secure cycle parking at major rail stations. Of course this should be in partnership with State Government.


Dick Menting – incumbent

  1. You know my answer to 1. (Dick has voted in favour of the link)
  2. I will be quite happy to support much higher expenditure by council on bicycle facilities. I would not like to state an arbitrary figure now but rather look at what is necessary immediately and less immediate projects and nice to have projects and then have costings done and see what should be spent and what can be spent, both now and in future years.
  3. As to item 3, the more off road bike paths can be provided, the better. As you are aware, the quarterly bicycle meetings with council (Bicycle Advisory Committee) were arranged with my help. I will continue to be involved and help as much as possible to improve the lot of bike riders.

Robin Kelly - withdrawn


Nicholas Tragas – incumbent

  1. My position has not changed. I am in complete support.
  2. I am in total support of cycling and their need for safe infrastructure,however, it is premature for me to support an increase of $5 per head of population on cycling infrastructure until I understand the costings and how it applies in Boroondara. It is a question best directed to State politicians at this particular juncture who have greater influence on decisionmaking on major roads and arterials.
  3. I am of the firm belief that cyclists and cars should not be in conflict where possible. To this end the Boroondara Council's Bicycle Strategy needs to ensure that it has alternative safe routes to get cyclists off major roads as much as possible. The Darebin Creek and Main Yarra Trails via Willsmere Park is a good start.
    Another suggestion is to have cyclists travelling next to the train line. There are many other alternative options that need to be explored .For example cyclists travelling into the city west along High St Kew . I cringe everytime I see a cyclist travelling down Kew Junction going west ( Studley Park). This is one example where conflicts between car and cyclists need to be removed asap.

Dennis Whelan - no response

Justin Klvac

  1. Yes, there is widespread support for this initiative and it is deserved. I do not think the path will be ecologically detrimental and I feel that walkers and cyclists can co-exists with a bit of common sense.
  2. I would prefer to look at each project, or suggestion, as a seperate item. If it is clearly justifiable and desired by the residents it may be justifiable to spend more than $5 per head. However, I understand the initiative aims and support the greater use of cycling, within our communities, both from a health and environmental perspective.
  3. There are walking busses to schools and this is a Council initiative. Could there be a riding bus to schools? Promotion of bike riding as a way to get to high school? More secure and well located bike racks at our shopping centres to encourage people to cycle to do their shopping. Secure parking for bikes at railway stations to link cycling and public transport, or the ability to store bikes on trains as part of the overall public transportation mechanism. Not well thought out as yet, but some initial ideas.


Mary Halikias-Byrnes – incumbent - not standing for re-election

Kevin Chow

Thank you for your email. I came across your website several weeks ago while I was searching the internet for a potential route for me to ride from my home in Glen Iris to my workplace in Parkville. I fully support the need to encourage more people to cycle as a means of transport as well as for recreation. There are too many barriers that discourage people from cycling regularly and these need to be removed. Cycling is good for your health, good for the environment and also the fastest way to get to the city in peak hour (as reported in The Age Newspaper last week).

With regards to your questions:

  1. I am in favour of improving infrastructure to encourage people to cycle more regularly and so yes I would support the building of a bridge and path to link the two trails. I note that Boroondara Council recently voted in favour of supporting this development and I will continue to offer that support.
  2. I am broadly in favour of increasing expenditure on cycling infrastructure as a means of making it easier and safer to cycle regularly. However, I would need to study the issue, implications and economics of this particular proposal before committing to a specific $5 per head expenditure by council. Whatever one may feel about this particular proposal, I think that most of us can agree that we need to spend more than we are currently doing.
  3. I believe that the main reason why people do not cycle to work regularly from places such as Solway and Boroondara is the concern about safety. I know many people in the local area and also from other areas who do not currently ride regularly but who would if they felt safe doing so. The main reason why people don't feel safe is that they have to share the road with cars on much of their journeys. Council and other levels of government should try to build more functional and practical bicycle paths that people can use to actually commute on a daily basis. This would significantly increase the number of people who would cycle. The Council also has a role in educating the local community about the benefits of cycling and encouraging initiatives such as the National Ride to Work Day.

If I have the honour of serving as the Solway Councillor, you may be assured that I would be very supportive of cyclists. I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with your members to improve cycling infrastructure in the future.

Justin McKernan - no response

David Edwards

I am a great supporter of bike riders. I frequently ride with my son into town using the Gardiners Creek path. I have also been on the organising committee for the Great Victorian Bike Ride for several years.

  1. It is vitally important that bike paths link, and provide a true network - not a patch-work of disconnected paths.
  2. I havn't seen the Bicycle Victoria data concerning the $5 spend, but it is imperative that government's provide a coordinated network of on-road/off-road paths, that satisfy both the recreational and commuter bike rider. Linking bike paths is just as imperative, as the government seems to think linking ring roads is.
  3. I believe that there needs to be better planning for upgrades and repairs of bike paths. Nowdays, if there are any road works there are men with signs and giant arrows with directions, but when a bike path is repaired, riders are expected to simply find their way around the works. I am specifically speaking about the repairs of the bridge and path along Gardiners Creek in Solway Ward. In this case there should have been temporary works and detours to facilitate riders to get from one side of the work to the other.

Diane Preston - no response


Phillip Healey – incumbent

  1. I support it as per Councils approval, and should Parks Victoria not be able to proceed with the link as proposed through the golf course and park I would work quickly and constructively to see an alternate achieved. I remain committed to a new link as quickly as possible.
  2. Agree in principal with what you seek to achieve. With the many demands on rate payers, would have to look at this in the context of the next budget round. The coming year will be difficult for all residents and any proposals that add cost have the potential to raise rates and need to be fully informed decisions.
  3. Reclaiming more of the road for cyclists, which will be under pressure under the governments clearways proposal. Need to create an environment where we can have more students on cycles going to school. We need to get more education and compliance for cyclists and walkers on shared paths to remove the conflict. We need to do some trials of separating cyclists from walkers on some of the shared trail pressure points to see if accidents can be reduced.

Des Benson

  1. As a committed member of the Greens, a proud owner of an active dog “Tiger,” and as an ardent bicycle user myself, I support the construction of a bridge and path to link the Darebin Creek and Main Yarra Trails. I believe that extending the path along the north side of the Yarra adjacent to the Latrobe Golf club and putting the bridge at the downstream edge of Willsmere Park is the right option. Great bicycle access is provided and the ecological value of Willsmere is enhanced. This is the option (D) in the July 2004 Parks Victoria planning document.
  2. I support increasing the expenditure on cycling infrastructure because I believe this is one of the very best ways to get value from transport infrastructure.
  3. I want to significantly lift the comfort, safety and value of bicycle use. This will change the mix of transport to a more sustainable basis. How?
    • Create safe and continuous bicycle lanes, including the realignment and separation of lanes (e.g. “Copenhagen” bike lanes) where applicable
    • Add bicycle lanes based on priority routes
    • Provide multiple bicycle parks, including long stay secure bike lockers
    • Ensure developers integrate bicycle parking and end of trip facilities within development proposals

Leon Zembekis

  1. Yes, providing no loss of intermediate and old growth trees.
  2. Yes, though $750 to 1 Mil doesn't buy you much these days.
  3. Council having a bicycle fleet for staff, safe lock ups for train stations and shops, bike lanes and bike education, challenge corporate capitalism.

Jill Stansfield

  1. I believe that Council should be doing everything it can to encourage bike riding to ease traffic, help the environment and improve the health of our community. The Darebin bridge issue has obviously provoked a lot of debate and needs to be resolved. From what I understand, Council has already passed the plan and it is due to go to VCAT. There definitely needs to be a bridge and after 13 years of messing around it should be resolved once and for all. If elected I would make the resolution of the bridge issue my number one priority.
  2. Councils should be spending money to promote and facilitate safe cycling. I think that $5 a head can be used as a guideline but expenditure should be project based. Coming from a bike riding family I would be very keen to work with the BBUG group to improve cycling in the area.
  3. Many of the programs run by Bicycle Victoria could be used in a local format to promote cycling in Boroondara. For instance the ride to work day could also involve local businesses, schools and even councillors to set an example to the rest of the community. Council needs to ensure that the well being of bike riders is paramount and investigate ways to improve their safety on the roads.

Cindee Smith - no response

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