Updated: Dec 4, 2021
When you vote in the local government elections for Hornsby Shire Council and Kuring-gai Shire Council on Saturday 4th December 2021, please keep in mind the following responses from each of the standing candidates, in relation to their position on mountain biking in our Region.
Each Hornsby Electorate candidate, with publicised email contact details, was contacted via letter on 15th/16th November, requesting their responses prior to the forthcoming local government election, to the following two questions:
"Do you recognise Mountain Biking (MTB) growing in engagement and participation?"
"Are you willing, with genuine commitment to collaborating with the MTB community and Club, to address current needs and issues relating to a sustainable trail network within the Hornsby Shire Council Region?"
To clarify, we are asking for Councillors' commitment to include the MTB Community and Club in their approach to serving the whole community. As a segment which has often been ignored or disregarded in some circles, except to be demonised. However, we are consistently coming to the table in order to work together to create solutions which are sustainable for MTB, for the Bushland, and for Hornsby Shire. By collaboration, we mean working with Council and other community groups.
Do you agree that this is important and would be beneficial for us all to get together to tackle the associated needs and issues of our community group and other community groups, collectively?
Responses received to-date* from HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL ELECTION CANDIDATES below...
Asquith, Arcadia, Berowra, Berowra Heights, Brooklyn, Berrilee, Calabash, Cowan, Canoelands, Dangar Island, Dural, Fiddletown, Forest Glen, Glenorie, Galston, Glenhaven, Hornsby Heights, Laughtondale, Mt Colah, Mt Kuring Gai, Maroota, Middle Dural, Singletons Mill.
Independent: Benjamin Caswell
Labor: Mick Marr - HSC is doing an investigation into MBT's and appropriate places for their placement which I support.
Labor: Joe Von Bornemann
Labor: Warren Soos
Liberal: Nathan Tilbury - Q1) Yes. Q2) Yes.
Liberal: Warren Waddell - Q1) Yes. Q2) Yes.
Liberal: Anthea Klich
The Greens: Tania Salitra
Hornsby, Normanhurst, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh, Wahroonga, Waitara, Westleigh.
Labor: Janelle McIntosh - Q1) Yes, without hesitation.
SNORC members will know that I have discussed MTB issues many times via social media / email and met with a group of riders at the top of the H20 trail to discuss issues of concern surrounding the MTB trails and the developments proposed for Westleigh Park.
I have followed this up within Council, seeking additional time for community consultation on the Westleigh Park project and more recently, seeking support for a new, comprehensive strategy on Cycling and Mountain Biking in our Shire. I've attached a copy of that Notice of Motion below, which was put to the September 2021 Council Meeting.
In short, I support Mountain Biking, along with other forms of cycling, and have demonstrated that I am prepared to act upon these issues within Council.
RESOLVED ON THE MOTION OF COUNCILLOR MCINTOSH, seconded by COUNCILLOR BROWNE, -
1. A report on the public exhibition of the Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy be brought back to Council as soon as is practicable.
2. The report give consideration for a future new Strategy to include:
a) How mountain biking can be addressed across the Shire.
b) An analysis of cycling activity and infrastructure in our Shire including learn to ride; pump tracks; criterium tracks; 'pop-up' tracks; mountain bike trails; commuter cycling; recreational road cycling such as the Three Gorges Ride; and charity events such as the Bobbin Head Cycle Classic.
c) The economic impact and benefits of recreational cycling, road cycling and mountain biking and how Hornsby Shire can benefit from capitalising on this existing trend.
d) How Council can expeditiously develop a comprehensive Cycling and Mountain Bike Strategy to inform other key current projects.
3. A Workshop be held with Councillors to discuss the options available to Council in regard to:
a) The development of the Strategy, and how it will relate and engage with the Strategies or position of other public landholders such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service or Crown Lands.
b) How it will work with other Council Strategies such as the planned Natural Areas Recreation Strategy.
c) A recommended consultation and engagement approach.
d) Resources and funding available to complete the Strategy.
FOR: COUNCILLORS BROWNE, HEYDE, HUTCHENCE, MARR, MCINTOSH, NICITA AND WADDELL
AGAINST: COUNCILLORS DEL GALLEGO AND TILBURY
Council has held a workshop on this issue, and at the final Council meeting of this term Council unanimously supported my motion for the development of an Active Transport Strategy in the 2022-2026 Delivery Plan. This will address the 'full gambit of walking and cycling activity' and will specifically address the issues in the notice of motion above.
I strongly hope to be part of the new Council and look forward to progressing these issues with local groups and organisations.
Q2) Yes, I believe the only appropriate way forward is to work together in a collaborative and productive way.
The B Ward Labor team comprising Janelle McIntosh, Shannen Potter and Jason Donald have adopted the following position in regard to cycling of all forms, and specifically mountain biking, of which Jason Donald is a devoted and active participant:
- we support strategies and plans that will enhance participation in all forms of on-road and off-road cycling in Hornsby Shire as we believe it's more sustainable: reducing the reliance on motor vehicles for transport; encouraging people to spend time outdoors in our bushland environment which is good for the health and wellbeing of all ages from toddlers to seniors; and it contributes to our local economy and tourism in a demonstrable way;
- we not only support cycling - we have a demonstrable plan to progress infrastructure to support it, reducing the costs to Council through public domain strategies that will see developers contribute to the cost of bike paths, trails, cycleways and other cycling infrastructure.
As the current Councillor, I have a track record in initiating plans and strategies to address cycling infrastructure - dating back to the initiation of a Bike Plan for the Shire in 2007/8. We need to take a consistent approach to support mountain biking and cycling across the Shire and work through in a respectful and collaborative way the challenges before us in relation to key sites such as Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park.
Council has a responsibility to manage areas where it has been identified that there are Threatened, Endangered or Critically Endangered Ecological Communities (or CEECs - such as the Blue Gum High Forest of the Sydney region). Council also has to address the many competing demands for the use of space at Westleigh by the range of sporting codes and groups. This will be the challenge for this forthcoming term of Council.
Labor: Shannen Potter (see Janelle McIntosh response)
Labor: Jason Donald (see Janelle McIntosh response)
Liberal: Sallianne McClelland - Q1) Yes. I have just spent 5 months living and working on the South East Coast, providing bush fire recovery support to the town of Mogo. I have seen first-hand the incredible plans and work that has gone into the Mogo Adventure Trails Master Plan. As one of Australia’s fastest growing sports, I am eager to see what we can create in our very own Bushland Shire and in my recent role with Resilience NSW had the opportunity to connect with Martin Wisata.
Q2) Yes. I am not a Mountain Bike Rider but I am a strategic event planner of 30 plus years, a fundraiser, and sponsorship/grant writer. I am also pretty good on a BBQ! I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the MTB Community and Club.
I am standing for Council because I have worked and volunteered in this community for over 25 years. NSW Local Woman of the Year, Westfield Hornsby Local Hero, Paul Harris Fellow and brought a fledging charity (Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter) to a point that when I stepped down from my President’s role, they were able to purchase a permanent home just one year later.
Everything that I have achieved to date, leads me to this point. The Bushland Shire is my community and I value the opportunity to represent them as their Councillor.
Liberal: Martin Dargan - Q1) Yes. Q2) Yes.
Liberal: Daniel Dummer - Q1) Yes. Q2) Sallianne McClelland, Martin and I are excited to seek support to represent our community in Ward B where we all live.
We speak with one mind on mountain biking: we are enthusiastic MTB supporters and we value the MTB community's contribution to healthy living and bush conservation in Hornsby Shire.
MTB promotes an active lifestyle for families and friends. Its growing population and engagement represent a great opportunity for Hornsby to attract tourism and support our local businesses.
We recognise the MTB community has a shared interest in protecting our native flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy.
If elected to council, all three of us would look forward to working closely and genuinely with SNORC and the local MTB community to address current needs and issues, including those relating to a sustainable trail network within our Shire.
The Greens: Monika Ball - Q1) Yes, absolutely. I also note with interest this awesome initiative in WA that's made trails accessible to those with disabilities.
Q2) Yes and I want trails to be planned with all stakeholders to cater for all abilities and ages.
Beecroft, Castle Hill, Cheltenham, Cherrybrook, North Epping, West Pennant Hills.
Independent: Vince Del Gallego - Q1) Yes.
Q2) I have always maintained a balanced approach to serving the community and for the overall benefit of most residents. Requesting to commit to one interest group is not a balanced approach and whoever makes such a commitment, just to win an election, in my opinion is not doing the right thing.
I envisage a professionally facilitated pre-determined number of workshops with community representatives, technical experts, and Council officers to come up with the most sustainable long-term solutions.
Liberal: Verity Greenwood - Q1) As the mother and spouse of two very dedicated mountain bike riders, I certainly recognise Mountain Bike Riding (MTB) as a conduit to increasing community engagement, participation and enjoyment. My husband in particular enjoys riding in bushland for both leisure and pleasure in the outdoors. He is very careful about how he rides and where he rides and he always sticks to well worn managed trails. Being a keen gardener, he also uses the time whilst riding to look at the native flora. The ongoing management of the ‘Old Man’s Valley Bike Track’ is very impressive and, as a spouse of an MTB enthusiast, I fully support MTB as an activity that provides participant’s opportunities to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing, their opportunities to socialise with other MTB riders and their commitment to respect our natural environment.
Q2) I am very much aware of the ongoing debate regarding MTB and the division it is causing in some sectors of the Hornsby community. As a health geographer, I am also very much aware of the importance of the health of our community and the environment in which we live. MTB provides physical and mental health benefits with the added bonus of community belonging which can enhance community wellbeing, which is one of my top priorities. With this in mind, I am certainly fully committed to collaborating with the MTB community and Club to address current needs and issues relating to a sustainable trail network within the Hornsby Shire Council region.
Thank you for the opportunity to connect and commit to collaborating with the SNORC community.
Liberal: Sreeni Pillamarri - Q1) Yes we do. Q2) Yes and happy to support.
Liberal: Andrea Calilhanna
The Greens: Emma Heyde - Q1) MTB is exploding in popularity across the Shire. I see (and wave to) many people on mountain bikes as I bushwalk. I'm very supportive of the families in my Ward who are working with me to find a way to get more facilities for kids of all ages there. It's been fantastic to meet and hear via email and message from so many families who love the sport. I would like to see more women involved. It's a male-doinated sport so I love it when I meet young women who enjoy MTB and who are encouraging other girls and women to be involved.
Q2) I'm proud of my efforts to work with individuals and families who love the sport, and I will continue to do so. If I have the privilege of serving my community on Hornsby Shire Council, collaborating with the MTB community will be a necessity if we are to get good outcomes for all stakeholders - and for our precious and threatened bushland. I also like the question's emphasis on the regional nature of this conversation. It's not just Hornsby Shire that needs to think about where and how to locate areas for MTB activities, but all council LGAs in northern Sydney, as well as National Parks.
Many thanks again for the chance to share some thoughts.
*Blog will be edited/updated with answers, as they are received.
Responses received Friday 3 December from KU-RING-GAI SHIRE COUNCIL ELECTION CANDIDATES below...
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP A
Independent: Jeff Pettett
Independent: Trish Lynch
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP B
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP C
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP D
Independent: Jayamala Gupte
Independent: Kay Smede
Q1) Yes Kay and Jayamala wholeheartedly support MTB. We do support cycling on approved council paths and tracks and it was a lovely sight to see more children and whole families out cycling for short trips. Jayamala says it certainly got her husband on to his bike a lot more this year. It would help people stay fitter, and help the council meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Active transport is also healthy, and reduces vehicle congestion on our roads.
With our background in health we are focussed on caring for the health and lifestyle of all of us in Ku-ring-gai, and highly support getting out and about into our beautiful nature on bikes. This is a real natural fit for both Kay and Jayamala.
Q2) Yes Kay and Jayamala are genuinely committed to this. I believe we can and need to do more to increase our cycleways network. As new candidates not yet up on council Jayamala will need to be briefed by experts before committing further on possible issues.
As the Group D candidates, Kay and Jayamala do hope they are successful in council elections tomorrow as they would really like to take living in our beautiful Ku-ring-gai to the next level. Mountain biking should be a happy, energising recreation that is accessible to all.
We thank you for this opportunity to convey our views.
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP E
COMENARRA WARD - GROUP F
GORDON WARD - GROUP A
GORDON WARD - GROUP B
GORDON WARD - GROUP C
GORDON WARD - GROUP D
Greg Cook - 100% with you. We’re community support people. I’m not a regular mountain cyclist personally, although I’ve done a bit over the years! Some in my cricket club are, including at the Acron Oval site.
ROSEVILLE WARD - GROUP A
ROSEVILLE WARD - GROUP B
ROSEVILLE WARD - GROUP C
ROSEVILLE WARD - GROUP D
ST IVES WARD - GROUP A
ST IVES WARD - GROUP B
Yukun (Henry) Song
ST IVES WARD - GROUP C
ST IVES WARD - GROUP D
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP A
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP B
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP C
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP D
Adrienne McLean - Mountain biking is a fabulous sport for many age groups to enjoy fresh air and riding.
Certainly keen to connect with your mountain bike community to work out the best way to connect your members needs with council requirements.
My role as a councillor is to represent our Wahroonga ward with council.
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP E
WAHROONGA WARD - GROUP F