So here's a discussion topic for the morning.....


There's a lot of angst here about what Bicycle NSW do, what they don't do, who's firing who and what's going on.


I know a lot of people got pretty disillusioned some time ago and let their membership lapse.


But I started thinking about it last night and the question that is top of my mind is "what do people want from a body like BNSW" ?


Is it an advocacy organisation that can speak for cyclists issues to govt or the media ?


Is it the insurance ?


Is it the big multi day cycling events ?


Is it the smaller one day events ?


The magazine ?


An umbrella organisation for the local work done by the BUGs ? 


Something else ? Something else you ARE getting  ? or something else you'd LIKE ?


I think it would be really interesting to know what it is people are actually looking for in an organisation, and whether BNSW can deliver it, or whether those things actually already exist and we're just mourning the memory of what it used to mean to people.

I ask that this stays on topic, I feel it's an important one.

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Antony I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for another Discovery weekend.  That started as Omar's baby and he has gone.  Liz Hole was very involved in the running of it and she's gone.  I don't think Tony Henderson can do everything on his own, talented though he is.

I think the best we can hope for from BNSW in the way of events from now on is that they MIGHT give some "in kind" support to other groups who want to run events.

No politics in BUGs, just cyclists, or peeps who ride bikes, depending on your politics on that question! If you don't like BUGs, join BikeSydney or BikeNorth, they used to be BUGs but thought the term was a bot of fashioned. Bloody politics everywhere. LBUg is clinging on to the U but could go to LBG if we could convince the treasurer to change the stationery.
Seems to be a lot of good ideas in these responses from experienced, knowledgable people but what's going to happen?

Options seem to be

1. Reform BNSW, guess some people had a go at that last year but the very conservative requirement of 75% to change rules and minimal opportunity to elect board members each year makes reform a very long term multi year project, and it assumes that a majority ( actually 75%) of members agree that any reform is necessary.
2. Join another existing state or interstate cycling organisation and hope it does better or "reform" that, but which one, none appear to be any better and the same issues arise.
3. Work at the local BUG level, but this seems to split efforts over 50 smaller domains with an almost immediate need for a co-ordinating body (eh a BNSW!)
4. Establish a new body to do advocacy and campaigning and other activities its membership want but even if a virtual organisation it will be a year or two until it makes any impact even if it is driven by a reasonable number of active knowledgable people
5. Do nothing (again) but keep talking, writing, blogging a substitute for actually doing anything

While I have little experience of BUGS or BNSW I have been an ordinary & executive member of many good and not so good organisations and the issues are often the same and the issues raised regarding BNSW are common throught the cycling world. The solution often seems to be the establishment of various organisations that have differing focus, approaches and techniques but with unfortunate side effect of fragmentation of effort.

BNSW current approach is valid if you believe change will take place by making submissions, commenting on strategies, lobbying politicians, beaurucrats. To be considered a "serious" organisation and to be "granted" access to these people you have to forego stirring, campaigning, criticism and too much speaking out or supporting those who are your friends but who are perceived as the political foes of those in power.

A campaigning approach is valid if non-cyclist are your target as much as existing cyclists, if there are issues that require immediate attention and that are outright unjust, dangerous etc, ie like the original child murder Dutch campaign or the recent London heavy vehicle campaign. The down side is that many of those in power will not consider you as a serious organisation worthy of their time.

It is difficult to see how these two can be reconciled.

What's going to happen?
perhaps this state body need is a function of govt: Something we already pay our taxes for.

An expert and professional body, accountable for safety and participation, and empowered to meet those needs.

After all we have railcorp and state buses and ferries.

The existing Ministry could do the job so long as the responsibilities were rock solid.
A cycling commissioner for Sydney! Did Boris promise that in London, or was that one of the other candidates. I see Boris got back in, just.

I'm not sure if Boris did, will read all about it later in the Grauniad.

Yes, I would have thought a Commissioner with empowerment to make Transport perform against criteria (including the UN target AU has signed up to).

And binding Transport to Health Dept requirements too especially regarding pollution I would think.

Anyway I'm thinking for local work, including advocacy, the BUGS are just fine. BNSW is a vestigial organ now which isn't representing us (and BUGS). Insurance can be done better other ways.

yes, Boris did promise a cycling commissioner
Way to go! Who would we appoint here? And what would be the first
thing they should do?

"what do people want from a body like BNSW" ?

Nothing much, just this :

Perhaps, in other to be the voice representing cyclists, they need to speak in order to be heard.

Peter, rap yourself over the knuckles.  Mission statements are not intended to be used for anything but employing expensive consultants/wasting staff time to come up with meaningless motherhood statements that will never be followed!  Fancy anyone expecting BNSW to follow their motherhood statements!  Phut!  ;-)

Good link.

All those objectives are soft motherhood non-commitments. And some are an absolute zero on the achievement front.


"achieve" - no, can't offer that.

Some of the advocacy ones are total fails.


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