Tag Archives: council budget

Budget increase a WIN for cyclists

26 June 2016: Following a heated debate in the Marrickville Council chamber on Tuesday night, the Greens were successful in their bid to significantly increase the budget to build bike paths. The additional funding will bring forward completion of a priority regional bike route through Camperdown, Newtown and Enmore.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “On Tuesday night Marrickville Council voted to include an additional $200,000 in the annual budget for new bike paths. That’s nearly double the $310,000 included in the draft budget.

“In the lead up to the vote, the Greens had released research showing that only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016[i] have been completed to date.[ii] Years of underfunding had led to a short fall of more than $7 million to build the priority bike paths identified by Council – half of which was to be funded by Council and half by the State Government.[iii] At that rate we would not have met our local bike targets until 2039,” Clr Ellsmore said.

While the Greens were not successful in their bid to increase the bike budget even further, to $1 million, in addition to the $200,000 budget boost they secured other commitments from the Labor-Liberal dominated Council, including:

  • A commitment that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and
  • A commitment that opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.[iv]

Greens Councillor Max Phillips said, “While Marrickville Council is not a wealthy Council, it is damning that only 1% of our infrastructure budget was to be allocated to bike paths. The modest funding increase won by the Greens (to 2% of infrastructure spending) is important, but it is clear that several of the Marrickville Councillors did not support the change.

“Repeated comments were made during last night’s debate by Labor and Liberal Councillors that Council could not “afford” to find any additional funding for bike paths. This is very troubling given that the Labor and Liberal Councillors were able to find an unbudgeted $1.2 million last year on top of $1 million for the one controversial Arlington Reserve artificial turf project alone last year.

“The real issue is one of priorities. The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for local Councils,” Clr Phillips said.

The Greens candidate for the State seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, said “the new State seat of Newtown has some of the highest numbers of commuter cyclists in the state.[v] The city has many excellent cycleways through Surry Hills and Redfern. However, the further we get from the CBD, the more inadequate cycling infrastructure becomes.

“This week our local Greens had an important win. While at 2%[vi] of the Council’s infrastructure budget Marrickville Council’s bike spending is still modest, the increase shows the positive effects of years of sustained campaigning by local residents and the Greens for better cycling infrastructure.

“At the same time, there is only so much that Councils can do in the face of increasing cuts from State and Federal Governments. In the most recent NSW budget the Coalition allocated $60 billion to infrastructure that prioritises motorways and roads, but has failed to commit to funding bikepaths that will lower rates of injury for cyclists and reduce pollution in Sydney.

“The Greens think building better bike paths should be a priority for all levels of Government. We will continue to campaign to ensure that we aren’t condemning our growing community of inner-west cyclists to decades of infrastructure backlogs,” Ms Leong said.

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Find out more – visit our local Greens bike campaign page.

END NOTES

[i] Marrickville Bicycle Strategy available to download from the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/ .

[ii] For details of the level of underspend in Marrickville Council’s bike budget see the Answers to Questions on Notice provided put by the Greens to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting, at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/bike-path-questions-2014/

[iii] As above, Answers to Questions on Notice by the Greens. In relation to the cost for Marrickville Council to meet its bike targets, Council staff advised: “The remaining bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design.”

[iv] The commitments outlined in a late Mayoral Minute (Item 21) put to the Council by Mayor Jo Haylen, included that Council would prioritise bike infrastructure projects when seeking grant funding from other tiers of government; and opportunities for new bike paths would be included in the existing $1.35 million per annum ‘Connecting Marrickville’ project, a new program focused on upgrading footpaths and roads.

[v] Based on Census data, reported at page 26 of the ‘Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network – Demand Assessment and Economic Appraisal’ (September 9th 2010), as available to download from http://www.thinkingtransport.org.au/library/2010/09/inner-sydney-regional-bicycle-network-demand-assessment-and-economic-appraisal

[vi] Prior to the increase voted last night, Marrickville Council’s DRAFT annual bike budget was $310,000 pa, out of a total annual Capital Budget of $28,772,363 – or 1%. The increase to $510,000 brings the figure closer to 2%. Figures are outlined in the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 2, ‘Operating and Capital Budget 2014-5’.

Council twenty years behind on bike paths: only 9% completed

Media 24 June 2014: Tonight Marrickville Council will vote on its 2014/15 budget. The Greens are concerned that without significant increases in funding to build new bike paths the growing community of inner-west cyclists will be condemned to decades of infrastructure backlogs.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “Only $310,000 has been included in the draft 2014-5 Marrickville Council budget for new bike paths. This is only enough money to complete one bike route every year, for the next three years.[i]

“The Greens are calling on Labor and the Liberals to support an increase in our bike path budget to $1 million. The increased funding will help address the years of under-funding, which has led to a short fall of more than $7 million which is now needed for Marrickville Council to build its priority bike paths.[ii]

“Only 9% of the priority bike paths in Council’s Marrickville Bike Strategy 2007-2016[iii] have been completed to date.[iv] At this rate we will not reach our bike paths goal until 2039, more than 20 years later than planned.

“Building bike paths should be core business for local Councils, particularly Marrickville Council. After the City of Sydney, the Marrickville Council area has the largest number of residents who travel to work by bike of any Council area.[v]

“City of Sydney currently spends over 10% of its capital budget on bike paths – Marrickville Council spends only 1%.[vi]  Last year Canada Bay invested more than $1 million,[vii] and in this coming year even Leichhardt Council, which is a smaller Council than Marrickville, has budgeted more for new bike paths.[viii]

“Labor and Liberal Councillors on Marrickville Council need to show local residents whether or not they are genuinely committing to supporting cycling, and to keeping our growing number of cyclists safe.

“Increasing our Marrickville bike budget to $1 million will not only ensure we finally complete long standing black spots like Mary St/ King St/ Wilson St interchange, but means we won’t have to wait years to begin building our sections of the Greenway.[ix] 

Media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Take action! Email the Marrickville Councillors. More on the bike path action page here: https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/bike-budget-2014/

NOTES ON THE FACTS AND FIGURES

 

 

[i] See the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 10, ‘Marrickville Council Resourcing Strategy – Asset Management Plan TRANSPORTATION’, page 78 – Bicycle Facilities Budget, as available to download at https://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/business-papers/ . The budget indicates that Regional bike route 5 (RRO5) will be completed in 2014-5, with funding allocated to complete one further regional route (RR07) in 2015-6 and another (RR12) by 2017-8.

[ii] For details of the level of underspend in Marrickville Council’s bike budget see the Answers to Questions on Notice provided put by the Greens to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting. In relation to the cost for Marrickville Council to meet its bike targets, Council staff advised: “The remaining Bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design. …. It is emphasized that these estimates are preliminary and are likely to vary when detailed investigation and designs are undertaken.” A full copy of the Questions and Answers can be found at https://marrickvillegreens.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/bike-path-questions-2014/

[iii] Marrickville Bicycle Strategy available to download from the Marrickville Council website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/ .

[iv] As above, see Answers to Questions on Notice provided to the 18 March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting. At Answer to Question 8 c Council staff advised: “Council has completed approximately 95km of the bike plan, or 9% of the proposed routes”.

[v] Based on Census data, reported at page 26 of the ‘Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network – Demand Assessment and Economic Appraisal’ (September 9th 2010), as available to download from http://www.thinkingtransport.org.au/library/2010/09/inner-sydney-regional-bicycle-network-demand-assessment-and-economic-appraisal

[vi] Marrickville Council’s total annual bike budget is $310,000 pa, out of a total annual Capital Budget of $28,772,363, as outlined in the Marrickville Council Paper for the 24 June 2014 Council meeting – Item 11, Attachment 2, ‘Operating and Capital Budget 2014-5’ (link as above). The City of Sydney has allocated $28.5 million for bike paths next year (see http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/new-south-wales/2473-city-of-sydneys-draft-2014-15-budget-to-deliver-194bn-infrastructure-program.html ). The City of Sydney Council’s 2014-5 Capital Works expenditure is $245.2M with contingency of $5.0M, as detailed in Council papers at: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/205038/140616_CFPTC_ITEM02.pdf

[vii] See Canada Bay ‘2013-17 Delivery Plan & 2013-14 Operating Plan’ – Snapshot of Council’s 2013-14 which includes $1 million for the Iron Cove Creek Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge project, in addition to the general infrastructure upgrade program, as available to download from http://www.canadabay.nsw.gov.au/operating-plan-and-budget.html

[viii] Based on the draft Leichhardt Council’s draft 2014/5 Budget, to be adopted at the Council’s 24 June 2014 meeting.

[ix][ix] The Greenway is one of the ten Regional Routes – Regional Route 1 – for which Council has not budgeted any spending over the next 3 years. For a copy of the 10 priority Regional Routes see Answers to Questions on Notice (below) and the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy.

Bike path questions reveal more work needed

The Greens put a number of Questions on Notice to the March 2014 Marrickville Council meeting.

The answers reveal that Council has done extensive work to identify priority bike paths. However, seven years into Marrickville Council’s ten year ‘Bicycle Strategy’, Council has met only 9% of its targets in terms of the creation of priority bike paths. Council has an annual bike path budget to build new bike paths, but this has not significantly increased, despite significant increases in the number of regular cyclists in the last few years, and major increases to Council’s general footpath and road budgets over the same period.

The Greens think that building better bike paths should be part of Council’s core business, and will be moving for bike path funding to be prioritised in future Council budgets. For more information about how to support the Greens campaigns for better bike infrastructure visit the Better Bike Path Campaigns page.

A copy of the Questions and the Answers can be found in the 18 March 2014 Council Business Paper and are extracted below:

Questions asked by Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore

Question:

What strategies or plans does Marrickville Council have in place or under development to encourage cycling in the local area, including commuter cycling through the local area? Please provide details of the documents and where the public can access these documents.

Answer:
The key strategy is the 2007 Marrickville Bicycle Strategy, which builds on the first bicycle strategy developed in 1996. The 2007 strategy is supported at a strategic level by other plans which have cycling-related objectives, such as the current Community Strategic Plan, the current Delivery Program, the 2007 Integrated Transport Strategy and the 2007 Urban Strategy and the 2012 Recreation Needs Study. All are available to the public on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/

Question: 

What strategies or plans does Marrickville Council have in place or under development to support bike paths and increased cycling infrastructure in the local area? Please provide details of the documents and where the public can access these documents.

Answer:

The key strategy is the 2007 Marrickville Bicycle Strategy, which builds on the first bicycle strategy developed in 1996. The 2007 strategy is supported at a strategic level by other plans which have cycling- related objectives, such as the current Community Strategic Plan, the current Delivery Program, the 2007 Integrated Transport Strategy and the 2007 Urban Strategy and the 2012 Recreation Needs Study. All are available to the public on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/

Question: 

What specific bike routes has Marrickville Council identified as priorities for development through the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy 2007-2017, including:

A. Regional Routes?

B. Local Routes?

Answer:

The Marrickville Bicycle Strategy includes a mapped network of 12 Regional Routes, 20 Local Routes and 13 Local Links. Route maps are within the Strategy document itself and can also be downloaded separately. All information on these routes is available within the Strategy and associated information on the Bicycle Strategy page on Council‟s website: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/council-plans/bicycle-strategy/

Elements of the Marrickville Bicycle Strategy‟s regional network are also identified in the NSW Government‟s key cycling plan for Sydney, the 2013 Sydney’s Cycling Future, available at:http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/cycling

They are also identified within two regional bikeplans developed as advocacy documents – the 2008 SSROC Regional Bikeplan and the City of Sydney‟s 2010 Inner Sydney Regional Bikeplan.

Question: 

What other bike routes has Marrickville Council identified or invested in, after the development of the 2007 Bike Strategy?

Answer:

Council has not identified or invested in routes beyond those identified in the 2007 Strategy as the goal has been to implement all Strategy routes before considering further routes. Notwithstanding, there is a chapter within the Strategy that encourages Council to consider bicycles when doing works on all streets, including those that are not part of the Strategy network, e.g. creating a passage for bicycles when implementing road closures.

Following is a full list (with descriptions) of Regional Routes, Local Routes and Local Links, in Tables 2 & 3 of the Bicycle Strategy:

Regional Routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy

Regional Routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy

Local Bike Routes identified in the Marrickville Council Bike Strategy

Local Bike Routes identified in the Marrickville Council Bike Strategy

Question: 

What is the estimated cost for the creation of the:

A. Regional Routes?

B. Local Routes?

C. Other routes?

(If breakdown not known, include total)

Answer:

A. Regional Routes: $6,600,000

B. Local Routes: $3,000,000

C. Other routes: $ 350,000 (Local Links)

TOTAL = $9,950,000 (2007 estimate with escalation to 2015).

For cost estimates for each of the Regional Routes and Local Routes, and a total cost estimate for the Local Links, refer to the document Route implementation staging and cost estimates on available on Council‟s Bicycle Strategy webpage. Council‟s experience with implementing Regional Routes 5 and 7 have shown that actual costs are higher than these estimates and final estimates will be subject to investigations and detailed design.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes (questions 3 and 4) which routes include separated cycleways? Provide details.

Answer:
Whilst the Bicycle Strategy shows indicative treatments for all routes, it does not include detailed designs – therefore, it is not possible to identify which routes include separated cycleway treatments. Detailed designs are undertaken prior to implementation of routes (or route sections) and are subject to consultation. The Bicycle Strategy encourages reference to the NSW Bicycle Guidelines when undertaking detailed designs, which include information on a range of treatments. Council will apply separated cycleway treatments if warranted by traffic conditions and where road widths permit, e.g. Myrtle Street, Marrickville.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes, which relate to:

A. the Cooks River and

B. the Greenway?

Answer:

A. the Cooks River: Regional Route 4 – Balmain to Earlwood via Stanmore

B. the Greenway: Regional Route 5 – Camperdown to Cooks River Regional Route 11 – Botany Bay to Ryde Cycleway Regional Route 1 – Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway.

Question: 

Of the identified bike routes, have any been integrated with recent train station upgrades? Please provide details.

Answer:
Integration with stations was a general consideration in developing the Bicycle Strategy network, although at the time of preparing the Bicycle Strategy (2007), the exact timing of upgrades for Sydenham, Newtown and Marrickville stations was not known. Priorities, as previously endorsed by Council, have been based on completing one regional route before commencing a new route to provide maximum benefit from completion of a route.

Question: 

Of the bike routes identified in the Marrickville Bike Strategy and late plans/ strategies, how many of these bike routes have been:

A. Completed? Include names of the bike routes and dates completed.

B. Partially completed? Include names for the routes, details as to approximately how much of these route has been completed, and estimated date for completion.

C. Not at all completed? Include names for the routes and estimated date for completion?

Answer:

A. The only route that has been substantially completed is Regional Route 11 (Cooks River Cycleway), which has been rebuilt in sections from 2008-2012. The remaining issue to be dealt with is containing the tidal inundation at the Kendrick Park railway underpass.

B. Regional Route 5 (Camperdown to Cooks River) will be substantially complete this financial year following completion of the recently approved Carrington Rd section. Remaining issue will be a bike lantern installations proposed at Cardigan St & Salisbury Rd and Philip St & Enmore Rd. Grant funding has been applied for their completion next year.

Approximately 50% of Regional Route 7 works have been completed between Newtown & Petersham. Grant funding has been applied for improvements to the contra-flow arrangement at Mary St and Eliza St Newtown to be undertaken next financial year. Council has endorsed concept plans for the balance of the route between Petersham and Ashfield. Subject to grant funding and completion of detailed designs and consultation it is expected that construction would be undertaken during 2016 and 2017.

In addition, small increments of all routes may have been completed through the implementation of the previous (1996) Bicycle Strategy and through miscellaneous works that have been undertaken to address particular issues.

C. Refer to all routes listed and timing of implementation within the abovementioned document Route implementation staging and cost estimates, noting that Regional Route 11 is completed and Regional Routes 5 and 7 are partially completed.

Council has completed around 10km of the Bike Plan of the approximately 95km of, or around 9% of the proposed routes.

Question: 

What has been the direct cost of completing the bike routes to date:

A. For Council

B. For the State Government (if any State funding was provided)

C. For the Federal Government (if any Federal funding was provided)

D. From other sources (if any)?

Answer:
Financial allocations from 2007 to current are estimated at $2,908,000 made up as follows:

A. Council: $1,600,000

B. State Government:  $980,000

C. Federal Government: $275,000

D. Section 94 Traffic Management: $53,000

TOTAL: $2,908,000

Question: 

What is the estimated cost for completing the bike routes which have not been completed, by bike path?

Answer:

Refer to the document Route implementation staging and cost estimates available on Council‟s Bicycle Strategy webpage, noting that actual costs are likely to be higher.

Project costs will have escalated since the Bike Strategy was adopted in 2007 due to CPI and other forces impacting on project delivery costs. Estimated costs have been based on conceptual information and, hence, detailed designs will be required to develop suitable solutions based on current Australian Standards and road layouts before confirming estimates of cost.

The remaining Bike route program is estimated at approximately $7,042,000 in 2014 dollars, subject to detailed investigation and design. An annual increase of $480,000, in 2014 dollars, on the current $300,000 annual allocation is required to complete the program by 2023. It is emphasized that these estimates are preliminary and are likely to vary when detailed investigation and designs are undertaken.

This would also necessitate acceleration of concept development, consultancy, detailed design and approvals, and other preconstruction activities requiring associated resources.

Question:

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to the completion of bike paths:

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. Within Council‟s current (2013–17) Operating and Capital Budget, completion of bike paths for 2013/14 is funded by Project 8068 – Regional Bike Route RR05 Staged Implementation – $300,000 annually.

The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. Council has not yet adopted its budget for the 2014/15 year however, subject to adoption by Council, it is anticipated that the same or a similar level of funding will be allocated for 2014/15.

Question:

Does this include funding for general road and footpath upgrades?

If yes, please provide details of which of the listed footpaths and roads earmarked for upgrade relate to which bike routes.

Answer:
Funding for Project 8068 relates to the completion of the cycleway along Myrtle St and Carrington Rd. Works can include improvements to road and footpath surfaces where these form part of the cycleway, however separate budgets exist for general road and footpath maintenance.

Question: 

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to urgent road repairs on bike paths (ie funding for urgent bike, black spot fixes such as potholes which could be dangerous for cyclists):

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. Bike path repairs are carried out under either the Regional Road Maintenance, Local Road Maintenance or Footpath Maintenance budgets, depending on the nature of the work required. There is no separate budget for cycle paths. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

Question: 

What funding within the Marrickville Council budget is dedicated to bike parking, including bike racks?

A. In the 2013-4 (current) budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

B. In the draft 2014-5 budget? Include details as to where the public can access Council’s budget papers.

Answer:

A. The current budget includes Project 7795 – Local bike route improvements, which has funding of $10,000 for 2013/14 and every year until 2016/17. This project is intended to fund miscellaneous bicycle infrastructure, and has been largely used to install public domain bicycle racks and other minor improvements to date.

The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at:http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

B. As mentioned above, Project 7795 – Local Bike Route Improvements, has annual funding of $10,000. The current Operating and Capital Budget is available on Council‟s website at http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/forms-and-publications/main-plans/

MAP OF COUNCIL’S CURRENT AND PROPOSED BIKE PATHS – INCLUDING REGIONAL ROUTES

Marrickville Council Bike Route Map - including proposed routes

Marrickville Council Bike Route Map – including proposed routes