As we move through the spring weather, I wanted to update you all on the work we have been doing to shape our riding agenda and the next phase of our work.
As Queensland’s point of connection for the future of riding, we have been working hard to reach out into regional areas, ensuring all riders, irrespective of where they live, have access to our member benefits and are represented in our advocacy voice. Since my last update, we have welcomed over 300 new members and congratulate Rob van Manen on his appointment as President. Rachel Nolan to Vice president, and Peter Thompson to Secretary at the recent Annual General Meeting. As we come out of a difficult two-year period, I wish to thank members for their ongoing support to Bicycle Queensland (BQ).
BQ continues to flex our advocacy muscle and now represent members on over 20 panels and steering groups across the state. BQ has been recently appointed a member of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Steering Committee. The first meeting was held in Esk and outlined the forward plan of capital works from TMR and the four Councils which the trail runs through; Ipswich, Somerset, Toowoomba and South Burnett. The Steering Committee will give guidance and feedback as the authorities implement the BVRT Strategic Plan. Our top priority in physical terms for the BVRT is a program of tree planting in the exposed sections between Esk and Moore. The trail becomes an unpleasantly hot place to be in summer, and we want to promote its use all year round!
In addition, BQ has a seat at the table at the Sunshine Coast Active Travel Advisory Committee, with the first meeting held in Caloundra. We support the ATAC model, which has been beneficial in Brisbane, with strong support from key political decision-makers, including the Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey. Minister Bailey was present at this initial meeting of the Sunshine Coast committee, which was very helpful.
A stern test of the committee’s mettle will be discussions on a proposed Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade. BQ members at Caloundra have asked for our help in opposing this project in its current form, which puts a four-lane road through a green zone. We will report back on how this goes, but BQ, Qld Walks, and the local active transport advocates from Caloundra have requested an on-site meeting to see if there are alternatives to removing mature shade trees for this project.
Sunday, 17th October saw the community take to the streets for our 16th Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge. A big thank you to Downer group, our principal partner, who, without their support, the day would not be possible. We welcomed over 4,300 riders across a new course with 40km, 60km and 100km challenges offered. It was wonderful to connect with members, volunteers, and partners on what was a beautiful day to ride your bike. I’m proud to announce that our riders have raised over $100,000 for our event charity partner, Stronger For Longer.
Our education services continue to gain momentum and importantly sow the seeds for our ten-year strategy. These services have included the creation of content for new and experienced riders via blog posts, video series and online learning modules. Our impact in schools is growing with curriculum-aligned programs being delivered in pre-schools and primary schools across southeast Queensland. I am excited to announce the work we are undertaking with CARRS-Q to develop an Audio Visual (AV) curriculum which, when completed, provides a connection to secondary schools and workplaces.
I’m very proud of the work we have progressed in the Women’s advocacy space and the considerations we are taking to understand how we can support more women to ride for their health and wellbeing. Our HerRIDE campaigns are proving very popular and encourage members to save the date on 27th November for our HERride MTB day at Gap creek.
Until next time, happy and safe riding.