2012 AGM BTAWA Convenor Report
As with every year, proactive lobbying and reactive media dictated the work of BTA.
All Board Members have contributed in their chosen areas of focus and expertise, we achieve a lot by having varied skillsets, a cooperative and collaborative approach and the freedom to as much as possible within the chosen portfolios. It really is astonishing what the one staff member and volunteer board members have achieved this year.
Its been very exciting with the successful creation of WestCycle, the peak group for all WA cyclists. Along with the Gosnells BUG, mountain bike association, BMX WA, ATTA and Cycling WA, we have joined as inaugural members with considerable scope for growth and further cooperation into the future. BTA nominated one person to take on a representative role with the Westcycle Board, Professor Paul Lavery, a person with a very strong business and academic record, with the talents to drive the strategic direction of Westcycle and the work of BTA as a result. The Westcycle board and executive Officer Clint Shaw have been very supportive towards the role of BTA and the way forward looks promising for future support of BTA activities.
This year has also seen the culmination of a strong advocacy effort by Executive Officer Heinrich Benz with the Road Safety Council, the Royal Automobile Club, the Vulnerable Road Users Consultative Group (hosted by RAC), East Metropolitan Regional Council, and numerous local government authorities – Subiaco, South Perth, Mosman Park, Stirling, Perth, Cambridge, Bassendean and Swan. Early in March 2011 Heinrich met with then new Transport Minister Troy Buswell in a wide ranging discussion of cyclist safety, infrastructure, safe speeds and safe environments.
Heinrich has made presentations to the Road Safety Council, the RAC Board, the RAC Cycling Safety Forum as part of the OLA process, the Asia Pacific Road Safety Conference, and this culminated in the BTA and Heinrich Benz being awarded a special award by the Road Safety Council in recognition of his considered and evidence based research and advocacy. Heinrich also attended the CHOGM community forum and engaged in much networking.
The Bicycle Transport Alliance received an “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Road Safety Council. “In appreciation of your involvement, contribution and professional commitment to improving road safety in Western Australia”. This is an extremely valuable award, ample recognition of the effort and esteem Heinrich is held by road safety advocates and by reflection BTA is regarded. This is a fantastic step forward for WA oldest peak cycling advocacy organisation.
Just to give a snapshot of some of the issues we have made comment or submissions:
The Metro regional Scheme amendment for the Perth Waterfront.
Perth Airport and gateway WA cycling infrastructure (Roe, Tonkin, Leach, Horrie Miller Dr, Kewdale Rd)
EMRC cycling plan
Roe Highway extension, final path layout (BTA hold a policy position of opposition to Roe Hwy Stage 8 and favour more freight on rail rather than trucks on suburban streets)
Attending Swan Chamber of Commerce, Q & A with Transport Minister.
City of Perth transport forum – CoP remain recalcitrant stakeholders, their bike plan process is suffering from a lack of will within the organisation
Capital City Framjework planning with Dept of Planning
Extension of Bayswater to bassendean PSP and extension to Midland, Guildford rd bridge.
Aberdare Rd removal of cycling lanes
Lake Monger removal of cycle paths and access
Met with Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Travey Gaudry discussed WA and Australian advocacy way forward.
Bike Valet project
Preston Point Rd
Changes to Road Traffic Act Bicycle Regulations – what a complete waste of time and money.
Australian Bicycle Council
RAC congestion survey
Kwinana Freeway PSP alterations
WA Bike Network Plan
Unfortunately this month WA suffered a tragic loss on the suburban road, in an entirely preventable collision. The answer to cyclist safety does not rely solely on infrastructure, speeds and safe systems, but in the attitude of all road users, cyclists included. The growth of cycling, as well as increased congestion on Perth roads will see these events reoccur, something I dread. Never has there been a more important time to get significant investment in education, training, and awareness, in addition to paths, lanes and facilities.
WA Bike Network Plan – finally out, again in draft for public comment. BTA will be organising a combined cycling organisations discussion forum before the due date.
As the Treasurer report will show, we are carefully monitoring the cash flow situation for BTA. Membership is declining and does not cover our principal expenditures, cash reserves are being whittled down. This has been occurring for a number of years. We have a significant liability in terms of Heinrich’s annual leave and TOIL. A very strong grant application to RAC administered Road Trauma Trust fund grants has permitted BTA to continue to operate. This is a one year grant only, we need further sources of funds, and Heinrich has been tasked to secure funds. We are hopeful for OSP funds from Westcycle, similar to CWA and BMX WA.
We have reinvigorated comms to members with the BTA E-newsletter, this is showing results in increased hits on our website and facebook. Facebook has been very pleasing in driven awareness of the organisation. Potentially twitter will add to our push marketing and comms
Y cycle is getting bigger and better each year, again this is a particular passion of Heinrich and I urge you all to attend and bring all of your friends
Financial sustainability is number one. Grants are being sought and applied. Potentially we can engage health advocacy organisations to promote active transport as a larger advocacy approach. We have had preliminary approaches with Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation.
Time and energy are finite resources it seems and unfortunately we are seeing long term Board Members Graeme Hird and Roland Parrotte decide not to continue their Board roles. I understand their decision and their presence will be sorely missed. I hope they can be in a position later to come back on board and continue their valuable contributions. The contribution of Robert Hunt and Peter Bartlett is central to the running of BTA, always focussed on the positive aspects of cycling advocacy, but with BS detectors set to stun. Just what we need for all WA cyclists. I would like to add I appreciate their strong support for me personally over the past two years, in what has a been a particularly traumatic time personally. Short term board member Andrew Wilkinson also has made valuable contributions in terms of a potential augmentation of the WA bike network, with time spent on design and mapping of potential new bike routes. I urge any of you present to strongly consider joining in a more active role as we struggle forward over the next few months.
Succession planning is an awful euphemism, but fortunately Heinrich has very healthy DNA and will be around for many years to come. His drive and commitment has been of single most importance to me over the years, and I thank him for his passion and humour.
I also thank the committed membership of the BTA who understand the issues facing cyclists in WA, and who remain convinced that the BTA are heading in the right direction despite the challenges we face.
Steven McKiernan March 2012
AGM and Special Resolutions to fix constitution and change the name
The BTA Annual General Meeting for 2012 will be held at the BTA office, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, at 5.30 pm on Tuesday, 20th March.
The BTA has to amend one clause – 25 1 (b) – in its constitution to comply with the law governing associations such as ours. This came about because when the name change to the Bicycle Transport Alliance passed at the Annual General Meeting last year was registered at the WA Department of Commerce Associations Branch, the department checked the constitution and wrote back to say that the clause dealing with winding up the Association did not comply with the law and had to be changed. As a result, the name change could not be registered until the constitution was amended. It appears that the constitution was not checked when the BTA was registered in 1994.
The change to Clause 25.1 (b) is relatively minor and does not invalidate any proceedings to date. It applies only to the distribution of any funds the BTA has in the event that it ever has to be wound up. The law restricts such a distribution to an incorporated association or for charitable purposes.
Clause 25.1 reads: If, on the winding up of the Association, any property of the Association remains after satisfaction of the debts and liabilities of the Association and the costs, charges and expenses of that winding up, that property shall be distributed:
(a) To another incorporated association having similar objects to that of the Association, or
(b) For charitable or benevolent purposes.
This change must be made.
Special Resolution 1 is: That Clause 25.1 (b) be amended to remove the words “or benevolent”.
Because the name change could not be registered last year, the Annual General Meeting has to pass again that Special Resolution.
Special Resolution 2 is: that the name be changed to Bicycle Transport Alliance.
The reason is the same – to make the name simpler and bring it into line with normal Australian usage of the word transport. Many organisations and people already refer to the BTA as the Bicycle Transport Alliance.
If you cannot attend the AGM, could you please register a proxy vote on the amendments by contacting Chief Executive Heinrich(dot)Benz (at) btawa.org.au
Robert Hunt, Secretary.