Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2016-02-03 Contents PAGE 8 – The Courier Wednesday, February 3, 2016
By Genevieve Cooper
A bid to build the next 6km, $2.6m
stage of the Amy Gillett Bikeway to
Birdwood has stalled.
Despite being urged by the State
Government to submit an application for
a matched funding grant, the Adelaide
Hills Council has decided to defer any
submission until next year to see if it can
afford the project and if the community
The council has also decided to explore
other funding options besides committing
itself to contributing between $250,000
and $1.3m to any potential grant
suggested the compromise at a recent
meeting, saying the community wanted
the bikeway finished but he sensed a
strong reluctance from elected members
to become involved in an expensive
project with ongoing maintenance costs.
“I think the issue is the State
Government would like to see it and
they’d like us to pay for it,” he said.
“The residents would like to see it ...
(but) councillors don’t want to pay for it.
“Twelve months gives us a buffer, gives
us some breathing time so we’ve got a
good chance of backing a winner.”
A recent survey by the Department for
Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
(DPTI) showed more than 38,000 people
used the three existing stages of the
bikeway between Oakbank and Mt
Torrens every year.
According to a staff report, stage four
of the bikeway linking Mt Torrens to
Birdwood would cost $2.66m to build
with ongoing maintenance costs of up to
$70,000 a year.
Engineering director Deb Richardson
said conversations with DPTI sent a clear
message that grant applications with at
least a 50% council funding were given
preference with the chances of success
diminishing as the council’s contribution
A 50% capital contribution by Adelaide
Hills would have a $195,350 a year
impact on the council’s operating budget,
including interest, depreciation and
Ms Richardson said submissions
offering between $250,000 and $500,000
in capital contributions plus an offer
to take responsibility for project
management and ongoing maintenance
would have a better chance of success
than asking the Government to pay
100% of the capital costs.
Cr Kirrilee Boyd tried, unsuccessfully,
to obtain her colleagues’ support for an
application seeking 100% of the capital
costs from the Government.
“Why not ask for 100% and see how
we go?” she said. All councillors except
Lynton Vonow, who wanted the council to
put in an application offering $250,000
for capital costs, voted to delay and
discuss the project during budget talks.
This week Transport Minister Stephen
Mullighan said the Government wanted
to see the bikeway finished but the
council had to contribute.
“The Adelaide Hills Council and Mayor
Bill Spragg have made it clear they will
not contribute any funds to deliver the
remaining stages, which makes it hard
for the Government to justify prioritising
this bikeway over the other projects being
put forward by other councils across the
State, especially as those councils are
willing to contribute funding toward
their projects,” he said.
“I am deeply frustrated that the
council is unwilling to contribute to this
important local project – it is the only
council in SA which is not contributing
to the development of cycling facilities in
“Unfortunately, if the council maintains
this position, the State Government will
be forced to look to other projects in other
districts where councils happily enter
into co-funding arrangements.”
AMY GILLETT BIKEWAY UNDER A CLOUD
Funding uncertainty stalls work
The Adelaide Hills Council and Mayor Bill Spragg have made it
clear they will not contribute any funds to deliver the remaining
stages, which makes it hard for the Government to justify
prioritising this bikeway over the other projects ...
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan
More than 1000 people have
signed a petition calling on
the Adelaide Hills Council
to pursue the extension of
the Amy Gillett Bikeway to
The petition, which includes
750 online signatories, was
organised by the Adelaide Hills
Rail Trail Group.
The group has been
campaigning for more than a
decade for a shared-use trail for
walkers, horse riders and cyclists
along the 32km abandoned
Balhannah and Mt Pleasant.
To date the State Government
has built three stages of the
trail, which it has named the
Amy Gillett Bikeway in honor
of the SA track cyclist who was
killed in Germany in 2005 when
a driver crashed into a training
The third stage between
Charleston and Mt Torrens was
officially opened in 2014.
The State Government has
set aside no money for the 6km
fourth stage to Birdwood but
invited the council to apply for
a matched-funding grant for the
The council has decided to delay
any possible grant submission
for 12 months to work out the
finances and gauge community
The move has the backing
of Adelaide Hills Rail Trail
Group campaigner and petition
organiser Michelle Bryant.
“We are extremely happy with
the council’s decision and it
looks like they will hopefully
be applying for a grant to
complete the bikeway through to
Birdwood,” she said.
“It is about making the roads
safe for motorists and cyclists.
Continue the trail
“I live in Birdwood and have
no choice but to ride 6km along
a 100km/h highway to get to the
start of the track at Mt Torrens
which is honestly terrifying at
Group president Peter O’Brien
spoke at a recent council meeting,
asking elected members to keep
the pressure on the Government
to continue the trail.
He said the bikeway was well
used and brought enormous
physical and mental health
benefits to users as well as
helping local businesses.
He also urged the council to
speak to its neighbors at the
Barossa Council who were keen
to see the trail reach Mt Pleasant
where it could link up with
tourism trails in that region.
Adelaide Hills Rail Trail Group campaigner Michelle Bryant from Birdwood, front, helped to collect
more than 1000 signatures supporting the completing of the Amy Gillett Bikeway. She is pictured
with riders Kerry Reed from Plympton, Firoza Khan from Flagstaff Hill, Susanne Olsen from Trinity
Gardens, Lee-Anne Flemming from Brooklyn Park and Marisa Mancini from Ingle Farm.
Strong community support for bikeway extension
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