Minister's bike punt answer "bizarre" - Hartland

Greens MLC Colleen Hartland has described the government's response in parliament to her question on the Westgate Bike Punt as "bizarre".

"My question* set out the increase in commuter cycling and the success of running the Punt on of Ride To Work Day, and asked him to consider funding a commuter Punt service for a year, as it would be very cost-effective."

"The Minister's bizarre answer* is that in 2005 there weren't enough cyclists to make it economically viable."

"As if the roads minister doesn't have access to data on the extraordinary increase in bike commuting from the west since then, not to mention the numbers I set out in my question."

"In the next breath he shows how the Federation Trail extension will deliver even more cyclists to within a few metres of the Punt's jetty.  After which people heading to the other side of the Yarra need to swim 100m or take a 13km detour."

"It is nine kilometres along the Yarra from Williamstown to Footscray Road.  If this was the eastern suburbs, there would be several bike crossings over the river.  We are only asking for a fraction of what they have."

"The Minister concluded with his plan to widen Shepherds Bridge on Footscray Road to take even more trucks.  Why he thinks this will cheer up the western suburbs is anyone's guess."

Ms Hartland asked her question on 14 October last year, and received the answer in Parliament today, nearly three months after the time limit.  

For comment: Colleen Hartland - 9689 6373

* Links to the question and answer are online at


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