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'Breaking point': Gladstone debate over mandatory rego fee for cyclists

Local cyclists Barry Flutter and Garry Hill.
Local cyclists Barry Flutter and Garry Hill. Mike Richards GLA040214CYCL

MANDATORY is the word many Gladstone residents have used in a discussion as to whether cyclists should be paying a fee to register their bikes.

It comes after The Observer published a story to Facebook where Bundaberg man, Adrian Wone, suggested it would make cycling safer and encourage more people to opt for the manual mode of transport.

"Bikes are becoming more popular and if they need infrastructure like bike ways, the economy is stretched to the limit, so registering bikes might be the way to finance these things," he said.

Mr Wone said the proposal would also have the added benefits of improving our waistlines and the environment.

"If it's safer and convenient, more people will take it up, which will benefit the environment and people's health," he said.

"Even just $5 per bike just for new bikes sold, or maybe people would be happy to pay across the board, to get people out there safely.

"It would take a few cars off the road too."

There were arguments for and against cyclists paying rego, but the majority of residents swung towards the idea, including Brett Smith who said if motor bike riders had to pay than so should cyclists.

"Rego and insurance (for cyclists) should be mandatory," he said.

"I have to pay $350 a year for a single seat dirt bike just so I can use it in state forests or beaches and I don't even ride on the road," he said.

There was also the argument that if cyclists are choosing to ride on the road, even when there if a path available, they should pay a fee to contribute to the road's infrastructure.

"If we have to pay to use the roads, why do (cyclists) get to use it for free?" Jason Fitzgerald said.

On the other side of the fence was Mick Warren, who said the idea was "a joke".

"What's next?" he said.

Tax(ing) people who walk on footpaths and try to convince us its a privilege?"

However, Aaron Rush had a completely different perspective on the situation and said bike riders wouldn't need to use the road, if the government built more bike paths.

"Are you kidding?" he said. "Rates pay for local roads, income tax pays for main roads, fuel tax is bigger than ever, and now people want more from the working class who are already struggling with the cost of living ... Build more bike paths to make it safer and so more Australian's use them, get fit ... and not be taxed to breaking point for it."



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