Monday, May 7, 2012
Bypass campaign not short on advice!
DCSCA Committee members met recently with Mr. Richard Marles MP (federal, Corio), Cr. Rod Macdonald (Cheetham Ward) and Cr. John Doull (Coryule Ward) to ask for their advice about how best to campign for the bypass. Each of them had helpful suggestions, that we've distilled into a 'campaign manual' with three major sections.
• The campaign should have the next state election (November 2014) as its focus, because the state government will pay (via Vic Roads) for a bypass.
• Highlight the 'negative' reasons for a bypass, including local concerns about existing traffic hazards (N.B. the run-down in traffic associated with the nearby quarry means that there should be no overall increase in truck numbers going through Drysdale) and the likely increase in traffic hazards with increasing local population.
• Highlight the 'positive' reasons for a bypass, including the potential social, economic & environmental benefits to the town and the easier access to a Portarlington ferry.
• Be patient! It could take years to create the complete bypass.
• Do the research! Collect evidence about current traffic flows through central Drysdale from (e.g.) Vic Roads and CoGG; ensure that this evidence is updated regularly; and commission projected traffic flows to match the area's planned population increases.
• Show that it's feasible. Commission a 'draft project plan' from a local engineer and then ask a reputable engineering firm to endorse it.
• Don't 'go for broke'. Break-up the bypass into sections that are cheaper and easier to manage than the whole bypass; be prepared to campaign for one section at a time (which sets a precedent for the bypass as a whole) - perhaps concentrating on the land that Vic Roads has bought already
• Use the local media, social networking media and occasional 'stalls' in shopping centres (not just in Drysdale) to generate local interest in both the 'negatives' and the 'positives' and to invite people to participate (in some way - see below) in the campaign.
• State politicians. The state will pay for the bypass. Concentrate on the sitting member (Ms Lisa Neville) and likely candidates for the seat of Bellarine; but ensure that all state politicians are aware of the issue. N.B. There's never a guarantee that a sitting member will be re-elected, so keep all options open.
• Local councillors. Lobby them to pressure state politicians - in particular, showing how the bypass fits-in with broader local transport strategies.
• Local tourism associations. Explain to them how a bypass will increase the north Bellarine's attractiveness as a destination by improving traffic flow and 'releasing' Drysdale town centre for more leisurely movement. Encourage each one to contact councillors and state politicians.
• Local businesses. Explain to them how a bypass can benefit them (be specific) and encourage each one to contact councillors and state politicians.
• Local community and recreational groups. Explain to them how a bypass can benefit them (be specific - e.g. easier access to local events) and encourage each one to contact councillors and state politicians.
• Local schools. Explain to them how a bypass can benefit them (again, be specific - e.g. safety) and encourage each one to contact councillors and state politicians.
• Local residents. Explain to them how a bypass can benefit them (the closer to town they live, the more specific the benefits will be) and encourage each one to contact councillors and state politicians.
This is just the first draft of our 'campaign manual'. It will grow and change as more people join the campaign and bring more ideas with them. drycliftdays readers are warmly invited to join in by commenting on this post.