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  • Tourism Levy

    Over the next two weeks about 24,000 interstate and international visitors will descend on Hobart to celebrate the dark, to celebrate the cold and to celebrate the unique event known as Dark Mofo. This year Hobart City Council made a significant financial contribution to the festival, accompanied by in-kind support such as use of events equipment. It’s a great investment in many respects: it puts Hobart and Tasmania on the global stage, gets locals out in the depths of winter and results in significant economic benefits for the state. Dark Mofo isn’t the only event we sponsor though. Throughout the year, the City of Hobart sponsors a vast array of events that bring people to our city. The City Council also spends a considerable amount of its budget supporting tourism, ensuring visitors to our city have a memorable experience. An example of this is the improved infrastructure around Morrison St and Salamanca at the waterfront where there has been significant Ratepayer expenditure to support an area with arguably the highest use by visitors. Paying the city cleaning teams overtime to support a clean city at times of increased activity is another. Kunanyi/Mt Wellington is one of the most visited tourist sites in the State. Yet, the Hobart Ratepayer bares almost all of the cost of managing the mountain. With more than $100 million of city infrastructure on the mountain, it costs the Ratepayer around $6 million per year to keep the mountain going, with almost no support from the State Government and minimal revenue raised from tourism operators. To give you an idea, a bus operator can run as many coaches as they like to the summit for a flat rate of $300 p.a. It is time that tourists contributed more to directly support the visitor economy. With high CPI contributing to a cost of living crisis, there has never been a more appropriate time to shift some of the costs of supporting a thriving visitor economy to the people who benefit most, tourists. Through differential rates, the City Council can opt to charge large hotels higher rates. These rates can easily be passed onto visitors, and the City Council can support this with information brochures thanking tourists for contributing to the city and asking for their feedback through a dedicated online portal. It could be applied across all large commercial hotels, so there would be no competition problems associated with the new revenue measure. For less than $5 per room per night, this initiative will pay for the entire council events budget and contribute to broader revenue. Can you think of any tourists who wouldn’t visit our city for an extra $5 per night? Is it reasonable to expect around 50,000 Hobart residents to continue to foot the bill for the massive events and supporting infrastructure that 2 million visitors use each year? Raising revenue from visitors is not a new or novel concept, and frankly, I’m surprised the City of Hobart hasn’t had a better look at this in the past. Around the world, tourist dense cities have implemented tourist taxes in some form. In Spain, Barcelona charges €3.25 per night, applied to large tourist hotels and Valencia €2 night. In Portugal, the small fishing village of Olhau charges €2 night. Venice, Rome, Paris, Prague, Berlin all charge tourist levies, and the list goes on. This measure would directly lower rates for local residents and businesses. Rates are calculated by setting the budget first and then dividing by rating units. For residential property rating unit calculation is based on Annual Assessed property value. In the current economic situation with sky rocketing interest rates, councils around Hobart have raised rates to match or beyond. Clarence rates will rise by 6.5% while Huon valley have boldly upped their rates by 12.5%. Hobart City will be debating the budget  and associated rates at the next council meeting and it will be interesting to listen to the debate and ideas put up by other progressive councillors and form an opinion on how we can strategically ease the burden on our Ratepayers, meaning you pay less than you otherwise would have. In a cost of living crisis, councils should be looking for opportunities to decrease the burden on struggling Ratepayers and businesses. Many locals can’t afford to pay more at this particular point in time. Many struggling Ratepayers have very limited discretional expenditure. But those visiting Hobart clearly have the means to holiday and can afford to contribute a little more to their experience. By tourists paying less than the value of a cup of coffee per night, it will decrease the magnitude of pain local Ratepayers have to endure as a result of yet another rates rise.

  • The Importance of Design Aspiration

    Tasmania’s population is expected to continue to rise at a rapid rate moving into the future. Since 2014, we have seen about 65,000 people decide to call Tasmania home. That’s an increase in population about the size of Launceston! Some population predictions suggest we may see more than 60,000 additional people calling greater Hobart home in the next 25 years. The projected population growth is driven by an enviable way of life, cooler climate and the exodus from large cities following COVID-19. I’m sure there are other more complex causes too, but regardless, it seems our population is set to grow into the future. The challenge for governments at all levels, and the community to a lesser extent, is how we approach population growth moving forward? We can either be reactive, realising transport networks, housing, health and education are not coping with the influx of population when it’s too late. Or we can be proactive and plan for our future now. This is where aspiration is so important. What does the ideal Hobart look like to you? If you say it looks exactly as it does now, then you have consigned yourself to the former category. You see, Hobart cannot stay exactly as it is today. It will be overrun with people, there will be more people struggling to find housing and work, the city will be car filled and more congested than it is today leading to potential antisocial behaviour and diminishing city ambience. A change in our city is coming regardless. So, we must plan and manage this population growth with aspirational urban design that meets our growing city’s needs. As a community, we must ask: “what do we want our city to look like in 2050?” We need to determine what the key elements of Hobart we love are, like the low set heritage buildings and our incredible access to both river and mountain. But we must also ask where we can do better? Transport and housing immediately spring to mind. In this process, we need to aim high. I so often hear talk of “knowing your station” and even more frequently “we can’t afford that”. You know what? We have to afford it, we have to plan, fund and build the infrastructure we will need tomorrow, today. It is only by approaching change in this way that we will not be under-resourced and overrun. Talking about our future now will get the best results. That is why the City of Hobart is working toward neighbourhood plans for every suburb in Hobart. This process is about determining the current and future needs of every corner of the city and its wonderful suburbs. Its good planning practice and it’s just what we need to assess each suburbs needs and plan the supporting infrastructure. Neighbourhood plans are about things like transport and recreation needs. They are equally about determining what businesses we want operating and where in our city. Do we need large, open car yards in the city centre, or would they be better placed in another part of Greater Hobart? Where do we want vibrant nightlife and where do we want a quiet, leafy suburban living? As we move through the Neighbourhood planning process, I think it’s important that we are aspirational to achieve the best outcome for each unique part of the city. I believe it’s important to strive for best outcomes like continuing to aspire for a waterfront link between Sandy Bay and Castray Esplanade. Just because we are a small city on an island state doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the best outcomes. It doesn’t mean we can’t shoot for the moon and land among the stars. It doesn’t mean as individuals we can’t strive to rise above our station in life. Us Hobartians deserve better than we currently get, I think we deserve politicians that strive for this city and state to be the best it can be – the best small city in the world! Together, we are worth it and planning our future now will reap endless rewards, protecting our wonderful way of life as we face the challenges likely to present moving forward.

  • Cable Car

    I do not support the MWCC proposal.

  • Addressing the Housing Crisis

    If elected I will advocate for: • Inclusionary zoning: ensuring large new developments include a proportion of affordable and social housing through inclusionary zoning requirements. • Creative zoning: looking to other cities around the world that have addressed frontline worker housing difficulties through zoning changes eg. Housing developed specifically for school-teachers near the school they work or hospital workers close to the hospital. • Developer contributions: In most Australian jurisdictions outside of Tasmania developers are required to contribute to public infrastructure, such as footpaths, parkland, storm water and parking upgrades in the vicinity of their developments or payment in lieu of that infrastructure to the local council. This is not currently the case in Tasmania. • Ensuring safe spaces in each municipal area for vulnerable people: Working with existing providers to ensure an adequate supply of crisis accommodation for vulnerable people, such as victims of domestic violence. • Banning whole home short stay accommodation • Voluntary acquisition of key privately owned land for housing: working with State and Federal counterparts to secure funding to acquire existing strategic land that can be on-sold to developers with contracts in place to ensure development meets community needs for increased, diverse housing stock close to key workplaces and transport corridors. • Exploring alternative models of housing: There are many ways to skin a cat, and exploring different models of ownership, such as housing collectives, may form part of the solution. Housing is a key priority for Hobart. I understand the increased difficulty in obtaining housing across all sectors of the market and the cost of living pressures resulting from sky rocketing rents, driven by lack of supply. I know that pressure on housing is only going to get worse with projected 38% population growth between now and 2050, equating to between 60,000 & 100,000 more people calling Greater Hobart home. One third of which will move to urban infill developments in Hobart LGA. That means at least 20,000 more people living between Lenah Valley and Sandy Bay. I acknowledge that past social housing strategies, such as broad acre developments have been an abject failure. We now understand that mixed housing models result in better outcomes for the community. Unfortunately, the Hobart City Deal was a missed opportunity for all levels of government to work together to address the housing crisis. However, I do support the principles of working together across municipalities for the benefit of the whole community as outlined in the Greater Hobart Act 2019. By working together we can ensure a coordinated strategy to address the housing crisis. I also recognize that all levels of government have a role to play inproviding solutions to the housing crisis. As a fresh Local Government face I accept that: • An increase in supply of housing in all sectors of the market is needed to alleviate housing and cost of living pressures • A broader range of housing across Hobart is required to meet a diverse range of needs • There is a paucity of crisis housing for people escaping domestic violence • Urban infill is a priority compared to urban sprawl • Commercial entities developing infill must contribute to public infrastructure to ensure its success. Ryan.

  • Mountain Biking in Hobart

    What actions will I take to strengthen mountain biking in Hobart if elected to council this October? I will advocate for council to: Seek and allocate funding to complete the "Riding The Mountain" plan as a priority Invest in a full-time trail crew to maintain trails in conjunction with local volunteers & clubs Work with Cascade Brewery to ensure informal trails are protected Investigate opportunities for a washdown facility near the silos Work toward a junior & senior pump track in Hobart LGA Work with Hobart Dirt Devils to support events Explore options for a multi-day back country mountain bike ride in greater Hobart. Mountain biking in Tasmania has seen significant growth in Tasmania in the last decade. Hobart has the best city linked mountain biking terrain in the country by some margin. So it is crucial we make the most of that connection and continue to capitalise on the popularity of mountain biking, both in Hobart and abroad. A 2018 report investigated the social and economic benefits of mountain biking in Australia (You can read the full report here). It showed that the economic and social benefits of mountain biking: Furthermore, this report found that in 2018 11% of all mountain bike rides occured in Tasmania, despite our population representing just 2.1% of the Australian population. This can be explained by the popularity of Tasmania as a mountain bike destination and by the popularity of riding within the Tasmanian population. Capitalising on the national popularity of mountain biking would bring significant economic benefit to Hobart. On social media there are frequently posts from interstate travellers asking about trails to ride in Hobart so they can stay an extra few days in conjunction with visiting Blue Derby and Maydena Bike Park. However, the trail network is poorly sign-posted and a rabbit warren that local riders can navigate with local knowledge but interstate riders find very challenging. Without a more formalised mountain bike trail network, Hobart is missing out on a fairly significant tourism opportunity. Recently, Hobart City Council commissioned the "Riding The Mountain" report. This report was so good it has won national awards. It presented a network of mountain bike trails in the foothills of Kunanyi Mount Wellington and proved economic benefits exceeding the outlay. It was well received by all users of the mountain. Despite this amazing work, Hobart City Council has no funding to implement the plan. I believe in the proven social and economic benefits of mountain biking. I want to see more people out on their bikes, more people in the bush and more people visiting Hobart to enjoy what this amazing place has to offer. What do you think? Ryan

  • Community sports: Time to invest in the future

    I believe in the importance of community sport. Children benefit immensely from being involved in sport from a young age. They learn team work and discipline. They have structure added to their weekly routines. They learn to love being outside, and experience the endorphins released when they exercise. They learn that being fit and healthy actually makes them happy. As adults, community sport brings people together from all walks of life. It helps to build a sense of community and shared purpose. It keeps us fit and healthy and wards off chronic diseases, decreasing the burden on healthcare services in the long run. Community sport also relies on tireless volunteers, who run the clubs, man the barbecues and canteens, referee games and coach kids and adults. Again, volunteering gives people in the community a sense of purpose and giving back. All in all, community sport is incredibly important to our communities for a wide range of reasons. Throughout my campaign, I have met with many different sporting clubs and associations. At every meeting, there has been two common themes: Community sports don't have enough facilities to meet community demand Community sports facilities need upgrading to ensure maximum utilisation If elected to Hobart City Council this October I will work to: Establish a whole of sport master plan: This plan should take a global view of all facilities in Hobart LGA and identify long term strategic priorities and vision for the future of community sports in Hobart Initiate a community sports lighting grant program: To upgrade facilities to LED lights Assess the need for additional light towers Install lighting where there is currently none Improve drainage across all playing surfaces: Many playing surfaces are unusable for half the season, despite living in the second driest capital city in Australia. Ensure State and Federal grants are matched: Work with other levels of government to ensure that projects that require 50/50 funding are funded, even if that is an unplanned spend for the council (after all, thats half price facilities for the people of Hobart!) Fast track development applications: It shouldn't take months to have a digital score board approved, or an upgrade to change rooms. These facilities benefit the community and should be brought to the top of the pile when development applications are assessed. Secure an Ice Sports Venue for Hobart: Work with stakeholders, including Ice Sports Tasmania, The State Government and Private investors to ensure Tasmania's only ice rink is built in Hobart LGA. If elected, I will continue to work with the sporting community to ensure Hobart provides facilities to the standard expected of a capital city that serve our community's needs . I will be a champion for community sports in Hobart. Ryan.

  • e-scooters and micro-mobility

    e-scooters, like them or hate them, based on community sentiment and previous voting patterns, I think they are here to stay. So lets talk about how to make them work in everyone's interest. The 12 month trial of Beam and Neuron e-scooters is coming to an end early in the next term of council. Decisions will need to be made about how we move forward with micro-mobility in Hobart City and any conditions that may need to be explored and applied to hire scooter use to make the program a success. More protected bike lanes A key priority to support these devices needs to be building significantly more protected bike lanes around Hobart LGA. With the emergence of these novel e-devices, we now recognise that bike lanes are not just for bikes; they give these micro-mobility devices their own space, off the road and off the footpath. It is the gold standard of the concept of separation by speed. Pedestrians average <10km/hr, e-devices and bikes average 25km/h and cars average 50km/h. So, they each need their own space. Private e-scooters and micro-mobility I think there is an important distinction to make between hire e-scooters and private e-scooters (and other micro-mobility devices). Generally, private micro-mobility users are more responsible, they tend to: Wear their helmets Be respectful of pedestrians Be respectful of traffic through local knowledge and sensible route planning Ride sober, and Ride solo I genuinely believe that micro-mobility and e-devices will form a significant part of the transport mix moving forward. Whether that's locals living in inner-city neighbourhoods that use a scooter, skateboard or e-bike to get to and from the city for work or play. Or folks who live further out exploiting the compact nature of new technology in conjunction with public transport for last kilometre trips. These devices are quiet, no-emission devices that take up little road space compared to a car. Some even cart whole families around on the back or front of an e-bike. They even bust congestion - every scooter, skateboard or bike is one less car on the road. Because there are so many benefits to private micro-mobility and e-devices, and because a different market is attracted to these devices compared with traditional cycling, I want to encourage the take up of these devices through an interest free loan scheme. Interest free loan scheme If elected, I will ask council to explore different models of interest free loan schemes. This loan scheme would essentially be a cost free exercise in busting congestion. A private financial partner would be engaged to administer the loan in the form of an interest free credit card for up to $3000 to be spent only on an e-transport device to be paid back over a three year loan term. **The State Government offered a similar program 5 years ago called the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) which was for things like solar, insulation, double glazing etc. Public hire e-scooters There are two major problems that are fairly unique to the hire scooters. Accessibility of footpaths / where they are parked Drunk riding Footpath accessibility Accessible footpaths are a priority for me. I've written about how important equal access before. So, I believe one of the key issues that needs to be resolved with Beam and Neuron is where scooters are left. (Bearing in mind that many of the scooters left lying down on the footpath were not left that way, they were knocked over by passers by, hooligans and people with a beef about the scooter program). If elected I will move a motion that asks Beam and neuron to create dedicated parking zones in the 64 inner-city blocks governed by the Precincts Plan. This would mean you can only park the scooter in a dedicated area limited to one per city block. Where infrastructure upgrades are required to facilitate this, such as curb, guttering and footpath re-alignment, I will also ask that Beam and Neuron contribute 50% of the cost. Drunk riding Addressing drunk riding through technology rather than policing is the key to abolishing the behaviour. If elected, I will ask that Beam and Neuron to install alcohol interlocks on their scooters. These devices are already used in vehicles and often court mandated for repeat drink driving offences. They work by making the user take a breath test prior to enabling the vehicles function. Beam and Neuron can work with software providers to develop a system where this is enabled between certain times of the day/night to completely prevent drunk riding. Through creative thinking, innovation and exploring ideas used elsewhere, I believe we can make micro-mobility work in Hobart to improve the amenity of the city, decrease congestion and travel times and improving parking for those who choose to drive. I'd love to hear your ideas too so please get in touch!

  • Accessibility in Hobart

    I have a long standing interest in accessibility for all. The first interactions I had with people who had different abilities to my own was at preschool. I went to a preschool that was for kids with vision and hearing impairments. Then through primary school, one of my best friends, Mel, was a wheel chair user due to cerebral palsy. As a result of my lifelong friendship with Mel, I have met all sorts of people doing great work in the accessibility space. One who deeply inspired me was Madeline Sobb. She was an advocate for youth disability accessibility in Melbourne and good friends with Mel. Prior to her passing, she was doing amazing work to make Melbourne a more accessible place for people of all abilities. I want to continue that work here in Hobart. Accessibility matters, it improves the quality of life for anyone with mobility or sensory impairments. I see the effects of poorly accessible infrastructure on this community every day in my professional life as a paramedic. There are various acts that govern the right to access and discrimination, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The least we can do as a city is ensure Hobart is compliant with the relevant legislation. To their credit, the City of Hobart has an equal access policy but I think it is a piecemeal and does not address some of the key barriers affecting equality of access in our city. If elected I have a planned equality in accessibility program that has been developed in conjunction with the relevant community. I will move that The City of Hobart: Ensure The City of Hobart's online interfaces meet accessibility standards. Commence a program to ensure ALL road crossings in Hobart LGA have accessible crossings with cut curbs and tactile feedback indicators. And increasing the number of pedestrian priority road crossings in Hobart LGA (Zebra crossings etc). Instigate a grant program for small businesses to upgrade their premises to meet disability standards. Work with the department of State Growth to formally transfer the responsibility of bus stop infrastructure to councils, with State funding attached, to ensure bus stops meet the disability discrimination act (100% of bus stops are meant to be compliant by 2023) Lets work together to ensure Hobart is accessible for everyone. Ryan

  • North Hobart: A vision for the future

    North Hobart is one of my favourite places in Hobart. It is an iconic and historic part of Hobart, that attracts thousands of locals every year, but it is not thriving. North Hobart should be a key priority for the City of Hobart, but recent years have proven that the council is not prioritising the cultural hub and businesses that provide such a wonderful destination for locals and tourists alike. From the complete mess of installation of parking meters, to the flawed report into the Condell place car park redevelopment and parking in North Hobart, to the 2018 rejected EOI process, it seems clear to me that the City of Hobart doesn't view North Hobart as a priority and is putting ideological views above pragmatic and practical solutions. To their credit, council has recently engaged with the community on their desires to ensure North Hobart thrives and you can view that report here. But is it just another one of the councils reports that won't be acted on? Is it a disingenuous report designed to placate business in the wake of the parking scandal? Only time will tell. I have a big vision for North Hobart. I want to see the blocks between Burnett Street and Federal Street ("The Strip") become a central retail and entertainment precinct. To achieve that I want to see: Ambient street lighting - Fairy lights above the roadway or in trees add a welcoming feel to evening dining customers. Think about the fairy lights in Salamanca and how much they add to the ambiance. Given our sunset times in winter, it will make North Hobart more welcoming throughout the year. Change side streets to left turn in and out & remove roundabout - this will ensure the smoothest transit of traffic through the strip. Pedestrian crossings are managed by the existing three light sets. Roundabout removal facilitates a gold standard bidirectional protected bike lane. Removal of on-street parking - This is dependent on development of Condell Place. Assuming Condell place has expanded parking with modern licence plate recognition boom gates, which make access a breeze and 60 minute free parking it should serve everyones' needs. Boulevard footpaths and dining - Removal of on street parking enables significantly wider footpaths and opens opportunities for exceptional on-street dining. COVID-19 has resulted in more people wanting to dine in the outdoors. Widening footpaths enables heating, street trees and umbrellas to support local businesses expanding to meet new customer needs. Inclusion of Elizabeth Street Uber eats priority area and 10 minute public parking - Finding an appropriate area along "The Strip" for a designated Uber eats parking area. This could be a painted section of road, or pull in bay. Uber eats is an important component of food business in 2022, we need to recognise that and come up with creative solutions to ensure restaurants can serve both walk in, takeaway and remote customers effectively. Addition of a protected bike lane - Alterations to parking, footpaths and side streets (which will result in removal of the roundabout) opens up opportunities for a protected bi-directional bike lane for cyclists and scooter riders. Keeping riders safe and getting fast moving micro-mobility devices off our footpaths, further enhancing the pedestrian experience and boulevard feel. Annual food festival - to support local businesses Elizabeth street should be closed once a year for an annual street food festival. Condell Place - The elephant in the room In my view, the key component to North Hobart's success is the development of Condell Place. I believe this must be re-visted and will ensure that council does so if elected. So why is Condell place so important? Because of the recent bad press about parking in North Hobart, customers from Greater Hobart report that they are dissuaded from going to North Hobart due to parking concerns. Whether or not this is accurate is inconsequential, the damage to North Hobart's parking reputation has been done. The only way to repair that damage is to improve the perception of easy parking in North Hobart. An excavated multi-story carpark in North Hobart has many benefits: Park and ride during the week - Due to its proximity up Burnett Street from the Brooker Highway, it is a relatively good location for a park and ride facility, assuming cheaper weekday parking than inner city multistories. It could include considerable numbers of bike lockers with 240v power points. This would enable commuters from greater Hobart to park in North Hobart and store a last km bike, scooter, e-bike, or skateboard in the carpark itself - and charge them right there. For those who choose to walk the 1.5km to work, it will help activate the MidTown Elizabeth street strip. Workers will stop to pick up a coffee, have a browse in the retail shop or stop to pick up takeaway or eat in on the way home. Recognising that public transport in Greater Hobart is woeful, practical and pragmatic solutions like this will also take more cars out of the city proper. Removal of on street parking & certainty - One of the key elements to parking is certainty. If there is efficient and cost effective parking in a future Condell Place carpark and no opportunity for on-street parking, users will have certainty that there will be parking available, how much it will cost and where to find it. For a time, on-street parking on Elizabth street was not guarenteed, leading to complaints and customers going elsewhere. The implementation of 30 minute parking along the strip has lead to certainty of getting a park if you are staying a short time but has contributed to the perceived difficulty of parking in "The Strip" Future proofing North Hobart - Providing a more parking than is currently required will help North Hobart to expand as the population of Hobart increases. It will also enable proper electric car charging infrastructure to be installed at 2022 standards. Most of my vision for North Hobart is supported by The Council's own reports, but they have failed to act. I don't believe the broader considerations of development in Condell Place have been considered, nor the potential uptick in visitors due to changing perceptions. Most business owners in North Hobart that I have spoken to agree that increasing parking in Condell Place is a no brainer. Lets have investment in North Hobart to see it thrive and not just survive Lets be aspirational and invest in a big vision for the future What do you think? Ryan Document links: North Hobart Retail and Entertainment Precinct Note: this vision previously included a proposal to close local side streets to Elizabeth street. It has been amended to left turn only after listening to feedback from local residents and patrons of North Hobart.

  • Hobart Mobility Survey

    Mobility in and around Hobart is important. Ease of movement means less stress, less time commuting and more time doing whatever it is you love to do. Mobility can also be much more of a micro than macro issue in some ways. I recently met with Dustin Moore in Lenah Valley. He is a transport expert and keenly involved in the Lenah Valley community. He set up a map of Lenah Valley that enabled users to input concerns about footpaths, bike lanes, intersections and so on that he intends on feeding back to Hobart City Council. I thought this user feedback model was terrific and the feedback from Hobart residents who follow me on social media prompted me to promise I would create a map that included the rest of Hobart LGA for ratepayers to contribute. So here it is: It is very straightforward to use. There are six categories you can flag your concerns under: Cycling/Bike Lanes Footpaths Pedestrian crossings/curbs Roads Intersections Bus stops To flag a mobility concern or solution: Zoom the map to the area of concern Click the red "+" Click continue Name the place/intersection/cycleway Select the appropriate category Provide a brief description of the problem and any proposed solutions Upload photo (optional) Click "Add place" Click "Continue with Facebook" or "Continue with Google" or setup an account (facebook works easily enough) Update: I’ve been informed that some users have difficulty with facebook connectivity. If you experience issues, you can setup an account quickly and efficiently, you only require an email address. note: you can also comment on existing place labels Hearing from you, the user, will enable me to take this data to Hobart City Council to ask for the improvements you want. Regardless of the outcome of the election, I intend on taking the inputs to HCC for feedback. I also think it is important to say that this model of user feedback should be adopted by governments at all levels. This is a simple and inexpensive tool than ensures the people and their concerns are heard. Ryan.

  • End the Rat Run campaign

    Sign the petition here The End the Rat Run campaign was formed after a number of parents of primary school age children contacted me concerned about the volumes and speed of traffic that passes through West Hobart, Mount Stuart and Lenah Valley. I had definitely noticed the traffic, the increase in volume at peak and the general trend of busier streets, but I hadn't identified some of the issues until I was approached. I don't personally use the Rat Run, even though I work at Claremont Ambulance Station and live on Lansdowne Crescent. So I did my homework and drove the length of the rat run from Rosetta to Davey St and back at different times of day. As is the case everywhere, there isn't much of an issue between 10:00am and 2:30pm, and after 6:30pm but the traffic predictably increases between 7:30 and 10:00am and 2:30 - 6:30pm. I also went up to Mount Stuart at 5:20pm on a week day and counted cars, which produced a number nearing 1000 cars passing the Mount Stuart Memorial Hall per hour. Which is backed up by empirical data collected by Misdon Traffic consultants in 2019 (see table below). So, thinking upon the community concerns and the data I had collected, I decided this campaign was a worthy cause. You see, the Rat Run simply doesn't serve a single resident of West Hobart or Mount Stuart. It almost exclusively serves people who live south of Hobart and work in the northern suburbs or vice versa. Yes, some people who reside in South Hobart or Sandy Bay may use this route to go north, but generally the route serves people from outside of the Hobart City LGA. I understand that people believe this route is faster or more efficient, I also understand that people use this route to make their mobile business more efficient. However, the penalty the many residents of Mount Stuart and West Hobart pay exceeds the benefit of a few in my view. Here are some points to consider about the appropriateness of this route for large volumes of traffic working from South to North. Molle Street: The volume of traffic has necessitated installation of a set of traffic lights between the Rivulet and Collins Street to enable cycle commuters from South Hobart to safely cross on their way in and out of the city. This area is also frequently crossed by parents with children as a result of the Good Start early learning centre that is at the end of the rivulet. It is also in proximity to Pigeon Hole Cafe and Goulburn Street primary school, so pedestrian traffic is high, particularly around school time. The pinch between Goulburn Street and Melville Street has an average gradient of about 15% with some sections exceeding 20%. This leads to significant noise for neighbours as cars and light trucks are at 100% throttle to get up the hill. It also leads to wheel spinning cars sliding their way up the street in slippery conditions. In fact, it used to be two way but its so steep that it was closed as accidents frequently occurred at the intersection with Goulburn Street as cars simply couldn't stop in wet or frosty conditions. Hill Street: The first danger point on Hill Street occurs at the roundabout with Patrick Street. With a local post office and grocer on one corner, Paesanos and Verde on another and Island Tyres on another, as well as, Guilford Young College nearby, it is fair to say this is a high hazard intersection. I have a friend who lives at this intersection and he says that crossing with his young family in busy times is impossible unless someone waves them through. This intersection is punctuated by cars pulling into and out of the 15 minute parking zones, a bus stop and teenagers crossing to and from their parked cars and their school. Moving down the hill, a new 40km/h zone starts just before the Train Park. It is a welcome reduction, but the because of the topography of the street, the volume of parked cars and the width of the street, visibility of children exiting the park gate or on the footpath is minimal. In addition, drivers are focusing on Warwick st, looking down the hill, away from the park to the right in anticipation of being able to continue through the roundabout without fully slowing or stopping. And because the roundabout is so small, it is possible to pass through the round about at 40km/h as the minimum speed. Meanwhile cars and people come and go from the Florist and mechanic that are opposite the park. The next intersection is Pine Street. This intersection contains a pharmacy and Smolt Kitchen. Again pedestrian traffic is high. Around school time, this intersection is crossed by many children and families headed to and from Lansdowne Primary School. The new Wombat Crossing is a welcome addition, but unfortunately it was installed too close to the roundabout. The result is that again, drivers attention is not where the hazards are likely to be found. Only drivers exiting Pine street are looking toward the crossing. This leads to many close calls with pedestrians where drivers see them too late or not at all. Moving to the Arthur Street intersection. Hill Street Grocer is known to cause a little bit of traffic mayhem with cars trying to enter an already full car park. This is made considerably more dangerous by being bordered by a sizeable retirement village. Frequently, elderly residents are trying to cross Hill Street outside the AA Lord village to get to The Grocer with no assistance from a pedestrian crossing. Mellifont Street Mellifont street begins with the Friends Park and a busy bus stop, frequented by teens on their way to and from Taroona High school, most of whom have to cross Melllifont Street from their homes. There is also a medical practice, pathologist and Adam's Store. So again this is an area that has a high pedestrian density of vulnerable people. It continues up the hill which has a gradient of between 20-25%. Again subjecting residents to excessive noise when travelling up the hill. I have witnessed rear wheel drive cars getting stuck on wet days if they have to stop half way up and end up causing chaos needing to reverse and do a U-turn. The gradient also leads to a tendency of excessive speed when travelling down the hill. Mount Stuart Road The first danger point is the intersection with Mellifont street, where many cars are not anticipating cars coming up Mount Stuart Road and want to maintain their momentum up the steep hill. Next comes a known as a pinch point, where cars must give way to oncoming traffic as the street narrows. All in proximity to Mount Stuart Primary School. Byard St, Gordon Av, Montagu St, Doyle Av While the hazards being to lessen at this part of the route, it does still have Mount Stuart Memorial hall. This hall is a multipurpose hall that is frequented by children and families of all ages. Residents in this section of the route have told me that on occasion they have waited more than 5 minutes simply to get out of their driveway. It is a route that is punctuated by give way and stop signs as well as more roundabouts. Again residents have told me that if you aren't in the Rat Run traffic and you are coming from a side street or unexpected direction, you are subject to regular close calls with people who treat this route like a highway. Conclusion I think the above list shows just how inappropriate this route is for large volumes of traffic. Those who use it regularly state they use it as a shortcut to avoid the Brooker Highway. I think this is telling, they literally choose this route as their alternate "highway". Reducing traffic and slowing/calming the traffic on this route will hopefully lead to more families allowing their kids to walk unsupervised to and from school, the elderly feeling safe when trying to do their shopping, increase a sense of community as streets will be a safer place for children and families to play, and prevent future life changing or life ending incidents where cars meet kids. It will truly change the feel of both suburbs for the better. I believe that installing traffic calming devices, such as speed bumps or chicanes, lowing the speed limit in key places and increasing the number of raised pedestrian crossings (Wombat Crossings) in crucial high pedestrian areas will deter enough people from using this route. Yes, it may now take them 5 minutes longer to get from The Southern Outlet to Rosetta, but I believe that the gains to the 8,000 residents of Mount Stuart and West Hobart are so substantial that it is worth it. Sign the petition here Some of this petitions crossings have already been recommended but not implemented by Hobart City Council. Read council’s 2019 work, external traffic consultant‘s (Midson Traffic) report and recommendations here (scroll to page 141) Ryan

  • Integrity, Transparency & Accountability

    In Australia, we have seen trust in politicians eroded over the last 15 years. From scare campaigns to misuse of tax payer money (travel rorts, carpark rorts, sports rorts), downright corruption to poor treatment of women in office, Australia has seen it all. Having 7 Prime Ministers in that time hasn't helped. The experience of the last 15 years is why Australia has recorded the second biggest fall in public perception of corruption in the world since 2012 (second to Hungary). In 2012 Australia was ranked 7th in the world for transparency and accountability in public office but by 2021 we had fallen to 18th. Recent polling has produced evidence of strong support for a Federal anti-corruption watchdog. And I believe this reflects the desire of the majority of the public to have transparency and accountability in all levels of government, including Local Government. Conflict of interest, misconduct and corruption has been rife in local governments around Australia for years, and it erodes trust in public officials. Many ratepayers believe that their Councillors, Alderman and Mayors are acting out of self interest rather than public good. Even in Hobart City Council, we have seen a history of deals for mates and property developers as elected officials but in a society where nepotism is the norm should we be surprised? For example, sitting councillors and prominent council candidates don't see that owning and operating Airbnbs in Hobart city could be a conflict of interest - or at the very least a perceived conflict of interest - when voting on short stay accomodation legislation. Some didn't even declare that they are operators prior to voting. This is just one recent example of questionable judgement from prospective and elected officials and I think that is wrong! it erodes public faith and isn't good for democracy. So how will my experience contribute to a council with transparency and integrity at the forefront of every decision? Over many years, Reader's Digest has surveyed their subscribers for the most trusted professions. In the last couple of decades, Paramedics have been on the top of that list most years. On occasion, paramedics are usurped by doctors and nurses. I come from a household that has all three of those professions. I am a serving paramedic, I have been a registered nurse in the past and my wife is a doctor working in the public sector. However, these trust surveys around the world consistently show politicians rank at the lower end of the survey for trust. So, as I put my hand up to be a politician, it's a difficult thing to reconcile. As a healthcare worker I am expected to be beyond reproach. Our code of conduct stipulates that I must act with integrity at all times. I intend to continue as I have for the last 13 years, to act with integrity for the good of the people I serve. I will be transparent in my decision making, I will not accept money or favours from anyone in return for favourable decision making. I will act only with The City and its residents at the heart of every decision. I will also advocate for a stronger Tasmanian Integrity Commission to stop "deals for your mates" and a stronger Director of Local Government who can refer councillors more easily for code of conduct breaches, particularly in relation to corrupt practices. When you vote this year consider this: "Why is the candidate running?" and "What could the candidate gain, outside of council business, as a result of being elected?" Look for the people who only want to make this wonderful city better, with nought to gain in their own business or financial interests. Ryan. Nb. I do not own or operate a business, I do not own any property other than my own, I do not accept donations: my campaign is funded from savings and wages earned through the provision of healthcare. Integrity: the quality of being honest & having strong moral principles Transparency: a process that involves being completely visible and open to scrutiny, so that it's clear that nothing is being hidden Accountability: being willing to accept the consequences resulting from your choices, actions or behaviours.

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