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Journeys : MNJ Aug Sep 2011
Member in focus Post is trialling e-bikes to replace some of its postie bikes; and in Perth the QEII Medical Centre Trust has e-bikes for staff to use when out and about visiting patients. A small f leet of e-bikes would cost ver y little upfront and virtually nothing to run, and with city traffic and parking getting worse, the advantages mount up rather quickly. We could use the e-bike exercise to gauge future demand for electric vehicles of all types (and charging infrastr ucture, for example). It would be a small step towards reducing our dependence on oil. Ultimately we can anticipate a gradual transition within councils (and among other fleet ow ners) to using fully-electr ic cars – not just passenger vehicles but ser vice vehicles, street sweepers, even inner-city buses like those in use all over Europe. That brings me to how we’ll power the EVs. I’m determined to pursue renewable energy options, including wind power, to run not only EV infrastructure but also to power council’s day to day operations. Hobart City Council is continuing to investigate the feasibility of constructing a southern councils-owned w ind far m to produce clean energy for the grid. A w ind farm would not only help to eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions, but would also go a long way to offsetting the council’s $3 million-and-grow ing yearly energy bill. It costs $1 million per year just to run the street lights in Hobart! Essentially I want to get our city ready for a switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources now. This is the time to set the ball rolling, so we can iron out problems and build a reliable model before the day comes when we have no choice. In doing so we’ll transform Hobart into a more people-friendly city that will be a model of sustainability. Let’s begin with e-bikes. Bill Harvey has been an alderman on the Hobart City Council since 2007. Barney Reynolds lives in Launceston. He lives with his partner and has two grandchildren on the way. Barney has been an RACT member since 1982. Why did you join the RACT? I joined the NRMA and then RACV and now the RACT for the protection and support they provide. My insurance is with them as well. I’m happy with them. What’s the most memorable time you’ve been helped by being a member of the RACT? One time we came back from Melbourne and we had two flat tyres in the airport car park and the RACT came all the way out to pump our tyres. They are always nice people and they’re prompt. Tell me about your current car. It is a 1992 Ford station wagon. Do you have any stickers on your car? One for being a Country Fire Authority volunteer from when I lived in Victoria and a Tasmanian National Parks sticker. What is your biggest motoring gripe? Around Launceston it’s the totally inappropriate placement of bike lanes. Fundamentally it is taking away the driving lane at the expense of car drivers and the loss of the natural curve a car would take. Also, overtaking on double lines! After the family photos, what is your most precious material possession, the thing you would try to grab if there was ever a fire? My computer! It is the tool of my trade. What is your most memorable holiday moment? In Tasmania there is a place that reminded me of Rannoch Moor in Scotland. You turn off at Liawenee and head into the Central Plateau. I like the remoteness of the region and there is a beautiful lake there. What about your favourite holiday destination? Anywhere in Tasmania or Scotland. Where do you plan to spend your next holiday? We’ll go to Sydney because that’s where I was born. I haven’t been there in a long time. I want to see where I used to live and meet people I used to work w ith. In our community August / September 2011 11
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Oct Nov 2011