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Posts from the ‘Author is External News’ Category

Rising cyclist death toll is mainly due to drivers, so change the road laws and culture

The Conversation, 18 September 2018
Recent reporting paints a picture of surging road deaths and failing safety strategies for cyclists. The Australian Automobile Association’s Benchmarking report records 1,222 road deaths in the year ending June 2018. And cyclist deaths in particular remain stubbornly high, even as average speeds, which affect road deaths, continue to decline. If cars are much safer than 25 years ago, why are cyclist deaths increasing, from 25 the previous year to 45 this past year?
Of the untimely road deaths the AAA reports, 1,100 are due to how drivers were driving. In Australia, drivers are to blame for at least 79% of accidents with cyclists. And roughly 85% of reported cyclist casualty crashes involve another vehicle, not a bike or a pedestrian. Driver distraction accounts for roughly 25% of accidents.
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House of Representatives new report on Cities

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has today tabled its report on the development of cities. The STCWA made a submission and appeared at a hearing for the Inquiry.

The report, titled Building Up & Moving Out, calls for the development of a national plan of settlement, providing a national vision for our cities and regions across the next fifty years. It is available at :http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportrep/024151/toc_pdf/BuildingUp&MovingOut.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Committee Chair John Alexander says population growth, urbanisation, the ageing of the population,
and the transformation of the economy towards service and knowledge based industries are causing
profound changes in Australia’s urban and regional landscapes.

The report makes 37 recommendations addressing issues at a national, regional and local level
across a broad range of subjects, including:
• Developing integrated master plans for States and Territories, regions and communities.
• Pursuing a system of urban planning which promotes:
o accessibility and liveability, promoting heath and quality of life
o economic, social and environmental sustainability
o high quality natural and built environments
o access to employment
o a more compact urban form
o the concept of the 30-minute city.
• Developing a framework for the development of cities and regions outside the major
metropolitan centres.
• Developing transport networks which allow for fast transit between cities and regions, and
within cities and regions in order to foster the developments of these regions.
• Producing a cost of living index, including housing, at the scale of local communities to
highlight the economic and lifestyle advantages of living in regional communities.
• Promoting freight access.

The switch is on: Consumers are turning away from gas

Renew Economy, 17 September 2018
It’s now well known that eastern-Australian electricity demand peaked in 2008 and declined sharply thereafter, catching many industry analysts unaware. Now the same thing is happening with gas.

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North shore woman fined $83,000 for chopping down neighbour’s trees

Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September 2018
A woman on Sydney’s north shore must pay $83,000 after she cut down two of her neighbour’s trees for “dropping leaves in my pool”. Yueling Liu is one of two Hunters Hill homeowners who together have been ordered to pay more than $150,000 for illegal tree clearing and lopping, in a move welcomed by the local council as a deterrent to others.
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Electric Vespa scooters are finally going into production

The Driven, 3 September 2018
Yes, it’s true – an electric version of the iconic Vespa scooter made by Italian vehicle maker Piaggio Group is finally going into production. The Italian company announced that it will start making the “Vespa Elettrica” this month at its Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa, with a view to making the electric scooters available for orders by the beginning of October.
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Electric car growth and greater fuel efficiency spark calls for change to fuel excise funding

ABC News, 29 August 2018
The drive to electric vehicles promises a better future — but there is a road rage battle brewing, pitting petrol guzzlers against their green successors on how we should be paying for our roads.
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‘Crush capacity’: The worst time to get on Sydney’s light rail

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 2018
The number of passengers enduring “crush capacity” on Sydney’s inner west light rail line or being left behind on platforms will worsen unless the Berejiklian government buys more trams to boost the frequency of services, “sensitive” documents warn. And even if new trams are bought, it will be up to three years before they are running on the line because of the length of time it takes to procure and commission them.

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Are Australian bridges safe, and can we do better?

The Conversation, 22 August 2018
After the tragedy in the Italian city Genoa, where a highway bridge collapsed killing more than 40 people, nations seem to be taking stock of the maintenance levels of their bridges. There are reports thousands of UK bridges are at risk of collapse, and there are hundreds of similarly damaged bridges in France, Germany and Italy itself. Australia is no different to other developed countries in this regard, where a lot of bridges are old and deteriorating, and we would be foolish to think we are immune. That said, bridges are generally safe structures, with the risk of fatality from a bridge collapse being around one in 100 million per year. This is roughly 100 times less likely than being killed by lightning.

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Australian cyclist deaths surge and road safety strategy ‘failing’

The Guardian, 8 August 2018
Australia’s road safety strategy is failing, according to the nation’s peak motoring body, with cyclists recording the biggest increase in the number of road fatalities. A report by the Australian Automobile Association shows there were 1,222 deaths on the road in 2017-18 and, for the first time, all states are on track to miss the national road safety targets they signed up to in 2011.
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More children are living in high-rise apartments, so designers should keep them in mind

The Conversation, 7 August 2018
Australian cities are changing. Instead of families living in low-density suburban areas, more parents are raising children in high-rise housing in inner-city areas. Despite this, much of the high-rise housing stock in Australia has been developed for residents without children. Our recent study, published in the journal Cities & Health, explored parents’ experiences of raising preschool-aged children in high-rise apartments. We found while parents appreciated that apartments offered affordable housing close to employment, they found the design challenging for raising children.
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