Pedometers tick over for Councillors
  • Tuesday 13 May 2008

TravelSmart Noosa’s workplace challenge gets into gear

Councillors Russell Green, Lew Brennan, Vivien Griffin and Tim Dwyer have switched on their pedometers for TravelSmart Noosa’ Workplace Challenge, running 12 – 25 May. They form one of 33 teams that have signed up in the Noosa area to take on the challenge.

The challenge targets business to promote fitness, teamwork, a positive competitive spirit, and support the workforce to be active, healthy, and more productive.

“I’ve taken on this challenge before, and I’ve won as part of the Noosa Aquatic Centre team a few years back when it was aimed at Noosa Council staff. Now it’s gone out to businesses in the local area, and next year we hope to spread the initiative through Council, to businesses across the Coast,” says Division 11 Cr Russell Green.

“Residents can expect to see me on the road cycling over the next two weeks and many of the teams will be doing the same thing. In fact the CEO of Tourism Noosa, Steve Cooper, didn’t have a bike so we hooked him up with Noosa Bike Hire to get access to some equipment,” he said.

Workplace Challenge is one of many TravelSmart Noosa initiatives focused on travel behaviour change, managing travel demand and community transport, rather than creating four lane roads, resuming properties, introducing traffic lights, and constructing multi-storey car parks for example.

Division 12 Cr Lew Brennan was the driving force behind Noosa Council’s Scooter and Motorcycle Strategy in a bid to tackle the problem of ever-increasing private car usage.

“I’ll be accruing at least 10 points a day through riding my motorcycle rather than taking the car where possible. The strategy strengthens the objectives of the current local Transport Plan for Noosa.

“But that’s not to say I won’t be doing my share of walking, as I did through the scenic roads of Cooran on the weekend. Riding a motorcycle or a scooter is secondary to more sustainable forms of transport such as public transport, cycling and walking,” he said.

Points are allocated for riding a bike, walking, motor cycling or scootering, carpooling, catching public transport and even working from home, because it helps cut down the carbon footprint.

It’s a tough challenge that demands at least 3,000 steps per day from each team participant or else they start losing points, and it is designed so that if they continue driving to work as they normally would, they are destined to fail.

Some tips from keen road cyclist, Cr Green, on safe on-road cycling:

  • Make eye contact with drivers;
  • Regularly check behind you;
  • Check your brakes, tyres, chain, reflectors and lights regularly;
  • Remember to wear a helmet that fits well, and if it gets dented, broken or is dropped heavily, replace it;
  • Be seen – wear bright colours, lights and reflectors;
  • Ride at least one metre out from parked cars, and be careful of drivers opening car doors;
  • Take the centre of the traffic lane when riding around roundabouts, or when you’re ready to turn and importantly, remember to indicate;
  • Be predictable – ride in a smooth line and choose a safe route.