Opposing biker bylaw

LEWISTON resident, Anne Harford, strongly opposes the proposed trail bike riding bylaw proposed by Adelaide Plains Council (APC).

A long-time motorbike enthusiast, Anne has lived in the area for almost three decades, moving from Gawler to a two-acre block to allow her seven children the space and freedom to enjoy their motorbikes.

“The reason we bought the block of land in the first place was so the kids could have a space to ride around in,” she explained.

“We bought it so they could enjoy themselves, be safe, and we knew where they were.”

While her children have been involved in a variety of sports throughout their lives, including basketball, rugby and mixed netball, it is motocross and trail bike riding they all love.

Anne herself is an avid motorbike enthusiast and a past competitor, and regularly travels to events across the country.

She fears the proposed bylaw could impact heavily on the family’s ability to train for the sport they love.

“We’ve got sidecars for riding on the road, for racing we’ve got speedway bikes; we’re really heavily involved in the sport and that’s why we moved out here,” she said.

“My sons compete in motocross and road trials, (and) if this bylaw passes, and goes ahead and becomes a precedent, we could then lose access to private properties they use to train for these events.

“It could totally impact on that side of our sport.”

For the past 50 years, the family has taken part in the six-hour Reliability Trial event and the 24-hour Reliability Trial, both in solo and sidecar categories.

During these trials, participants ride for more than six hours, sometimes in the dark, and the main aim is just to finish.

All spare parts and tools have to be carried from the start.

Anne said she felt, as more people moved into the area from urban centres, those who are complaining about the impact of motorbikes on private property, are doing so unrealistically.

“It’s only in the last five to seven years this has ever come up as an issue,” she said.

“The people who originally built here did so for the space to do the things they love, like riding bikes or keeping horses.

“I kind of feel the people who are making the complaints are people who have come from the city, and they’re thinking ‘it will be semi-rural, it will be peaceful and quiet’ but the sound travels, and yes the dust is a problem but we have a drought now, and it’s impacting on everyone.

“The thing is, it should be give and take.

“New people into the area come along and they don’t like anything.

“They seem to think they’re entitled to peace and quiet with no respect for what the people before them are also entitled to and how they used the land for many years.

“I like the sound of the bikes and I like the sound of the kids playing and laughing.”

APC advised it has received three formal complaints, and around three additional enquiries about trail bike riding on private property, in the last year.

Anne said while horse riders in the area had safe designated trails to ride along, there was nothing, apart from their own properties, for motorbike riders to use.

“Council has developed the draft bylaw as one possible option to address the amenity impacts of dust and noise caused by off road vehicle use on private land,” acting mayor, Marcus Strudwicke said. “This avenue was explored in response to concerns raised by residents and through the Adelaide Plains Ratepayers and Residents Association.

“The public consultation process will allow council to gauge both sides of the debate, and determine whether or not the draft bylaw proceeds to the next stage.

“I would encourage all interested parties to ensure their views are heard during the consultation period to better inform council on the preferred community outcome.”

Public consultation on the Adelaide Plains Council’s proposed bylaw opens today (November 20).

Visit https://www.apc.sa.gov.au for more information.