For immediate release.
Friday, February 19, 2016.
THE MOTORCYCLISTS’ PROTEST AGAINST FOOTPATH PARKING BANS IN ST KILDA IS
Motorcyclists will park to rule in St Kilda this weekend to protest
against the City of Port Phillip’s surprise parking bans (6 month trial)
requested by St Kilda police. There was no consultation with
stakeholders. There was no warning. Requests for meetings to solve a
parking problem in front of LUNA PARK were ignored.
Darren Carson, a motorcycle rider who spends his money in Acland Street
was angered by the motorbike bans. He called on riders to protest
against this unfair treatment by the CoPP and Police. Many bike
organisations, including the Independent Riders’ Group, support Darren.
Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said the trial had been requested by
Victoria Police as both they and the council “had been receiving
complaints about the large number of motorcycles being parked on what is
the busiest pedestrian thoroughfare in St Kilda”. The CoPP provided no
details of complaints: verbal? written? how many? over what period? Where?
The CoPP provided no alternative to the lost parking space for riders
who visit or come to work in St Kilda.
A notice online said. "Sunday's protest ride has been cancelled ...
information has come to hand that the council had arranged for Police
and EPA to be present and to target all bikes. ...... Basically the
council (The City of Port Phillip) has set a trap ..... "
The notice was anonymous, a scare tactic by someone trying to undermine
a legitimate protest. If bikes are registered and roadworthy they are
legal to be in St Kilda and to park according to the signs.
Spokesman for the Independent Riders’ Group, Damien Codognotto said.
“Someone has their dirty tricks department working overtime to scare
riders away but I can’t see police targeting a legal, peaceful protest.
That wouldn't be in the spirit of our democracy, would it? And, it
certainly would not do tourism in the area any good during the year.
After the bikes do they turn on the modified cars?”
Riders in regional Victoria are concerned that local officials may make
popular stopping places for touring riders no go areas if the St Kilda
police request sets a precedent.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group (IRG)