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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1562 ..

Motorcycling festival

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.15): I would like to say a few words about an event I attended on behalf of Minister Hargreaves at the weekend. It was one mentioned by Ms Porter earlier on, the KickStart Bike-Fest at the Sutton Road driver training centre. The Bike-Fest was organised by Sam Macauley—Sam Macauley from Robbo’s motorcycles in Fyshwick. The day involved all members of the motorcycling community in Canberra, including bike shops and major motorcycle clubs. Over 10 clubs attended, mine in particular—the veteran and vintage motorcycle club. We got there a little later than the rest; the bikes are a bit slower.

There were enthusiasts, commercial sponsors and Stay Upright, the people who provide the licensing for riders on behalf of the government and teach them how to be safe on the road. There was also the Motorcycle Riders Association, with Peter Major; local MLAs; senators; and the general public. Ms Porter was there, as were Senator Kate Lundy; the opposition leader, Mr Zed Seselja; Gary Humphries; Brendan Smyth; and Jacqui Burke. There was also Daryl Beattie, a racing legend from motorcycling; Dave Gibson, the manager of Stay Upright; and the founder, Sam Macauley, whom I mentioned earlier.

Sam wanted everybody to know that he targeted the festival at not just riders but the wider community, because he felt that to truly achieve greater awareness we must preach to the public and not just to riders. By making the Bike-Fest an exciting and fun day for everyone, an atmosphere of enjoyment was created, and a positive image and perception was created and fostered for motorcycling. The Bike-Fest was set to appeal to everyone in the wider community, and Sam sought to attract more women into motorcycling as well as giving a big emphasis to new and potential motorcyclists by offering free try-out lessons on motorcycles—lessons which were booked out in the first 30 minutes to an hour. MLAs—Mrs Burke and myself—were offered a chance to try these motorcycles and learnt the basics of Stay Upright.

Sam wanted us to know that Prime Minister Rudd has recognised the high prevalence of motorcycle death and injury in Australia recently. He believes that the KickStart initiative is an enormous push forward in addressing this problem through education and mental development. The premise is that it is not other road users who are to blame for motorcycle accidents per se but that that is what we must focus on in educating riders—to be aware, to take precautions and to recognise the signs of and avoid accidents before they happen. This is the crux of KickStart. This is our contribution to the Canberra community, motorcycling and Australia.

Sam says that KickStart is driven to be the leader in its field and committed to the new rider. It has take six months of research and development to get to this point and I officially launched the website at the Bike-Fest on Saturday. Sam said that he truly believes that we have achieved the goals that he set and that he is happy and privileged to have given back to Canberra, to the community and to motorcycling. KickStart aims to make this an annual event and to keep it focused on creating a positive image for motorcycling.

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