Consistent national road rules across state borders, scrapping anti-association laws, and introducing a motorcycle safety month are among the election initiatives of Australian Sex Party (ASXP) Senate candidate Dr Meredith Doig.
Meredith is a long-time rider, former Secretary of the Federation of Australian Motorcyclists (FAM) and one of several motorcyclists contesting the coming election.
The candidate with a doctorate in corporate social responsibility admits the Australian Sex Party doesn’t have any formalmotorcycle policies.
“The closest motorcycle-oriented policies that I would reference would be the general philosophy of ‘Stop the Nanny State’,” she says.
“This philosophy would include opposition to the discrimination against motorcyclists that’s part of anti-association laws.
“Control orders in this sort of legislation empower the courts to impose curfews, prevent meetings, and limit communication, supposedly to prevent future criminal activity.
“It means people (often bikers) can have their freedom curtailed even if there’s no finding of legal wrongdoing against them – part of the slow but relentless erosion of civil liberties in this country.
“Since 9/11, Australia has enacted more than 60 laws dealing with terrorism and many of them involve narrowing of traditional personal liberties. And one of the more worrying aspects of this trend is that there has been increasing reliance on secrecy, as governments kowtow to the intelligence agencies.”
Meredith says many motorcycle related policies are state-based, but the following would be the sort of things she would advocate as a Sex Party Senator:
national consistency of road rules that affect motorcycles – and in particular, legitimising lane-filtering (now legal in Victoria, Queensland, NSW and under trial in the ACT);
supporting the rights of motorcyclists on the roads and, in particular, a national month to highlight motorcycling safety;
urging other states to adopt Victoria’s model of motorcycle parking on footpaths; and
recognition and support for the charity work that motorcycling associations do every year.
“As for the major issues facing motorcyclists today, many probably haven’t changed much since I started riding in the 1960s: “road safety, road safety, road safety.”
“I must say the number of middle-aged men involved in accidents over the last 12 months is a worry, but rather than any knee-jerk reaction, I’d like to see proper research into the possible causes,” she says.
“It’s too easy to jump to conclusions about this, and politicians can too often advocate more restrictive laws just so they can be seen to be doing something. My preference is to defend individual freedoms, while advocating individual responsibility.”
Meredith was among the first six to be trained as a riding instructor in Victoria, the first to become Australia’s first Chief Motorcycle Instructor, training the second generation and was on the Federal Government’s Motorcycle Safety Committee, part of the Federal Department of Transport, in the ‘90s.
“I got my first bike the day after my 18th birthday, and have been riding ever since,” she says.
“In the 2000s I started doing overseas bike trips – Turkey, Southern Spain, Eastern Europe, northern India and Bhutan and around Croatia. I spent my 60th birthday riding the mountains of Montenegro.”
2016 FEDERAL ELECTION
Motorbike Writer does not endorse any one party or candidate.
We have contacted all the major and many of the minor parties asking them for their polices that affect the more than one million motorcycle riders in Australia.
We have asked for policies that reference motorcycles, riders, road safety, road rules and road infrastructure?
We have also asked whether any of their members or candidates are riders?
If or when we receive responses, we will publish them for our readers’ information.