South Burnett Regional Council will give away 15 mountain bikes to any community group that wants to operate a bicycle hire service in the region after its own six-week trial disclosed a number of problems with the idea (Photo: rnrwanderers)

October 28, 2019

South Burnett Regional Council will give 15 mountain bikes away for free to any community group that wants to start a bicycle hire service in the region.

The bicycles will also come with a copy of a report outlining the results of Council’s six-week trial of the concept, which staff described as “underwhelming”.

At last week’s Council meeting, Councillors heard a six-week trial of free bicycle hire had been run from mid-May to the end of June this year, using bikes purchased with a grant for another community health program.

Five bikes had been available for hire from both the Kingaroy and Wondai Visitor Information Centres (VICs), and another five from the Lake Boondooma Tourist Park.

The bikes were hired on condition hirers provided ID before using the bikes, and returned the bikes at the end of the day.

Over the six-week trial period, 28 bike hires occurred – 16 at the Kingaroy VIC, and rest at Wondai’s VIC.

No bikes were hired at Lake Boondooma.

The report noted the trial had been beset by a number of problems.

These included poor display of the bikes, which had been stored behind Kingaroy’s VIC, inside Wondai’s VIC, and out of public view at Lake Boondooma; and a poor reaction to the idea by some VIC volunteers, who felt bike hire was outside the scope of their roles.

Other problems included the bikes not being provided with pumps or tool kits to adjust seats and carry out other routine adjustments; no advice being provided to hirers about what to do in an emergency; the requirement to return a bike to the point of hire rather than another location; and the lack of a booking system, which led to several double-bookings.

The report noted that most comments made by people using the bike hire service were very positive, but also noted the trial had disclosed a number of issues that hadn’t been thought about.

These included being able to offer one-way hires (eg. Kingaroy to Wondai or vice-versa); procedures to assist riders who broke down during a hire (eg. getting a flat tyre); after-hours returns; and related matters.

The trial was jointly run by Council’s Economic Development and Natural Resources departments.

Community groups interested in taking up the offer should contact these departments.

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[UPDATED with correction: There are 15 not 16 bikes available]

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3 Responses to "Council Drops Bike Hire Idea"

  1. It would appear some of the finest minds in SBRC are not capable of running a bicycle hire business. They should have set their sights a bit lower, a chook raffle perhaps?

  2. Next we will hear they have applied for a “free money?” grant for a feasibility study. Ha ha.

    Same as the real stupid Murgon to Proston fiasco that had so called free money applied. Hey, there is NO free money eh. 48 grand wasted!!! I have very good knowledge of this particular strip of land and I will say that if the project were allowed to proceed the Council will indeed be giving themselves extreme pain into the future!!!

    The way they ran [or should we say the way they did not run it] the hire was destined to fail, it should work, it’s a bloody good idea but the execution was really dismal. Could not anyone have seen this coming?

    I hope this is not a reflection of all Council run projects!!!

  3. Once again the adage of There is No Such Thing As a Free Lunch comes to mind when it comes to some of the decisions that are made by Council.

    But as always you get what you get or, in this case, vote in! With the looming local government elections on the horizon the ball is firmly in the court of the voters. Some of the current crop on face value seem to be in it for the “free lunch” and the ego trip of having Councillor in their title rather than actually making a difference to our community.

    Dare I say with the ball in our court we should look carefully at the performance of our elected councillors over their last term and look carefully at the capabilities and proven performances of those seeking election / reelection next year & vote accordingly!

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