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Thoughts on this letter?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by vic, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. This letter is what is on the MRAA webfright that they are asking people to sign and send to the listed pollies.

    I'd like some thoughts and feedback on this letter.


    The Honourable Steve Bracks MP
    The Honourable Peter Batchelor MP
    The Honourable John Lenders MLC
    Dear Sirs
    Once again you have promised much to me as a motorcyclist and replaced it with deception. Now you have extended the $50 Tax on motorcycle riders despite an almost complete rejection of it by VMAC members. Stating that the $50 TAX is responsible for the reduction in the riders road toll cannot be substantiated by any reading of the statistics and will be proven a fallacy in court. The Minister responsible for the TAC further added insult to injury when he stated that motorcyclists supported this tax. In truth - all but one member of the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council opposed it.
    As motorcyclists, we are writing to you to encourage you to save yourself from public embarrassment when the truth comes out. Some of the facts we will be using against you include:
    * In 2001 35-37% of motorcycle fatalities were unlicensed to ride motorcycles. In 2003 38% of motorcycle hospitalisations were as a result of off road or track accidents. These people do not pay the $50 TAX.
    * When dual vehicle motorcycle accidents occur, the other vehicle (mostly cars) are at fault ~70% of the time (Swann Insurance, 2004). So why are they not paying ?
    * Bicycle riders are far more vulnerable in an accident (for example, the Australian woman's team in Europe recently) and are known to be far less respectful of road rules,yet they are handed millions of dollars by yourselves and not asked to pay anything in return. Not even a registration fee.
    Any equitable intervention in road safety is a joint responsibility of all road users. If there are going to be additional taxes paid by voters based on reasoning that cannot be substantiated by statistics, then at the very least the costs should be shared as indeed should the benefits. If you are going to keep going with taxing the victims, then you had better apply taxes to car drivers, trucks, and bicyclists as well.
    Looking at expenditure of the last 3 years of our $50 TAX we have seen improvements on the Great Ocean Road and treatment of a number of "motorcycle blackspots". All these treatments benefited both car drivers and motorcyclists alike, yet were paid for by one group, the motorcyclists. Truth to tell, these blackspots were created by the negligence of the engineers who failed to consider motorcyclists in the first place - now we are expected to pay because VicRoads failed in its duty of care.
    This is a discriminatory TAX targeted at a minority and no other road user group is subject to such a tax. You are taxing the victims and in a no-fault system you are attributing fault (and cost) only to the motorcyclist without giving them any right of reply!
    There is a growing belief among motorcyclists that there is a concerted effort to remove them from the roads.
    As a form of transport which both alleviates the congestion, and is far more environmentally friendly, there should be positive encouragement of motorcycles and scooters.
    From the motorcyclists perspective, this extension of the TAX can be seen to be nothing more than a cynical and greedy move to gouge money out of a minority to pay for services which should have been provided in the first place.
    Your Government has already turned all motorcyclists into potential crash test dummies to do your Wire Rope Barrier testing because you refused to do it, knowing that the results will horrify voters. Now you are now extending the TAX a motorcyclist has to pay for the privilege of being injured by other drivers who are ill trained and disregard the safety of others every day.
  2. They've just been re-elected for, what, four years? Have a guess how much notice will be taken of this for the next two and a half years?
  3. I like some of the hard facts raised in the letter.

    Too many threats though to be taken seriously.
  4. Really?
  5. It's a good letter.

    Not enough f-words IMO, but I think it still makes it's points ok.
  6. They make some interseting points and then make moron statements and claims that belittles the valid points, but then it is the Moron Riding Arsewipes we are talking of.

    Cheers :cool:
  7. I was going to attempt to Ktuluise this letter, but I though that Ktulu wouldn't approve and i'd just be a knob.

    By the way I think the letter is very well written, however in what way can we make such information public in a way which will actually get the attention and approval of the greater community. After all, we're a minority (although growing) group, and policy is all about votes, not about what is right.

    Unfortunately it seems that our pollies have lost track of what they're there to do, which is act in the interest of the greater community. And have taken to doing things based on (1) their own agenda, and (2) to gain majority votes. Although it seems that pollies have been doing this for so long, that doing the right and honest thing is a long lost art.

    Of course as the motorcycling comminuty grows, there will be more voices, and votes to be heard. In which case we will eventually get some who support out cause, maybe we'll even have a motorcyclists for premier. (not some closed minded twit)
  8. +1. Some points are well made and then ruined by childish statements. Keep to the facts, don't make dumb threats.

    BTW, it's not $50. Bracks indexes all fines and fees by CPI each year, regardless of the cost of delivery of the service or fine. He changed that a few years ago.
  9. I agree with the gist of the letter, although our representative organisation could word it a little better.

    Whatever way you look at it, the tax can't be justified - I'd sign it and send it off if I hadn't already written my own letter to our ignorant transport minister.
  10. The bill doesn't actually state the price of the levy now. It just says it includes a surcharge for motorcycle safety initiatives. Nonetheless, I paid mine yesterday and it wasn't cheap so it'd better bloody work. If I fall off having paid my safety levy I'll be smacking that biatch Bracksy in the mouth. :)
  11. The problem I see is that there is nothing honourable about those three, especially Bracks :grin:

    (Yes, I know that's the title given to pollies regardless of their integrity.)
  12. Insults and abuse aside, what statements did you think "belittled" the valid points? What would you change to reflect how you think it would be better worded?
  13. Horribly Snipped
    Letters such as this require careful wording. Valid statements can have all their effectiveness removed by a single sentence.
  14. To summarise my thoughts (and these are inline with what others have said above):
    a) at least there is a letter, and something is being raised
    b) letters like this should not offend any other group. We are not out to start a fight with another group, rather we want to make it clear to the pollies that we are unhappy with the situation. Raising push-bikes, the engineers who were negligent because they ignored bikes (which I doubt - standards for safe riding roads has just changed over time), etc. will only serve to put someone offside and therefore reject this letter.
    c) the letter should stick to the facts. Where facts are raised, provide a citation, reference, etc. if available (like the swann insurance one). Where did the stats for fatalities come from? Proof of the 'growing belief' (I tend to agree, but where's the proof)? The VMAC rejection of the levy - cite the minutes from the relevant VMAC meeting where this occurred.
    d) Remarks such as 'cynical and greedy move to gouge money out of a minority' sounds great for a rally, but in a formal letter trying to outline our concerns is quite demeaning to the very people we are writing to (as they make the decisions). We can't put them off and expect them to listen to us at the same time.

    On reflection, I am assuming this letter is trying to use diplomacy to get discussion going within the relevant parties. Perhaps this has been tried, and knocked back, and therefore the tack has changed...

    I like that there is something being done, don't necessarily agree with the option taken. I would not sign something because as an academic the letter is factually unsound (no supporting citations, and some comments made off the cuff) - as pointed out by cejay.
  15. Hey mj o/

    I take it you drafted this diatripe then ?

    The above two posters have covered most of the points/thoughts I have but add one more..........

    "There is a growing belief among motorcyclists that there is a concerted effort to remove them from the roads".

    Can you cite the reference as to where this came from, what and how was this deemed from what case study or investigation based on what study, modal did you use to gain this value, other than when you lot get together sipping tea and downing scones late one late night concocting that letter up with pent up frustration of the futility of the uselesness of the Moron Rider Arsewipes.

    Like I said you make some valid points and then let yourselves down with the inclusion of baseless facts that cannot be substanstiated and validated thrown in with some good personal feelings that are unwarrented.

    Cheers :cool:
  16. I spotted it on their webfright, read it and had very mixed feeling towards the letter.

    So to prove to the "boys club" that consultation far and wide is far better than then sitting around eating pizza sipping on Dr. Pepper and drafting letters that speak for "EVERY" rider.

    Member or not, they need to consult far and wide, not just their 20 active members.

    As you can see, there are things that need to be added and things omitted.
  17. I can't understand what outcome is being expected from this letter.
    Whatever truth there may be in the content (and that is far from substantiated within the text), it's tone is so combative that the recipient is only going to respond in kind.
    If there is a place for this kind of emotional declaration, it is not in the context of political lobbying. The people you need to talk to are looking for solutions, not problems. By that, I mean solutions to THEIR potential problems, not ours. So you need to give them solutions.
    The right way to approach this, IMHO, is to rationally and forthrightly point out how their policy or inaction is going to bite them on the bum, and then (and this is the important bit) tell them what they need to do about it ! Give them the answers. There are no answers in this letter, so it is of no value to them.
    Remember, people in politics already have enough enemies, but they never have enough friends. Offer them something in return for their support.
  18. When you send this letter to which-ever Minister, it will enter the Ministerial Database of whichever Department, get directed to some manager or director who will give it to some lowly minion (like I used to be) to provide a sanitised, non-commital, "how good are we, the government" response that will then go through the line managers to get eventually signed of at a relatively low level (if you're lucky, it'll get to the Secretary, but I doubt it). The reply may be sent before what ever the time limit is for Ministerial responses.

    The best way to get this letter to high levels is to send it to the pollies, but also send it to your local member requesting that it is brought to the attention of the relevant Ministers. Your local member should then to write asking the relevant Ministers to address the isues raised in your letter. Since it comes from your local member, the Minister will be required to sign the letter responding to your questions. It will still get drafted by the lowly minion, but it has to go across the Minister's desk. A follow up call is helpful to remind your local member of his obligations to his constituents.

    Don't threaten (proven a fallacy in court bit) - it will only take away from the message (ie the response might be blah blah blah must be right regardless because there have been no court proceedings that have identified this issue)

    Use statistics to ask specific questions. Ask for a specific breakdown of the $50 tax and how it is spent (ie what % is spent on signage). Ask how much the improvements to the GOR cost, and what revenue was raised by other stakeholders/tourist operators to assist with the improvements. Ask if this expenditure has directly corresponded to improved motorcycle safety. Ask if this expenditure has increased motorcycle numbers on the GOR.

    Ask what avenues are available to provide input into planning and policies, and ask to be put on a stakeholders list that addresses these issues at Federal, State and local levels. (Beaurocrats love stakeholders - it allows them to sign off on plans with minimal community consultation and input!)

    Mention the icrease in numbers of powered two wheelers, and the safety of all road users continue to be an ongoing issue with yourself/motorcyclists in general.

    Hope this helps, from a lowly minion!



    PS Would you like me to draft a reply?...
  19. Great response Neil.

    What is worrying is that this letter has (or had) been drafted by people apparently trying to lobby on behalf of the motorcycling community in Victoria. Political change is not effected by poorly written combative letters.

    Like it or not, effective lobbying is done by building and exploiting relationships. Those relationships are created over time by either professional lobbyists or through consistent representations from the lobbying group. Threats are rarely well received. Especially when the threats are coming from an organisation or group are unlikely to be able to deliver on it.