Mayoral Memo - 18 May 2022

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. In fact, life, in general, can be all about timing.

In February 2014 I had discussions with a business in relation to Segway tours on our Tracker-Riley cycleway. With our Zoo a major attracter of tourists to our city, the objective was to find ways to keep visitors in our city for longer. The idea sounded fantastic. I worked with the Director of Parks and Landcare at the time at Dubbo City Council, Murray Wood, to see how we could facilitate this. We had evidence of Segway tours occurring in different areas across the world and it was seen as a fun and interesting way to spend time in cities such as Paris and Chicago and Canberra and hundreds more. Maybe you could even do a Segway tour around Tracker-Riley and then on to the Zoo! The only minor obstacle we encountered was the law. Motorised human transporters, such as the WheelMan or Segway, were a prohibited vehicle and could not be used on roads or in any public areas. So I approached the Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, and asked for a trial to allow Segways on our cycleway.

After more than a year and a half of discussions, proposals and requests, the official response we had back from the State Government was…no response. It was at that stage that I told the tour operator that I just couldn’t see it being approved.

As time went on, not only were Segways being used around the world, but an entire revolution started in 2016. Neuron Mobility introduced e-Scooter docking stations in Singapore followed by Bird and Lime introducing dockless e-Scooters in 2017 with Lyft and Uber joining the fun in 2018. By 2030 the global e-Scooter market will be valued at $300 billion. I have ridden e-Scooter hire devices at various locations in Australia and around the world – but not in NSW. You see, they are still illegal in NSW.

Maybe for not much longer. The State Government has announced the they will allow a trial of e-Scooters in Parramatta and Wollongong. When I heard about that, I contacted our local Member and asked if we could be considered for a trial as well. The information came back that all Councils across the State could ask to be considered as part of a trial and so we have put forward our Council area as a potential location. At this stage we have no idea of the finer details. Once we actually know what that looks like, we will talk to the community more to see if residents would like to be part of a trial. The actual e-Scooters would be supplied by a hire company so there would be no cost to residents. Stay tuned for more information.


Councillor Mathew Dickerson
Mayor of Dubbo Regional Council

Last Edited: 24 May 2022

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