AN Orange councillor has questioned the value of the council outlaying $3000 on two new hybrid pushbikes for council staff.
At Tuesday’s council meeting Cr Glenn Taylor spoke out on behalf of a ratepayer who contacted him after being “quite disturbed” by how much the council had spent on the bikes.
The bikes feature rechargeable batteries and were purchased for staff to use on short commutes around Orange.
Cr Taylor asked for a report on the bikes’ usage to come back to councillors, saying having hybrid bikes defeated the purpose of encouraging staff to ride.
“Ratepayers believe on the surface it’s a tad extravagant for a pushbike,” he said.
“Call me a bogan ... but [the resident] has put it to me it’s their’s and their neighbour’s rates combined.”
Development services director David Waddell said the bikes were available for all staff to ride and the hybrid motor was intended to encourage less fit staff members to use the bikes.
But Cr Taylor said he was led to believe police frowned upon push bikes with motors.
Cr Ash Brown defended the purchase of the bikes, saying they would help cut the costs associated with council cars and mean staff would lead by example in helping the council’s promotion of bike riding.
“I think these are a long-term thing and the staff can be educated on the use of them,” he said.
“This $3000 investment will probably end up paying for itself ... it’s an investment in our image and cost saving for our community.”
He asked for staff to promote the use of the bikes to all council departments.
The bikes have a maximum speed of 25km/h and no licence or registration is required.