Coalition responds to bicycle sector's letter calling for details on commitments
June 27, 2016
The Cycling Promotion Fund, with three days to go until polling day, has received a reply to the letter sent on 30 May on behalf of all Australian bicycle organisations seeking clarification on Coalition policies and commitments to make Australia a better place to ride a bike for short trips. Disappointingly, the response from Coalition HQ does not mention any of the words; cycling, bicycles, health, physical activity, active transport or even better cities in its reply.
It is noteworthy that even the peak automobile organisation, the Australian Automobile Association, leads its key policy document for the 2016 Election, 'Funding Australia's Future' with active travel in the very first paragraph of the CEO's introduction when he says "The AAA has long recognised that efficient land transport networks, including roads, public transport and active transport infrastructure, are critical to the national economy, as well as local communities."
On June 20th, Prime Minister Turnbull announced the Smart Cities Plan. While it does not mention 'active travel' or cycling for transport as part of the more than $4bn for major public transport projects announced, or $2.3bn in financial assistance grants to local government or $3.2bn in roads funding also to local governments, there may be scope to fund cycling infrastructure as part of 'City Deals'. The Plan states 'City Deals are at the heart of the Coalition’s Smart Cities Plan.
Clearly, the bicycle sector has work to do to explain that cycling is a transport mode and to sell the economic benefits of investment in active travel even though they appear to be well understood by automobile and public transport groups, local government groups, property groups, health groups and transport economists.
Physical activity has received a significant level of support from the Coalition with a range of announcements for sporting facilities and programs. Examples are $3.5m here in Tasmania, $10.5m here for netball, $6m here for baseball and $5m for sporting facilities on the Sunshine Coast here. Sadly, the real benefits of bicycling come from the fact that it is a mode of transport, not a sporting pursuit.
It reinforces the need for Australian cycling organisations to continue to build their strength through cooperative and combined action and maintain a strategic focus on the benefits that greater participation in cycling will bring this country. Australia is a laggard in active transport and our cities, our air, our safety and our waistlines are the worse for it.
Australian Cyclists Party calls for significant investment to make cycling a real option
January 17, 2020
"Our policy approach has as its main objective of significantly increasing participation and to deliver not only a cycling-friendly nation but also to improve many aspects of everyday living for all Australians and for the environment we live in." ACP 2016 Election statement
Australia's national, state and territory bicycle organisations have called for the next Australian government to invest $10 per person nationally to provide the infrastructure needed to create a better environment for everyday cycling in this country. Together we have released a simple position statement that clearly sets out the challenges and benefits addressed by this investment. Download the flyer ...
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