Following a close election the Turnbull Coalition government was returned with a one seat majority in the House of Representatives and a minority in the Senate [AEC link: http://vtr.aec.gov.au/HouseDefault-20499.htm]. This means they will have to negotiate with Labor and the Greens, or between eight and ten cross-bench Senators to pass their legislation; which include three NXT (Nick Xenophon party) Senators, Jacqui Lambie, Derren Hinch, Bob Day and currently two One Nation Senators including Pauline Hanson. The final Senate will not be confirmed until later in August [see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2016/results/senate/].
Return of the Coalition means that the Smart Cities program [link: https://cities.dpmc.gov.au/smart-cities-plan] will continue to be rolled out and we expect Assistant Cities Minister, Angus Taylor, to pursue the measures that would see cycling and public transport included in the transport provisions of their City Deals which are already under negotiation with Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston. Other cities, such as Bendigo, are well advanced in discussions for their own City Deal.
However, despite a national call from every state and national cycling organisation for a $10 per person fund for cycling infrastructure prior to the election, no explicit funding commitment was made by the Coalition, although many local commitments were made for sporting and recreation infrastructure as part of the preventative health push by Health and Sports Minister, Sussan Ley, including for MTB trails in Tasmania and cycling infrastructure in Victoria.
Despite this, the election campaign has again demonstrated the value of the CPF’s long term investment in relationships with the key Ministers, shadow Ministers and spokespeople with direct liaison in the lead up to discuss funding commitment amounts, travel to appear with candidates for announcements and launches where commitments were announced to media and input into policy positions with data and ideas.
We will continue to work with the Government to ensure decisions to invest in cycling infrastructure become part of the normal business of Government in addition to seeking the dedicated funding announcements for cycling.
In contrast to the lack of dedicated federal announcements, States are starting to forge ahead with making cycling part of their business as usual. In 2015-17, the NSW Government is investing $80m into bicycle projects, Adelaide has recently announced $12m for strategic routes across the city co-funded by State Government and the West Australian Government has just announced a 35 year transport vision that includes increasing the main cycling routes from 172km to 850km.
In jurisdictions around Australia, the CPF is playing a direct and supporting role in a number of ways. We are increasingly finding that the relationships we have nurtured across the country are resulting in increasing numbers of approaches to assist with both internal and external
communications with data and information in support of initiatives. Working with local advocacy groups we have directly supported the work of Lord Mayors and Transport Ministers and their senior bureaucrats to improve the outcomes for cycling and we will continue to do this where we can. The Dutch Study Tours organised by the CPF have been particularly valuable in this regard.