May 19, 2016

Labor will invest in the National Cycling Strategy

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $1.25 million in the Australian Bicycle Council to ensure the ongoing development of a national cycling strategy.

The former Labor Government funded the Council in 2011 so it could develop the 2011-2016 National Cycling Strategy, in consultation with Australia’s Transport Ministers and other interest groups.

The 2011-2016 strategy saw a number of improvements nationwide, which included the introduction of pedal-assist bicycles, consistency in design guidance for bicycle infrastructure, the publication of national metrics and reporting on cycling participation, safety, integrated planning and government investment in cycling.

With funding set to end in December this year, the Turnbull Government is jeopardising the development of this active transport policy by refusing to commit to any additional funding.

The Turnbull Government is kidding itself if it believes there is no further work to be done on active transport projects.

In contrast, Labor understands that our cities face challenges of increased congestion, which is why we will prioritise the cycling strategy.

A Shorten Labor Government will require that all projects submitted to Infrastructure Australia add another criterion to its assessments – the inclusion of active transport modes including cycling and walking.

We will also continue to work with States and Territories to consider establishing a new Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Council, as outlined in the 2013 Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport report.

Linking active transport through walking and cycling to our public transport systems is a key part of sustainable urban design.

That’s why today, we are also announcing that a Shorten Labor Government will invest $7.25 million in the Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway to create a continuous pedestrian and cycleway along the length of the corridor.

“This is an example of how practical funding can make a significant difference to the local community,” Mr Albanese said.

“Having lived in the inner-west my whole life, I understand that our open, green spaces are precious and deserve proper investment.

“The Greenway will benefit many local families, particularly kids who can now safely travel to school along the route, without having to cross Parramatta Road.

Today’s announcements build on Labor’s plans to improve our cities and ensure they are productive, sustainable and liveable.