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Major party policies /

Congratulations to Tony Abbott and the Liberal Coalition he led to victory on Saturday, 7th September. We look forward to working with you to make Australia a better place to cycle.

 

Vote4Cycling has contacted all major party campaign headquarters to seek their statements on cycling policy and initiatives. We continue to seek policies from all parties and invite further submissions. 

The responses received are copied below. In addition, we have searched all party websites, and searched the posted policy documents for key terms that are related to cycling.

Following are mentions of those key cycling-related terms we identified in the major party policy documents . If you hear a media statement or commitment for cycling from any candidate, Minister or party, please let us know here at Vote4Cycling via the contact form and we will ensure we post it here.

The terms we have searched for are: sustainable; active; cycling; bicycle; public transport; physical activity, preventative health; cyclist; recreation; preventive health.

Sections below:

  • Labor – new statements 30 August; from PM Kevin Rudd & Hon Catherine King + Healesville bike path announcement 2 Sept + Kingaroy to Murgon rail trail 30 Aug.
  • Liberal Nationals Coalition – new statement 22 August
  • Australian Greens - new statement 6 September “Greens 2029 Bicycle Vision”
  • Australian Christians
  • Liberal Democratic Party – statement on cycling policy (existing policy added) 1 September.
  • Christian Democratic Party
  • Family First
  • Katter’s Australian Party
  • Palmer United Party

Labor:

 

2 September – Senator Wong & Member for Deakin Mike Symon

$650,000 FOR HEALESVILLE FREEWAY RESERVE BIKE PATH
Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, and Member for Deakin, Mike Symon, have today announced that a re-elected Rudd Labor Government would provide $650,000 towards the development of a dual pedestrian/cyclist path along the Healesville Freeway Reserve. MORE

30 August – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, BUILDING CITIES FOR THE FUTURE

“A re-elected Rudd Labor Government will appoint Australia’s first Minister for Cities and establish an Outer Suburban Growth Taskforce to develop a comprehensive Ten Year Jobs and Growth strategy for our cities’ outer suburbs.”

The announcement builds on policies that include support for more cycling such as “Liveable Cities program with more than $70 million to promote best practice in urban design and liveability”

Read media announcement: LINK (Word doc)

30 August – Minister Fitzgibbon announces Kingaroy to Murgon Rail Trail

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joel Fitzgibbon today announced the Rudd Labor Government will commit $546,234 under the Regional Development Australia Fund Round Five to the South Burnett Regional Council to transform the closed Kingaroy to Murgon rail line into a trail for locals and tourists to enjoy. MORE

30 August - Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government & Territories, Catherine King

The Government worked closely with state and territory governments to establish both the National Cycling Strategy 2011–2016, which aims to double the number of people cycling in Australia by 2016, and the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020, which sets national goals and priorities for road safety improvement.

These strategies promote several measures to improve cyclist safety, including greater physical separation of bicycles and motor vehicles.

Whilst the provision of cycle paths is the responsibility of Local, State and Territory Governments, the Federal Labor Government will encourage all States and Territories to consider the provision of safe, separated cycleway during the construction of Federally-funded urban roads.

For further information please see: National Cycling Strategy and National Road Safety Strategy

23 August – election announcement

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING ENABLES CONSTRUCTION OF NEW RECREATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE GEELONG REGION

Minister for Finance, Penny Wong, Minister for Trade Richard Marles and Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman today announced the Barwon to Bay Cycleway in South Geelong from the Barwon River Bridge to Londsdale Street. IT was funded by an RDA grant of $1,037,000. Read media announcement: LINK (PDF)

 

Comments in response to Vote4Cycling’s request for information

Vote4Cycling wrote to the Labor Party Campaign Headquarters to ask about specific policies they had if elected as the next Government of Australia. The response and answers to our further questions from Senior Transport Advisor to Minister Albanese & member Federal ALP Information Services Unit, Vivienne Skinner, are copied here for the information of all Vote4Cycling readers. We thank Vivienne for taking the time to respond to Vote4Cycling:

Labor Campaign statement:

The Rudd Labor Government strongly encourages Australians to choose cycling as an option for transport and for recreation.

The National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016 sets a target of doubling the number of people regularly riding bicycles. It is signed by the Federal, State and Territory ministers for roads and transport.

See here: www.austroads.com.au/abc/national-cycling-strategy

In July this year, the Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese released a major report, Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport setting out how the Federal Labor Government will work to increase the proportion of people walking and cycling.

Read about it here:

www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/urbanpolicy/active_travel/files/infra1874_mcu_active_travel_report_final.pdf

It documents the positive and often simple steps that governments and employers can take to improve rates of walking, cycling and public transport use.

The advantages are considerable:

  • for each person that cycles 20 minutes to work and back, our economy benefits by $20 with better health outcomes, smoother roads, reduced vehicle and road costs and cleaner air;
  • for each person who walks, the saving is around $8.50.

Another advantage of cycle paths is that they are comparatively cheap to build.

For example, it costs around $1.5 million per kilometre to plan and construct a separated cycle path. This compares with cost of construction of other modes:

  • one kilometre of light rail costs the equivalent of 49 kilometres of bikeway
  • one kilometre of motorway/road costs the equivalent of 110 kilometres of bikeway
  • one kilometre of bus-way costs the equivalent of 138 kilometres of bikeway
  • one kilometre of road tunnel costs the equivalent of 324 kilometres of bikeway
  • one kilometre of underground rail costs the equivalent of 533 kilometres of bikeway.

As part of our Economic Stimulus Plan, councils around Australia received $40 million for more than 170 cycle infrastructure projects, and supported some 1,900 jobs during the global recession.

Cycleway projects include:

  • Burnie City Council – an extension to the greater coastal pathway across north-west coast of Tasmania
  • Blacktown City Council – a cycleway between Mount Druitt to Oakhurst in Sydney connecting transport corridors with job, educational and health facilities
  • City of Melbourne – bike lanes on three roads and 125 bicycle storage hoops at high demand locations in the Melbourne CBD and adjacent suburbs
  • The Barossa Council – a shared path from Nuriootpa to Angaston (culminating at the Yalumba Winery) to create a transport link and tourism attraction
  • Canberra Community Bicycle network – completing missing links in the Canberra Bicycle network identified in the ‘Ten Year Master Plan for Trunk Cycling and Walking Path Infrastructure 2004-2014 compiled by the ACT Government Office of Transport
  • Cairns Regional Council – off-road shared paths and on-road cycle lanes, including road-widening and line marking on existing roads, as well as bicycle parking facilities
  • City of Canning, Western Australia – a bike path linking Queens Park in Welshpool and East Cannington, connecting schools, a library, community centres and transport hubs.

In 2012, further funds were allocated under the Federal Labor Government’s Liveable Cities program with cycleways funded in Parramatta in Sydney, and in Albury-Wodonga.

In the future, the Federal Labor Government will encourage all States and Territories to consider the provision of a safe, separated cycleway during the construction of Federally-funded urban roads.

Note that the provision of cycle paths is the responsibility of local, state and territory governments.

/ends.

Additional supporting material from the Federal ALP Information Services Unit provided in support of Labor’s position on cycling:

1. Launch of the Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Ministerial Statement by Hon Anthony Albanese on 3 August, 2013.

“All this brings me to the second report that I’m releasing today – Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport.

For short trips at least, we have to get more people choosing an alternative to the car.

As other cities have found around the world, people will walk or cycle if it’s safe and convenient to do so.

They’ll even cycle to the nearest train station if there is a secure lock-up.

Cities such as Perth are doing great work with bike lock-ups right on the platform.

We all know the pleasure of the roads during school holidays – even a small reduction in the number of cars can have a significant effect on congestion.

The report is based on extensive public consultation and 200 submissions.

It documents the positive and often simple steps that governments and employers can take to improve rates of walking and cycling, and public transport use.

The advantages are considerable:

    • for each person that cycles 20 minutes to work and back, our economy benefits by $20 with better health outcomes, smoother roads, reduced vehicle and road costs and cleaner air;
    • for each person who walks, the saving is around $8.50.

Another advantage of cycle paths is that they are comparatively cheap to build at around $1.5 million per kilometre.

As part of our Economic Stimulus Plan, councils around Australia received $40 million for more than 170 cycle infrastructure projects, and supported some 1,900 jobs during the global recession.” /ends.

2. Launch of Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport draft report, October 2012.

“So let me turn now to something I believe has enormous implications for the future.

How to get people out of their cars and onto public transport, onto bicycles or simply onto their own two feet.

I will begin with three uncomfortable facts.

Firstly, urban congestion is costing Australia $13 billion a year and, if not tackled, will cost us $20 billion by 2020.

Second fact: eight out of every ten commuting trips in Australia today are still undertaken by car.

Third uncomfortable fact: Obesity is now overtaking smoking as the greatest cause of preventable disease in this country.

I could add a final uncomfortable fact.

Australia lags well behind most other OECD countries when it comes to embracing alternatives to the car.

That is why today I am releasing a draft report prepared by my department called Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport.

It is a comprehensive position about where Australia finds itself today, and what we can do about addressing these issues in the future.

It also provides an international snapshot of what other cities are doing to attract people away from the car.

We all know that Europeans are leading the revival in cycling with some cities having a fifth of all daily journeys made by bike.

But in some areas of the United States there have also been massive improvements to the way walking and cycling are being integrated into transport systems.

In fact, all federally-funded transport projects must now by law include bicycle and pedestrian policies.

New York City has built 430 kilometres of bike paths since 2007 and the number of New Yorkers who ride to school or work has doubled since then.

In Portland in 1990 just one percent of commuters used a bike.

Portland has put in almost 500 kilometres of bike lanes since then and today the mode share has grown to more than 13 percent.

Portland has integrated cycling throughout its transport network and has set a target of 25 percent bicycle mode share by 2030.

In fact 26 American states have now introduced what’s known as a Complete Streets policy, where different road users are given priority, depending on the road and time of day.

This maximises safety and ease of movement for the various transport modes.

VicRoads here in Australia has adopted a similar approach with its SmartRoads program in Melbourne and is now looking to extend it throughout Victoria.

In Australia, only 1.5 percent of commuter journeys involve a bicycle.

That said, cycle traffic is increasing by up to 18 per cent along cycle routes in mainland state capitals.

This is encouraging, as is the strong growth in public transport we are also seeing.

But there’s much more we need to do.

The Report proposes a raft of ways to get more people cycling and walking primarily for short trips but also for the commuters travelling longer distances, to public transport points.

It gives examples such as Perth, where secure bike lock-ups are appearing on train platforms so that cyclists can step straight from their bike onto a commuter train.

Or in cities such as Canberra where commuters can load their bikes onto the front of a bus, or in Darwin and Sydney where bike lock-ups are sometimes provided at bus and rail interchanges.

The report suggests we should focus our attention on improving cycling and pedestrian opportunities in areas located within 20 minutes of CBDs, transport hubs and education and health campuses.

If even a small percentage of short trips could be undertaken by a mode other than the private car, think what this could do for productivity.

We’d cut congestion and our carbon output and raise the liveability of our cities.

I stress that this report is simply a starting point for a national discussion.

Submissions are open until 31 January and I urge all of you here today, to read the report and be part of this important process.

I’d like to also release today the latest report from our Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

It looks specifically at ‘Population growth, jobs growth and commuting flows in Sydney’ and is part of a series the bureau is undertaking in capital cities across the country.

Public transport use has risen in all Australia’s capitals since 2004 – with the total passenger kilometres travelled by bus increasing by 15 per cent*. “/ends.

* Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), 2012 Yearbook, 2012 Australian infrastructure, BITRE, Canberra ACT Table T 3.3i, p.69.

… /Labor Campaign statement ends

Labor’s National Platform can be found here.

Sections of the policy where the search terms were found are noted in the following:

  • addressed obesity and other preventative health issues through national and community campaigns under our record $872 million investment, P132.
  • #38 – working with the Australian National Preventive Health Agency to further develop preventative health policies and solutions, P136.
  • ‘established the first National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework, P151
  • ‘#178 – Labor will continue to entrench sport and physical activity as a central part of the preventative health agenda and encourage a lifelong love of sport’, P176
  • ‘#181 – Labor will continue to support young Australians, including young people in regional areas, to participate in physical activity and to compete in recognised sporting competitions.’P176

 

Liberal National Coalition:

22 August – Election Announcement:

The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Warren Truss and Darren Chester, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport have announced the Coalition’s Policy to Improve Road Safety; Link to PDF media release

The announcement includes the following point: ‘The Coalition’s Policy to Improve Road Safety will:

  • invest in better roads with major road projects across Australia including upgrades of the dangerous Pacific Highway and Bruce Highway;
  • spending $2.2 billion over five years to continue the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity programmes;
  • provide $10 million to support the ‘Keys2Drive’ Programme;
  • task the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) to undertake a review into the full impacts of road trauma;
  • encourage the purchase of safer cars and continue to support the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) star safety rating system; and
  • recognise road safety for cyclists as a priority.

and says, in part:

“In cities across Australia, we are seeing more commuter cyclists and we will work with state and territory governments to ensure that the skills and infrastructure are in place so that driver and cyclist training and information occurs at the same time.”

Campaign HQ response

Vote4Cycling wrote to the Coalition Party Headquarters to ask about specific policies they had if elected as the next Government of Australia. The response and answers to our further questions from Federal Director, Scott Mitchell, are copied here for the information of all Vote4Cycling readers. We thank Scott for taking the time to respond to Vote4Cycling:

Comments in response to Vote4Cycling’s request for information

Dear Vote4Cycling,

The previous Coalition government put in place arrangements that where federal funding for major roads was involved the design should take into consideration the requirements and safety of non-motor vehicle uses which of course includes bikes and pedestrians.

Regards, Scott Mitchell, Federal Director

Additional questions:

1. Can you confirm that this would again be Coalition policy if elected to government on 7 September?

A: YES

2. Will the Coalition respond to the policy platform we have presented on Vote4Cycling beyond your comments (above)?

A: It is with the relevant area of CHQ (Campaign Head Quarters – ed.) for response

3. Can Vote4Cycling post your letter on this page in addition to providing it to our representative, Peter Bourke, who is appearing on SBS Cycling Central to discuss party policies on 18/8?

A: YES

… /Liberal Coalition Campaign statement ends

The Liberal Party of Australia’s ‘Our Plan’ and other election policies can be found here.

 

Australian Greens:

 

New statement from Scott Ludlam, ‘Greens 2029 Bike Plan’ – posted 6 Sept

Vote4Cycling became aware of the Greens 2029 Bike Plan at the last minute and we are sorry we missed the opportunity to post it earlier. You can download and read it HERE (5MB PDF).

Greens Bike Vision 2029

Greens Bike Vision 2029

New statement by Adam Bandt – 30 August

CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE

The Greens will extend our highly successful program from the stimulus package to fund bike paths by providing an additional $240 million over three years from 1 July 2014.

The Greens will invest $50 million in Victoria to build the priority bike routes identified by Bicycle Network Victoria such as the Shepherds Bridge bike crossing replacement, and a further $5 million to inner Melbourne city councils to develop and fast-track currently unfunded projects such as the Yarra North Bank viaduct.

This funding will come from re-directing un-contracted funds from within the Nation Building Fund.

Link to media release (PDF)

 

The Greens Transport Policy in point 5, states they want:

  • More high quality footpaths, bike paths and lanes to encourage walking, cycling and public transport use.

 

Greens announcement GREENS’ NATIONWIDE PUSH FOR BIKE SAFETY (25 July 2013)

Greens MPs and MLAs across the nation will push to make cycling safer, in a coordinated move running in parallel to the Amy Gillett Foundation’s national ‘a metre matters’ campaign. More ..

Australian Greens policy, ‘Standing up from what matters’, can be found here.

Sections of the policy where the search terms were found are noted in the following:

  • We support a funding shift that prioritises sustainable transport infrastructure, such as public and active transport and freight rail. A more balanced transport budget would spend around 40% on roads projects, 30% on public and active transport and up to 30% on freight rail. The Greens will prioritise investing in public transport and active transport to take the pressure off travel and improve our quality of life. Australia needs long-term investment in public transport and active travel (e.g. bike paths) to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and make our major cities more liveable. P42.
  • Preventative Health: Caring for the health of the community requires more investment in preventative health, with a focus on tobacco, alcohol and obesity issues. The Greens call for an investment in community sport, including sports equipment libraries for low-income Australians, and measures to help volunteers. Participation in community sport is one of the simplest ways to help tackle obesity. P39.

 

Other parties:

Vote4Cycling has written to the Campaign Headquarters for all minor parties where we have been unable to find individual candidate’s emails to invite them to comment on their cycling positions directly.

Any responses or answers received are copied here for the information of all Vote4Cycling readers. Many candidates from the smaller parties have taken the time to log in to Vote4Cycling to post their positions and commitments to cycling, please search under candidates for those responses. We thank everyone for their interest and for taking the time to respond to Vote4Cycling:

Australian Christians policy can be found here.

Sections of the policy where the search terms were found are noted in the following:

  • Australian Christians believes that the Government needs to spend significantly more on improving cycle ways and facilities for cyclists. The planning laws should be used to encourage property developers to have an allocation for cycle bays, in a similar way that the Government now demands a certain number of care bays be available depending on the scope of the project.

 

Liberal Democratic Party policy.

With Vote4Cycling’s apologies to the LDP, we had not picked up one of their policies (policy on Victimless Crimes) that relates to cycling. Please find further details below.

“Without necessarily supporting, advocating or approving of them, the LDP does not generally support the criminalisation of victimless crimes. Wherever possible it will seek to reduce the intrusion of government into these areas.”

 

1. No criminalisation of activities in which the participant is the only person likely to suffer adverse consequences. Examples include dangerous and unwise actions such as failing to wear a seatbelt or helmet, BASE jumping and bungy jumping.”

More details here: LINK

 

Christian Democratic Party policy can be found here.

 

Family First.

Dear Vote4Cycling,

Thank you for your contact. What do we stand for? Download www.familyfirst.org.au/FamilyFirst.pdf

If you cannot locate a policy for a specific issue that means we have not formulated a specific policy on this issue for the 2013 election.

No party can be all things to all people, however we have noted your concerns and thank you for your contact.

David Maegraith, Communications Director

Family First candidates: www.2013election.net.au/election/

 

Katter’s Australian Party policies: www.ausparty.org.au

 

Palmer United Party:

Many PUP candidates have posted their positions on the Vote4Cycling website. We encourage you to search for your electorate or postcode to see what they have to say.

Palmer United Party website: www.palmerunited.com