Funding a nation of bike riders

“The truth about a city’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision, it’s found in its budget.”

– World renowned urbanist and city planner, Brent Toderian 

Sadly, this is certainly true of Australia’s federal budget: there’s not a single dollar committed to bike riding.

Given the depth of our health and congestion crises—this is astounding.

Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us. Australians of all ages and backgrounds aren’t getting enough physical activity each day to maintain their health.

At the same time, our population is booming while traffic congestion continues to choke our cities, pollute our air and stifle our economy.

Currently, just under four million Australians ride bike for transport or recreation each week. However, more than eight million people only ride a bike once a year.

These people want to ride more but don’t because they’re concerned.

This is a golden opportunity that needs federal leadership.
Two bike riders in Melbourne on Ride2Work Day

The facts:

  1. Physical inactivity kills more than 14,000 Australians each year with many more suffering a preventable disease. 

  2. Congestion costs capital cities $16.5 billion each year

  3. We’re building roads for cars and getting more cars

  4. Governments haven’t delivered their bike promises and bike riding has stagnated or declined

  5. Australians want to ride more but are concerned

Only when we make it easier for more people to ride can we truly reap the rewards of moving and connecting more happy and healthy people, at less public cost. 

Together we can build a nation of bike riders

A federal commitment to funding bike infrastructure which separates riders from vehicles is crucial. Just as important is funding programs, like Ride2School, that make bike riding a social norm and build a lifetime of healthy habits for young Australians.

In our budget submission, we’re calling on the federal government to view the future of our nation’s transport infrastructure as a primary preventative health mechanism. We’re asking for: 

Budget for bikes

  • Establish a $480 million annual bike fund
  • Provide bike infrastructure with all federally funded bike projects
  • Amend the Building Code of Australia to include the provision of end-of-trip facilities
  • Continue and expand the Building Better Regions Fund with explicit mention of rail trails. 

Protect vulnerable road users

  • Invest in and establish a centralised crash data database for vulnerable road users.

Get Aussies moving again

  • Fund a national Ride2School program
  • Abolish the fringe benefit tax exemption for private vehicles and small business car parking
  • Extend fringe benefit tax exemption to bikes.
Download our Full submission

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