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State Government: TAS

Shaping the Tassie Budget

28 January 2015. Tasmanian Government has a great opportunity to get a proper bike investment program rolling in the State as it begins to shape its budget.

Having good strategies and policies for bikes are one thing, but to be effective the plans have to be recognised, prioritised and funded during the annual budget process.

Bicycle Network is submitting a group of suggested priority bike programs in order to encourage and shape a strong bike budget initiate by the government, with the emphasis on tourism.

If the policy objectives and the funding are right, Tasmania can become national leader attracting travellers keen on sampling the islands attractions by bike. This will also capture the economic, health, and social benefits of riding a bike.

The submission seeks the restoration of the Trails and Bikeways Program program with funding of over $5 million a year, to revitalize council trails and pathways programs that get more people walking and cycling.

The program, run through Sport and Recreation before it was discontinued, has assisted  the development of infrastructure by local government that will contribute to making Tasmania a leader in encouraging more people to ride more often.

Bicycle Network also argues that there should be separate funding for a series of major projects, including the North-East Rail Trail, the North-West Coastal pathway,  and the Derwent Valley rail trail – all with the potential to be one of the nation’s great cycling experiences.

The submission commends the Government for its initiatives in helping to lower the risk for vulnerable road users—a benefit to all riders, visitors and  series of initiatives.

Among the suggested budget programs:

  • Invest in facilities that make Tasmanian trails, roads and businesses more attractive to locals and tourists.
  • Boost regional economies through tourism and related businesses.
  • Implement new long-term urban transport strategies before Tasmania confronts the same problems larger Australians cities now experience. All tourists start out from a major urban centre so they benefit also.
  • Encourage Tasmanians to adopt cycling and walking commuter and leisure habits that will improve their fitness and health.
  • Foster generational change in road user behaviour to ensure that cycling and walking are fully accepted when sharing the road.
  • Develop bicycle and walking infrastructure from the outset as an automatic part of all government initiatives rather than having to expensively retro-fit facilities at a later to encourage these changes rather than being forced by change to retro-fit.

Download a copy of Bicycle Network's Tasmanian 2015-16 Budget Submission here.

$15M plan for Tasmania

24 January 2012. Tasmanian riders have proposed a major expansion of the state's bike network in a funding submission to the the State Government.

The initiative by Bicycle Tasmania is aimed at tripling the number of people on bikes across the island state.

A total of 52 bike projects have been prioritised for development by 2020 at a cost $2.74 million next financial year, $5.7 million in 2013-14 and $6.3 million in 2014-15.

Projects include a 7-kilometre cycleway connecting Launceston's CBD to its northern suburbs, an 85-kilometre trail between Launceston and the North East, and a 15-kilometre pathway between Orford and Buckland on the East Coast.

Bicycle Tasmania's Project manager Liam Correy said the plan took a year to finalise. He said the plan would use about one per cent of the State's $151M road budget and create long-term savings.

"The beauty of creating bike facilities is the budget savings it creates," Mr Correy said. "There are massive returns and benefits from the money you put in."

The Bicycle Tasmania Creating Healthy Connections Campaign is the key to unlocking the potential of bicycle riding in Tasmania, according to Bicycle Tasmania.

The projects within serve as a starting point for governments and community. Existing, local and regional bicycle network plans have been assessed and an examination of other missing links and possible projects has been undertaken.

The proposed projects will benefit the bicycle riders of today and tomorrow of all experiences and ability, while catering for transport, recreation and tourism.

"The development of these connections will require planning and consultation with communities, stakeholders, land managers and infrastructure owners.