Bicycle Network: Government
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 date.now 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.