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Australian Cyclists Party
Bike enthusiasts are forming a new political party
Cyclists Party gets the nod
26 February 2014. In an Australian and World first, the NSW Electoral Commission has this week officially registered the Australian Cyclists Party – a political party committed to promoting cycling and the interests of people who ride a bike or would like to.
The Party plans to run for upper house seats in state elections starting with the 2014 Victorian and 2015 NSW elections.
According to founder Omar Khalifa, the Party will also seek registration in other States and Territories and for Federal elections and consider key local council elections as resources and interest allow.
“While it may take a while to gain a seat, we believe we can begin to make a difference straight away and, you never know, if enough voters back the Australian Cyclists Party we could influence the outcome of a close upcoming election," Mr Khalifa said.
"It’s no longer good enough to just wish for change to happen, we must be prepared to help deliver it.”
"It has been well documented that cycling has a positive effect on health, community, transport - and regional economic development through tourism. However, these won’t take place without re-thinking our priorities in expenditure and planning”,
“We need to do better — members of the Australian Cyclists Party will play a leading role in focusing attention on better cycling infrastructure and road behaviours so that more people will make the choice to cycle and enjoy any one or all of its benefits," Khalifa said.
Key facts the Australian Cyclists’ Party plans to address include:
- More than 3.6 million Australians regularly ride, but many more would cycle with better conditions.
- 1,300 cyclists were struck by vehicles in 2009/10 and 50 died on our roads last year – improved cycling conditions would keep vulnerable road users safer,
- A looming crisis in Type 2 Diabetes and other chronic diseases related to physical inactivity could be addressed if more Australians walked and cycled for short trips.
- For both young and old – more options for a simple, active form of transport would contribute to their wellbeing as well as create healthier communities, help safeguard the environment, promote economic vitality and ease road congestion at a relatively low cost.
- Road and transport authorities today largely fail to adequately address or prioritise the needs and safety of cyclists especially outside of urban centres. Appropriate guidelines are too often ignored.
- Road behaviour improvements among all road users.
(Bicycle Network is politically neutral, but offers information and guidance to those political parties seeking to improve their bike policies and platforms.)
Australian Cyclists Party website:
Bikes come to the party
15 October 2013. Australia could soon have a new political party focused on getting a better deal for bike riders and it hopes to run candidates in the Victorian election next year.
The Australian Cyclists Party is being created by a group of "committed cyclists", the idea triggered by the success of minor parties in the recent Federal election.
A website has ben established with an on-line sign up process already active. The party is seeking a minimum of 500 members in Victoria and 750 in NSW. All members must be on the electoral role in their state before joining.
About 300 have already signed from Victoria.
The group was recruiting members at the Ausbike Trade Show in Melbourne last weekend. The public face of the group at this early stage is Omar Khalifa, a previous Chief Executive of Bicycle NSW.
The website states:
"The Australian Cyclists Party is a grass-roots organisation that is being created by a small group of committed cycling advocates. A constitution is currently being developed and will form a part of the official electoral registration process in each state the party enters.
"For decades cyclists have pushed, prodded, begged, knocked on doors, written countless submissions, rode in protest, signed petitions and defied frankly pretty lousy conditions to exercise their right to enjoy cycling in Australia.
"For all of that, most areas in Australia are well behind in developing infrastructure and reasonable cycling facilities and attitudes. Many cyclists who have ridden elsewhere in the world have been left wondering why we cannot do better here."
While Bicycle Network does not directly endorse political parties, we expect that the growth of this new party will spur competition among the other parties for better and more attractive policies.
Governments have not been keeping up with the demands of the community for better facilities and this new party will help keep the pressure on.