Rockhampton Regional Council has been offered almost $1.5 million to put towards new bike and pedestrian pathways as part of the COVID-19 recovery scheme.
The money comes from the Federal Government's $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program, announced last month to help deliver priority infrastructure projects and stimulate the post-pandemic economy.
Building more places for people to ride bikes in Queensland was specifically listed as eligible community infrastructure under the new program, after the numbers of riders and pedestrians using shared paths skyrocketed during the pandemic.
And as we know, and Queensland State Government research confirmed, every dollar spent on pathway infrastructure brings a return of $5 to the local community.
This is an important fact for many regional Queensland towns who rely heavily on tourism, and a fact that is not lost on Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo, who said:
"Now is a great time for local Governments to use this post-COVID stimulus money to bring about positive change in their communities.
More people cycling and walking makes for a healthier community. It helps address our national obesity crisis. It contributes to lowering pollution and carbon emissions."
Ms Randazzo and said the project would likely see a 500 per cent return on investment.
Rockhampton Regional Council will now begin working with local bike riding advocacy groups to determine what developments to focus on.
They will be required to submit a proposal detailing the specific use of the funds in the next 12 months.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable to us to make bike riding better in Australia.