Bike riders navigating the existing bike lanes on St Kilda Road
Victorian Budget 22/23: what’s in it for bikes?

The Victorian Budget for the next fiscal year was revealed this week and bikes have made it into the budget papers, albeit modestly.

The core theme for this year’s state budget was putting patients first. Health services and hospital infrastructure will receive more than $2.9 billion allocated to build new hospitals and upgrade existing premises.

Another hot topic is a $250 payment for every household that engages with the Victorian Energy Compare website to find suitable power providers.

But the real question is: what’s in it for bikes? Here’s what we have learnt so far.

There is roughly $21.8 million allocated for active transport, with the Department of Transport earmarking a number of bike projects across metropolitan and regional Victoria. Funding announced in the 22/23 Budget Papers include:

  • Upgrades to bike facilities along the Capital City and Merri Creek Trails;
  • New cycling infrastructure on the Bendigo City Centre Strategic Cycling Corridor;
  • Delivery and construction of a new shared path between Greensborough and Montmorency; and
  • More bike parking facilities at train stations.

A further $207 million will be allocated for a 1.6 kilometre road upgrade to improve Mickleham Road in Greenvale, which we have written about here. This will include new bike lanes.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will be pumping some funds into the Murray to Mountains rail trail. The popular trail was earmarked as a key Regional Tourism Infrastructure Project, and the funds will see important upgrades on the trail to promote tourist growth.

While there are some appreciable spends, we can and should do better. The number of Victorians using bikes has risen by 5 per cent since 2019, and we should be meeting that demand with supply.

The state election is on the horizon, and we hope the budget isn’t a missed opportunity to capitalize on the population’s bike enthusiasm and reshape the transport system for the better.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.