Australia will head to the polls this year

Federal Election 2022

#backthebike

Our policy paper

Why #backthebike?

Over 8.8 million Australians ride a bike during the year. Recently, however, bike enthusiasm has soared to new heights, with up to 270 per cent growth on shared paths in our capital cities. The next step for Australia is turning these recreational riders to regular riders who use their bike for commuting and accessing services. But to do this, we have three hurdles to jump

Reframe bikes

We must stop thinking of a bike as simply another transport option. A bike is the only vehicle that can simultaneously increase physical and mental wellbeing, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, decongest roads, ‘calm’ traffic, increase ‘liveability’, and reduce the cost of living for Australians.

Address community concerns

A stigma remains regarding bike use, which in many cases is due to rider’s fears of interacting with motor traffic. 

We need to show that national efforts are being made to protect riders through a combination of legislation and infrastructure. 

Make stronger investments

Bike facilities should not simply be add-ons to existing road projects, we need concentrated investment. To boost active travel, our spend should start at a minimum $20 per head of the population. For the cost of a single Uber trip, we can provide facilities for bike riders to make as many trips as they choose.

To back the bike, we are asking election candidates to make five key commitments…

1. An active transport budget

Allocate 5 per cent of the 2022/23 federal transport budget to active travel projects, followed by increases of 2.5 per cent for subsequent fiscal years.

Why?

To better connect our cities with healthy and sustainable transport options, we need a clear monetary commitment from the Federal Government. A 5 per cent budget allocation for active travel is not unreasonable. The United Nations recommends a 20 per cent budget allocation to fund walking and bike riding projects1. It is time for Australia to match international efforts.

2. Positive provisioning for active travel

Introduce mandatory requirements that all federally funded transport projects must provide infrastructure and facilities for active travel

Why?

It is becoming increasingly important to recognise that people who ride bikes are legitimate road users. ‘Positive provisioning’ is the commonly used term for framing active travel modes as mandatory components in current and future road projects, as opposed to separate or subsidiary projects.

The inclusion of active travel options in future transport investments must be a condition, not a consideration.

 

3. Behaviour change for young people

Allocate $20 million per fiscal year for behaviour change programs that provide young people with bike education, safety training, and skill development

Why?

Behaviour change programs are integral to a well-rounded national bike strategy. They motivate participants by increasing their skills, easing their concerns, and highlighting the advantages of participating.

By providing bike education at a young age, we can foster a generation of Australians that are familiarised with the diverse benefits of active travel, and are motivated to enjoy an active travel lifestyle as they approach adulthood.

4. A national bike incentive scheme

Introduce a national bike subsidy scheme, offering a 30 per cent rebate for bikes, e-bikes or cargo bikes that are purchased for work transport purposes.

Why?

If we are serious about getting people riding, let’s put down an incentive. Many state governments are already announcing subsidies, stamp duty waivers, zero-interest loans, and other financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. While this is a positive step towards more sustainable transport options, it does not solve the road congestion issues affecting our cities. There is where a co-existing bike subsidy scheme is important.

An Australian bike subsidy scheme can be easily developed from successful incentive program models in Sweden, Germany, Austria, and the UK, which have demonstrated increased rates of active travel, reduced rates of transport-related emissions, and increased gender equity.

A 30 per cent rebate policy also aligns with the ‘Build Back Better‘ proposal that is currently earmarked for the US.

5. Stronger vehicle standards

Match the European Union’s General Safety Regulation (GSR) for vehicle safety requirements

Why?

Each year, 36 Australians on average die whilst riding a bike, a figure that has not changed in 20 years2. Approximately 23 per cent of the fatalities in an average year involve a heavy vehicle. The message is clear: we are yet to achieve a best practice for bike safety.

This is where advancing our vehicle safety standards can play a big role. The European Union’s General Safety Regulation (GSR) includes up-to-date legislation on safety technologies for new cars3. We are calling on election candidates to commit to matching these EU regulations.

Like to read more?

Check out Bicycle Network’s federal election policy paper  

VIEW POLICY PAPER

And if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our Federal Budget submission 2021-22

Budget submission

Candidate responses:

As we receive candidate responses to Bicycle Network’s Federal Election policy paper, we’ll make them publicly available here. 

If your local candidates aren’t on this list (excluding Labor who have replied on behalf of all candidates), now’s the time to send them an email or letter asking them to do more for people who ride. Don’t forget to cc’ campaigns@bicyclenetwork.com.au.

Here’s a handy guide that makes contacting your local candidates easy. 

Write to candidates

Latest news

Greens pledge $1 billion for bikes

The Australian Greens have pledged $1 billion in funding over four years to help make it easier and safer for more people to ride bikes...

Labor to fund Hurstbridge line link

Federal Labor has undertaken to fund a new bike path from Greensborough to Montmorency if it forms government after this months election.

Major parties support Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Both Labor and The Nationals in have made election commitments to provide funding for a section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Shorten commits $4.8M to Footscray route

The Shorten campaign announces $4.8M support for a major bike corridor through Footscray, linking West Footscray Station to the Maribyrnong River via Napier Street.

Funding for northern route

A Shorten Labor Government would invest $500,000 to connecting the dedicated bicycle lane on Cumberland Road in Pascoe Vale with the Upfield Bike Path.

Labor makes $260m bike pledge

The Australian Labor Party has said they will create a $260 million bike fund to build new cycleways if they win the federal election.

Election bike commitments begin with the ‘Boulie

Liberal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has promised that a re-elected Coalition will invest millions on Melbourne’s Yarra Boulevard and Walmer Street bridge.

Writing to candidates this federal election

Contacting your local candidates this federal election will help strengthen the voice for people who ride bikes in Australia.

Pay Australians to ride to work

Australians should be paid $5 every time they ride a bike to work under a new scheme proposed by Australia’s biggest bike riding organisation, Bicycle...

Surprise: a good election promise

The Morrison Government has promised to establish an Office of Road Safety if re-elected, a small but important step toward protecting the safety of all...

Pedalling a way out of congestion

The answer to traffic congestion in our capital cities isn’t in cutting back permanent migration, it’s in investing and creating space for active transport.

Risks continue to be ignored

News that another bike rider has been horrifically killed in a crash with a truck highlights the urgent need to address the risk that heavy...

Take action

We know that collective action makes a difference.

This election make sure the voice of bike riders are heard. Reach out to your local members and make sure they don’t forget about bikes. 

Make contact

Contact your local candidates and ask what they’re doing for bikes. We’ll share their responses online – just make sure you cc us at campaigns@bicyclenetwork.com.au

Need help? Check out our handy guide.

Write to candidates

Share on social

Share our election campaign on social. 

Become a member

Become a member today and together we can make it easier for more people to ride.

Join now

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