It’s time to look at the numbers.
Funding of active and sustainable transport facilities and infrastructure by the Tasmanian State Government and the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources is virtually nonexistent.
Bicycle Tasmania urged Tasmania’s politicians, especially Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne and Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim to think seriously about the coming state budget infrastructure allocations.
Bicycle Tasmania President Jeff Dunn said:
“In order to achieve the Governments stated target of doubling the number of people riding bicycles over the next five years, which then Minister for Infrastructure – The Hon Lara Giddings signed up to in the National Cycling Strategy in 2010, the State Government needs to put some money where its mouth is.”
Last month Bicycle Tasmania launched its Bicycle Facilities Campaign Plan and submitted it to the State Budget Community Consultation along with project proposals to create a network of bicycle riding facilities in Tasmania.
This plan shows how we get people riding more often, by providing the supportive environments. The benefits are clear as the Heart Foundation has pointed out this week. Active people are healthier people. Building walking and bicycle riding infrastructure creates more jobs than other capital works investments on purely road projects.
The State’s own budget documents state that in 2011-12 the total roads expenditure was $151 million. This is made up of State and Commonwealth funding. Over the past decade the spend on road infrastructure could have been over $1,000 million.
“No one can deny we need to spend money on maintaining and upgrading transport networks in Tasmania, but Tasmanians need the State’s Infrastructure Minister O’Byrne and Sustainable Transport Minister McKim to heed the Heart Foundations call to shift some money from expensive Highway upgrades to active transport upgrades where the benefits are so much greater” concluded Bicycle Tasmania President Jeff Dunn.