As most people would know, there’s a federal election this Saturday, 21 August. CBD BUG wrote to each of the main parties soliciting their positions on cycling. Their responses are below: Australian Labor Party, Liberal National Party, and Australian Greens.
Australian Labor Party
From: ALP Information Service <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Letter for Prime Minister Gillard
To: Brisbane CBD BUG
Received: Sunday, 15 August, 2010, 2:51 PM
Thank you for your email.
The Gillard Labor Government is delivering record funding to improve and build new bike paths across our cities. We have funded the first ever federal National Bike Paths program, which is delivering $40 million worth of new and extended bike paths across the country.
Over 170 bike path projects are underway as part of this program. They are not only taking cars off our roads and delivering safe, sustainable ways for Australians to commute and exercise, they are also supporting nearly 1,900 local jobs and traineeships during construction.
For example, in Queensland, the Hervey Bay Links Corridor will extend existing paths and link recreational areas with the CBD of Hervey Bay, while supporting 33 local jobs during construction.
Funding bike paths across the country is only one part of the Gillard Labor Government’s plan to reduce emissions and encourage healthy ways to travel. A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will continue rolling out this important program.
Road safety for all road users is a key priority for the Gillard Labor Government. Good progress is being made, but we know there is more to do.
You may be aware, the Federal Labor Government has established the National Road Safety Council to work with transport ministers from all governments to develop a new National Road Safety Strategy 2011 to 2020. The new strategy will establish national road safety goals and priorities for the next decade.
In relation to your inquiry about the Australian Road Rule, a re-elected Gillard Labor Government is committed to continue working with the National Transport Council – the body in charge of the drafting and reviewing the ARR – to improve the ARR.
A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will continue working to improve road safety, which will remain a key priority in the area of transport.
ALP Information Services
Liberal National Party
From: Abbott, Tony (MP) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Thank you for your email to the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP
To: Brisbane CBD BUG
Received: Friday, 13 August, 2010, 4:50 PM
Thank you for your recent email to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
As you may be aware, the Prime Minister has called a federal election.
Unfortunately, from Opposition, we do not have the resources to respond to your email in detail during the campaign period, but your concerns will be brought to Tony’s attention and that of the Coalition Team.
After three years of Labor Government failures, Australians now have a choice.
Broken promises, increased cost of living pressures, massive debt, a Budget deficit, waste and mismanagement and new taxes are all placing unnecessary pressures on Australians. Further, Labor have removed a Prime Minister quickly and ruthlessly, ignoring the wishes of Australian voters. But it is the same government with the same problems creating the same mess.
I hope you will get behind Tony in the weeks ahead as he seeks to stand up for Australia and take real action to end the waste, repay the debt, stop the taxes and ease the cost of living pressures on families.
If you would like to read more detailed policy information please go to www.liberal.org.au.
The Greens’ response was in the form of a PDF. The text is reproduced below.
Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle User Group
GPO box 2104
16 August 2010
Thanks very much for your letter regarding government support for cycling.
The Greens concur with your frustration that successive federal governments have failed to invest in cycling infrastructure, in spite of the now well-understood environmental and social benefits, while spending tens of billions on infrastructure for motorists.
In addition to this lack of interest from the federal government, we are concerned that Infrastructure Australia, whose job it is to make decisions about major infrastructure spending, is not receiving high quality proposals for sustainable transport solutions.
For this reason we have drafted legislation – the Safe Climate (Sustainable Transport Infrastructure) Bill, which assigns to Infrastructure Australia a new role to:
- develop and implement a national sustainable transport strategy;
- assess and prioritise proposals for sustainable transport projects and infrastructure;
- provide advice on policies and laws relating to sustainable transport projects and infrastructure; and
- to encourage investment in sustainable transport infrastructure.
Key priorities will be:
- national transition planning for a carbon constrained economy, in accordance with national greenhouse targets and mid range assessments of global oil supplies;
- prioritising electrification of the Australian land transport sector;
- the establishment of an independent expert advisory committee on sustainable transport to assist with the development of the national transport strategy and to develop lists that prioritise transport projects and infrastructure needs; and
- a scoping study for a National Very Fast Train link to provide an alternative to commuting by air which will eventually link Australia’s major metropolitan centres.
You can read more about this, and another eleven of the Greens ‘Safe Climate’ bills at www.safeclimatebill.org.au.
With respect to unsafe road conditions, we would certainly be willing to consider a review of the Australian Road Rules and would welcome more information about the ARR’s pro-car bias, as well as examples of better rules in other countries.
You might also be interested to know that in June, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards in the Award for Contribution towards Cycling by a Politician. The award recognises Senator Milne and the Greens’ success in negotiating the $40 million National Bike Paths Fund during negotiations for the federal stimulus package – the largest ever direct federal investment in cycling.
Senator Milne said at the time “the Greens were very pleased to be able to deliver this historic investment for cyclists through the stimulus package and I thank Minister Albanese, joint winner of this Honourable Mention, for his cooperation. Helping more Australians get on their bikes instead of into cars is good for all of us – good for our health, our air, our infrastructure and our climate. The community is clearly leading governments, with Australians of all ages getting into cycling for the enjoyment and health benefits as well as social and environmental reasons. In an age of climate change, obesity and peak oil, governments have to take the community’s lead and make cycling as easy as possible.”
on behalf of the Australian Greens