The Brisbane City Council election has been largely overshadowed by the Queensland Government election, with the media and pundits only now actually turning their attention to this contest.
The LNP announced only yesterday that they will increase the four year $100 million commitment made by Campbell Newman in 2008, to $120 million over the next four year term. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data on the costs of building infrastructure this additional $20 million equates to an increase of almost 10% in real terms.
Importantly, at the time of this announcement Cr Quirk said he wanted to develop a ‘bikeway commuter network’ in eight high-employment areas rather than in established ‘recreation’ areas. It is essential for BCC expenditure to be directed primarily to enabling commuter/utility bike riding. This is because focusing on weekend/recreational cycling will ensure bike riding remains an irregular activity for a minority of people, rather than a normal and everyday means of transport for the mainstream population.
Another announcement made at the same time by Premier Campbell Newman was that his government would link the BCC CityCycle scheme to the Go Card network as long as “the costs are not excessive” and “once technological and cost issues are resolved”.
The Queensland Greens mayoralty candidate Andrew Bartlett has welcomed the LNP’s announcement regarding increased cycling expenditure, along with stating “both Liberal and Labor must also recognise that many of the existing bikelanes on roads are simply not safe for many cylists to use” and “every Green elected to Brisbane City Council will support any moves to expand and connect bikeways, but we also need to make sure existing bikeways are of decent quality and all bikelanes on roads are safe for cyclists to use.”
The ALP is expected to hold its BCC campaign launch on Sunday 22 April 2011, after which the CBD BUG will provide further analysis.