We’ve reached the pointy end of the Brisbane City Council election campaign, so it’s time to recap each of the parties’ policies and commitments, so you can make an informed choice at the polling booth tomorrow:
- Liberal National Party
- Australian Labor Party
- The Greens
- Australian Sex Party
- Chris Carson (Independent)
Or you can just skip to our assessment.
Liberal National Party
The Liberal National Party’s ‘Team Quirk’ has announced a Better Bikeways 4 Brisbane policy including $120 million in bikeway funding over four years, with a focus on building a network connecting commuters to not only the CBD and Fortitude Valley but seven other major employment areas:
- Australia Trade Coast (Brisbane Airport north of the river through to Port of Brisbane south of the river)
- Toowong/ Indooroopilly/ St Lucia
- North-East Industrial Corridor (Nudgee/ Banyo/ Boondall/ Brisbane Airport)
- South-West Industrial Corridor (Rocklea/ Darra/ Oxley/ Inala/ Richlands)
- Griffith University/ Mt Gravatt
- South Brisbane/ Woolloongabba
The policy also includes a programme to improve connections to suburban shopping centres and transport hubs, as well as an effort to improve safety by upgrading cycling ‘black spots’ and by establishing a joint taskforce with the police to ‘tackle inappropriate behaviour on bikepaths’.
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party’s lord mayoral candidate Ray Smith has released a Five Point Plan for Better Brisbane Bikeways, consisting of:
- $100m for bikeway infrastructure,
- establishment of a formal BUG steering committee
- $600k for a roving team to address minor bikeway maintenance issues,
- $2m (of the $100m) to investigate one green bridge, and
- $280k for installation of bikeway facilities such as electronic bike counters and water fountains
Although it is not covered in his policy, Mr Smith has consistently indicated that he will remove BCC funding for its CityCycle bike share scheme.
The Greens have also released a background paper on transport options for Brisbane, which starts with a remarkably familiar section entitled ‘Build it and they will come – the importance of cycle infrastructure’. We certainly appreciate the flattery but, more importantly, the indication that the Greens share CBD BUG’s views on the value of cycling infrastructure.
- Background paper on Greens transport option for Brisbane City
- Greens Transport Vision for Brisbane Fewer cars, Less Pollution and More Choice
- Greens Transport Policy
Australian Sex Party
The Australian Sex Party has not released any cycling or general transport policies that we are aware of.
Chris Carson (Independent)
Independent lord mayoral candidate Chris Carson has been quite a wildcard for cyclists this election. Campaigning on a platform of reducing conflict on the road, he has put forward some quite controversial policies ranging from banning cyclists from major roads in peak times, to banning the use of motor vehicles for one day each year. He’s also joined the major parties’ bidding war in promising $300 million for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
The promises by the LNP and ALP to increase or maintain the current level of investment in cycling infrastructure are very welcome, as are the other aspects of the policies, and the announcements supporting greater use of public transport and walking.
However, it’s important to keep these promises in perspective. BCC budget documents indicate that in the current financial year 83.2% of Brisbane’s $1.274 billion transport budget will be spent on motorists, while only 15.1% will be spent on public transport and a miserly 1.7% will go to cycling and walking. This is on top of money to be spent on top of paying off the massive debts from constructing the Clem7 and Legacy Way tunnels plus the Go Between Bridge under the Trans Apex program, leaving little room for any additional transport spending. Both parties have also announced major new road spending aimed primarily at motorists, with little or no cohesion between their roads policies and their cycling policies despite the huge and obvious overlap between the two.
The Greens have not engaged in the same battle of election promises as the two larger parties, but their integrated transport policy more clearly embraces cycling as a first-class part of the transport mix. Their background paper promises physically separated bike lanes on every major street in the CBD, which would be a huge leap forward in making the bicycle a safe and attractive way to get around the city.
While Mr Carson clearly has some important concerns and interesting ideas about how to make the roads safer for everybody, his proposal to ban bicycles from major roads at peak times fails to recognise that bicycles are a valid (and efficient) mode of transport, and would be disastrous for many commuting cyclists.
You can also read a more detailed summary of the two major parties’ transport election commitments ( PDF, 29 kB).