NSW Labor has appointed Ms Jodi McKay MP as its new leader she has announced her cabinet. Bicycle NSW was pleased to meet with the new Shadow Active Transport Minister, Ms Jo Haylen MP, on her first Friday in the job.
It was clear to us that Jo has a strong grasp on the opportunities offered to reduce congestion and improve health if more people could safely ride bikes. She also understood the safety concerns that many people have about riding bikes.
Ms Haylen MP wasted no time speaking up for the needs of bike riders in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. She challenged the stereotype that bike riding is just for middle aged men in lycra and drew inspiration from Japan where cycling helps people move efficiently and reduces congestion.
As a parent Jo was able to recognise the concerns of families about the safety of current infrastructure that fails to cater to the needs of children, parents and concerned riders. Bicycle NSW shared our policy pillars and commitment to the development of cycling infrastructure that is built for everyone to use.
“We are encouraged by the creation of this stand-alone portfolio and Labor’s recognition of the importance of active Transport to their policy agenda,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
The current budget of $57 million for active transport in 2019-20 represents less than 1% of the NSW State Transport budget. It's easy to see the impact of under-provision in the staggering decline of walking and riding to school.
“Everyone in NSW wants to see reductions in air pollution, congestion and more opportunities for everyone to be active,” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW encourages members to let local MP’s know about their concerns no matter what party they belong to. It can be as easy as a tweet or sharing a photo on social media.