NSW has gained a couple of places in the pack, but we are lagging on investment in infrastructure for safe bike riding.
Comparing state government budgets for cycling provision is a challenge because many states, like NSW, combine the budgets for walking and cycling into ‘active transport’. Where we could find budget figures for each state, we divided by the 2019 population to find out our ranking.
The breakaway leader is the ACT with its $35 per person commitment to active transport- almost 5 times NSW.
We shouldn’t be surprised if Queensland continues to beat us at State of Origin – they hold second place. They’ve committed $15.08 per person to active transport and $3.60 of that is to be spent on facilities just for bike riding.
In third place is Tasmania with an active transport budget figure of $9.17 per person.
Slogging away at fourth place, NSW has budgeted $7.20 per person for active transport. The total NSW budget of $256 million over four years, or $57 million per annum is also less than the $264M promise over 4 years made at the election, which would have amounted to $66M annually or $8.35 per person.
Nipping at our heels in fifth place is Victoria, with an active transport spend of $7.11 per person. Western Australia’s active transport budget of $4.70 per person sees them trailing in sixth place.
Source: Australian Bicycle Council (Austroads) "National Cycling Strategy 2011 - 2016, Implementation Report 2016
“We are glad to see that active transport investment in NSW has improved in the last four years,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
The UN recommends spending 20% of the Transport budget on active transport. Under spend on safe, separated infrastructure for bike riding has left NSW with a legacy of inactivity, health, and congestion challenges.
“It’s time NSW caught up so we can all benefit,” said Bastien.