NSW communities and lifestyles are changing, but we need plans that design physical activity into ordinary life.
Health campaigns like #FindYour30 and #MakeHealthyNormal encourage us all to be more physically active, and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian set a target to reduce childhood obesity by 5% by 2025.
Australian families spend $11 billion each year on participating in sport and physical activity, but the costs are too high for many families. In a recent Current Affair program Kate Palmer, CEO of Sport Australia expressed concerns about unequal access to sport.
Physical activity needs to be part of ordinary life, without costing extra money and time. The first two indicators of a Sydney suburb that promotes healthy behavior are its walking and cycling amenity. The rural and regional communities in Australia with the highest obesity rates are those with the least active transport provision. It’s time this changed so more people can stay healthy by incorporating active travel into their normal journeys to school, work and to access community services.
Across NSW, councils have been preparing bike and active travel plans, and consulting with residents as part of the Future Transport 2056 design process. Bicycle NSW regularly alerts members to opportunities to have their say on these plans, makes comments to support great designs or to suggest amendments.
“We encourage everyone to take the opportunity to comment on plans and say how they feel. Let your council and MP’s know you want a community that’s designed to keep you and your family healthy,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
Advocacy Consultant, Ray Rice is a lifelong bike rider, a professional engineer for 35 years and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers. His skills and experience enable Bicycle NSW to provide detailed, well informed feedback on bike plan design. Bicycle NSW encourages people to get in touch if they need help developing or reviewing bike plans. Everyone in NSW deserves designs that move them.