Luminous orange e-scooters in the historic NSW Parliament forecourt signaled change was afoot.
Last Wednesday night, NSW Parliamentary Friends of Active Transport (PFAT) was launched and Bicycle NSW was invited as the lead bicycle user advocate in NSW. Chaired by Shayne Mallard MLC with Hon. Rob Stokes MP (Liberal), Jo Haylen MP (Labor) and Cate Faehrmann MLC (Greens), it was the first of its kind and indicated a fundamental cultural shift at a policy and planning level for active transport in NSW. The gathering assembled stakeholders from all political persuasions, community, planning and business groups and representatives from Bicycle NSW who have long advocated for bipartisanship on this issue.
L to R: Jo Haylen MP (Labor), Shayne Mallard MLC, Peter McLean CEO Bicycle NSW, Cate Faehrmann MLC (Greens) and with Hon. Rob Stokes MP (Liberal).
Hon. Rob Stokes MP, NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, voiced that active transport was now a bipartisan issue which all parties would work together on. “It (active transport) is an issue of environmental justice and economic mobility.”
Minister Stokes contrasted the freedom of growing up with a pushbike to the current stranglehold of car culture on infrastructure, policy, planning with devastating environmental and health justice impacts. “Inactivity is a health justice matter, with over 80% of the budget for health spent on non-communicable diseases. Encouraging active transport is a quantifiable benefit,” said Minister Stokes.
Jo Haylen MP for Labor added, “‘We need to build more cycleways and keep up with global cities to make life safer for walking and cycling for ages 8-80.”
Cate Faehrmann MLC (Greens) commented that, “E-bikes and e-scooters are going to fundamentally change how we think about transport.”
Bicycle NSW will be actively engaging the Parliamentary Friends of Active Transport to support new active transport projects and welcomes their involvement in key bicycle advocacy issues.