The Greens have announced the final plank of the transport plan they’ll take to the ACT election: $1.1m over four years to establish a better-resourced Active Travel Office headed by a walking and cycling coordinator in a bid particularly to encourage more women and children to travel by bike.
All the Greens’ women candidates – Veronica Wensing (Yerrabi), Jen Faerber (Murrumbidgee), Indra Esguerra (Ginninderra), Caroline Le Couteur (Murrumbidgee) and Rebecca Vassarotti (Kurrajong) were on hand, most on their bicycles, for the announcement in Civic this rainy morning.
Ms Wensing, who is the ACT Greens spokesperson for women and social inclusion, said that while 39% of men ride a bicycle at least once a week in Canberra, only 13% of women do so.
“We think this is partly because women don’t necessarily feel as safe on a bicycle and on the road,” the lead candidate for Yerrabi said.
“Part of transforming our city into an active travel capital means making sure women and children can feel as confident as men travelling around our city.
“We need facilities that work for everyone – women, people with disabilities and people of all ages.”
She said the Active Travel Office would work to fix sections of road or bike paths that were unsafe due to inadequate lighting, for example, and would let Canberrans know about the infrastructure available to them.
ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said his party’s transport plan would make Canberra a city that works for the community, not just the other way around.
“So far we’ve seen a Liberal party addicted to roads at the expense of the sustainable transport we need, and a Labor party that talks the talk on an active, connected Canberra but still fails to properly invest in walking and cycling infrastructure,” Mr Rattenbury said.
Pictured above are Greens candidates Jen Faerber, Caroline Le Couteur, Indra Esguerra, Rebecca Vassarotti and Veronica Wensing in Civic today. Photo: Charlotte Harper