Heart Foundation of the ACT CEO Tony Stubbs reckons policies that improve walking and cycling infrastructure across Canberra, as the Greens have today promised to do at a cost of $60 million over four years, are “a really good initiative”.
Mr Stubbs was on hand for the Greens’ announcement in New Acton this morning, where he filled the RiotACT in on the grim news that heart disease is the biggest single killer of men and women in the ACT.
“We know that not being physically active is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease, we know that 30 minutes of moderate activity a day can actually reduce your risk of having a heart attack by 50 per cent,” Mr Stubbs said.
“So if we can actually encourage more people and reduce the barriers for them to be active, walking and cycling, and catching public transport, then that’s a really good initiative.”
Greens spokesperson for health Indra Esguerra said her party wanted to ensure people could get around Canberra on foot or on their bikes safely and easily.
“Prioritising people over cars and more roads is not only better for our health, it makes our roads less congested when people do have to use their cars,” Ms Esguerra said.
“Canberrans love to spend time outdoors and riding to and from work. The Greens are the only party with a plan to make it easier for everyone to get around our city – whether that’s by bus, light rail, on foot or cycling.”
Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury said the funding would fill in gaps in the city’s active travel network.
“We want to repair the cracked footpaths that are out there and build new cycle paths and even footpaths in suburbs where they were never constructed in the first place,” he said.
The Greens made another cycling-related election commitment at Pedal Power’s election forum to work with the private sector to explore options for bicycle hubs for Civic and other town centres and start work on a bike share scheme for the Parliamentary Triangle, the city, New Acton, ANU and Dickson.
Mr Rattenbury said cyclists could use such hubs to take a shower, store their bike, and use other facilities such as bicycle repair or laundry services.