Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Canberras newest Healthy Lifestyle Centre, Form Fitness. Transform.

Taking a Liberal view of bike-riding in the ACT

By Anne Treasure - 25 May 2017 14

Liberal member for Brindabella Mark Parton has called on the ACT Government to enable more Canberrans to enjoy an active lifestyle by making it easier for people to ride bicycles in the ACT.

“We live in the perfect city to live actively and healthily,” said Mr Parton. “The sun shines on Canberra for much more of the year than is the case in Sydney and Melbourne.”

In an address to the Legislative Assembly earlier this month, Mr Parton said that it was his personal view “that the government should not shy away from spending money on creating accessible infrastructure that will enable people to participate in an active lifestyle.”

“I do not believe that the government is spending enough on maintaining our current cycling infrastructure or filling the holes in the current cycling network,” he said.

“I know it is easy for opponents of that sort of infrastructure spend simply to cite its bottom line cost, but I think that we must move the conversation towards a broader narrative of creating a healthy city, which ultimately will repay us all many times over.”

Mr Parton emphasised the difference it would make to the ACT as a whole if more Canberrans adopted a healthier and more active way of life.

“Territory and state budgets across this country are being squeezed more by the bottom line for health spending than by anything else,” said Mr Parton. “The reality is that if we could just convince another five per cent of the population to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, the effect on the health budget here in the ACT would be astounding.”

Mr Parton described how he and his wife have been climbing hills around the ACT, prioritising their health and fitness despite their busy lifestyles. As an enthusiastic bike rider, Parton uses cycling to facilitate a healthy lifestyle and worked incidental exercise into his life by riding to work.

“I participated in the Cycle Works Challenge through Pedal Power in April. As part of that, I cycled nearly 700 kilometres in the month of April,” said Mr Parton.

“I have managed to lose seven kilograms since February. I feel so much better for it. I genuinely do have more energy. The niggling health problems I had prior to this program seem to have disappeared. I am sleeping better at night.”

With the release of the ACT budget early next month, there may be an opportunity for the Canberra Liberals to show leadership in opposition by championing real investment in active transport initiatives.

Parton noted that he had some way to go in order to bring his Liberal colleagues around to his personal view about the benefits of investing in ACT bike-riding infrastructure.

For the good of the ACT, let’s hope he is successful.

Anne Treasure is the Communications Manager for Pedal Power ACT. She writes on bike riding in the ACT from the perspective of someone who rides mainly for transport. 

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
14 Responses to
Taking a Liberal view of bike-riding in the ACT
1
Grail 9:40 am
25 May 17
#

The only reason the Liberals would invest in infrastructure is if they owned the companies contracted to do the work, or the companies expected to buy the infrastructure cheap in a “balance the budget” privatisation firesale.

Good luck Mark, but you forgot the first rule if being a Liberal Party member: “What is in it for me, to the exclusion of others?”

2
Holden Caulfield 10:10 am
25 May 17
#

I’m sure both Anne and Mark will welcome the proposal to turn two of Canberra’s most important stretches of road infrastructure into a parking lot for the enjoyment of pedestrians and cyclists…
https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/index.php/commitment-to-community-engagement/public-consultation/4553-kings-and-commonwealth-avenues-design-strategy

3
dungfungus 10:19 am
25 May 17
#

Grail said :

The only reason the Liberals would invest in infrastructure is if they owned the companies contracted to do the work, or the companies expected to buy the infrastructure cheap in a “balance the budget” privatisation firesale.

Good luck Mark, but you forgot the first rule if being a Liberal Party member: “What is in it for me, to the exclusion of others?”

This would be good for the taxpayer as the contractors owned by the Liberals would have to compete on price with the contractors that Labor own.

Let’s do it!

4
dungfungus 10:22 am
25 May 17
#

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

5
Anne Treasure 12:12 pm
25 May 17
#

Holden Caulfield said :

I’m sure both Anne and Mark will welcome the proposal to turn two of Canberra’s most important stretches of road infrastructure into a parking lot for the enjoyment of pedestrians and cyclists…
https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/index.php/commitment-to-community-engagement/public-consultation/4553-kings-and-commonwealth-avenues-design-strategy

Absolutely! Except for one thing – the lack of properly-separated infrastructure (ie from motor vehicles and from pedestrians) will create the same type of problems we’re seeing around other rec areas like Lake BG. Hopefully they’ll update the plan to make the on-road cycle lanes a bit safer from the car traffic. But otherwise, I think it is a great idea from the NCA.

6
Holden Caulfield 12:18 pm
25 May 17
#

Anne Treasure said :

Absolutely! Except for one thing – the lack of properly-separated infrastructure (ie from motor vehicles and from pedestrians) will create the same type of problems we’re seeing around other rec areas like Lake BG. Hopefully they’ll update the plan to make the on-road cycle lanes a bit safer from the car traffic. But otherwise, I think it is a great idea from the NCA.

As someone who uses those two bridges by foot or bicycle far more than I do by car, I think the plans are utter madness.

I do agree that improvements could be made for both pedestrians and cyclists in the areas proposed (and generally speaking elsewhere as well), but doing so at the expense of car traffic on bridges that can’t really be widened is just bloody mindedness writ large.

7
Leon Arundell 1:08 pm
25 May 17
#

Living Streets Canberra has called on the ACT Government to commit to a nine year, $200 million, strategic investment in cost-effective transport infrastructure for walking, cycling, ride sharing and public transport, including:
(1) Footpath network upgrades: Upgrade footpath networks in established suburbs to the level of footpath networks in new suburbs ($20 million per year for nine years).
(2) Walkable nature strips: Safe walking on streets that don’t have footpaths ($0.1 million per year).
(3) Paths for the community: Twenty cost-effective community paths ($3 million per year for three years).
More information: http://grapevine.net.au/%7Emccluskeyarundell/LSNewsJan2017.html#__RefHeading___Toc3566_651216023

8
Mark Parton MLA 2:52 pm
25 May 17
#

Grail said :

The only reason the Liberals would invest in infrastructure is if they owned the companies contracted to do the work, or the companies expected to buy the infrastructure cheap in a “balance the budget” privatisation firesale.

Good luck Mark, but you forgot the first rule if being a Liberal Party member: “What is in it for me, to the exclusion of others?”

Grail, a quick check of the interests register shows that current Liberal MLAs don’t own any construction companies. So it seems we wouldn’t be building anything.

In all seriousness, you’ve presented a somewhat simplistic and rather absurd generalisation based on extreme ideology. I do hope to see some constructive thought from you in this transport infrastructure space because I think its important.

9
Bonkers 11:05 pm
26 May 17
#

At the risk of opening a related can of worms… mandatory helmets? I’ve got young children, and always make sure they’re wearing headgear when on their bikes, but I’ve been riding for 30+ years and generally stick to bike paths rather than roads.

If you’re an adult and choose to ride on main arteries without a helmet, you’ve got rocks in your head (which probably wouldn’t be damaged by an accident, but not really the point). Similarly if you’re an avid mountain biker and choose to go without a helmet, you deserve a mention in the Darwin awards.

If however, you just want to use our good network of bike paths to get down and do a lap around the lake, can we get rid of the nanny state mentality and let adults make adult decisions? If you’re going to be in a high risk situation (eg riding on the roads or mountain biking off-road), wear a helmet. If you’re sticking to bike paths, up to you.

There are plenty of cities in Europe and the UK which do not have mandatory helmet laws which seem to be doing ok…

10
John Hamilton 11:40 am
28 May 17
#

dungfungus said :

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

Won’t happen. If you believe that strongly in it, start a “Cyclists to pay registration party” and see how many votes you get

11
John Moulis 2:40 pm
28 May 17
#

John Hamilton said :

dungfungus said :

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

Won’t happen. If you believe that strongly in it, start a “Cyclists to pay registration party” and see how many votes you get

Huh! If the Liberals ever promised a policy like that in bike-mad Canberra, Labor and The Greens would win every seat. I know the local Libs put forward some silly policies every now and then but I don’t think political suicide is one of them.

12
dungfungus 9:45 pm
28 May 17
#

John Hamilton said :

dungfungus said :

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

Won’t happen. If you believe that strongly in it, start a “Cyclists to pay registration party” and see how many votes you get

Why would it be that people in Canberra would be opposed to what I have suggested?

Thanks to self interest used collectively as a political force, Canberra taxpayers are funding tens of millions of dollars of infrastructure for the exclusive use of cyclists. Do cyclists consider this is an entitlement solely for them? Why don’t they show some leadership in supporting fee based registration/licensing as a form of cost recovery for past expenditure and a sinking fund for future exclusive bicycle projects? Wouldn’t that be fair and equitable?

Opposing change only serves to entrench the perception by people like me that those in the organised cycling community are simply greedy and don’t give a stuff about where the money comes from as long as it isn’t out of their pockets.

13
dungfungus 9:48 pm
28 May 17
#

John Moulis said :

John Hamilton said :

dungfungus said :

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

Won’t happen. If you believe that strongly in it, start a “Cyclists to pay registration party” and see how many votes you get

Huh! If the Liberals ever promised a policy like that in bike-mad Canberra, Labor and The Greens would win every seat. I know the local Libs put forward some silly policies every now and then but I don’t think political suicide is one of them.

If that were the case nothing would change as because Labor/Green have had the power for over 10 years and there is no sign of arrangement changing, ever.

A financial administrator has more chance of governing Canberra than the Liberals.

14
G-Fresh 5:17 pm
05 Jun 17
#

dungfungus said :

John Moulis said :

John Hamilton said :

dungfungus said :

The only bicycle-centric “leadership” I want to see from the Liberals is a ban on electric bikes and introduction of compulsory fee based licensing and registration+CTP on all bikes.

Won’t happen. If you believe that strongly in it, start a “Cyclists to pay registration party” and see how many votes you get

Huh! If the Liberals ever promised a policy like that in bike-mad Canberra, Labor and The Greens would win every seat. I know the local Libs put forward some silly policies every now and then but I don’t think political suicide is one of them.

If that were the case nothing would change as because Labor/Green have had the power for over 10 years and there is no sign of arrangement changing, ever.

A financial administrator has more chance of governing Canberra than the Liberals.

If all public facilities were only able to be used by those who pay directly for them, nothing would be used by anyone.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site