ACT Budget does not reflect a climate emergency

05 Jun 19 | By pp-admin | Advocacy, Cycle safety, Infrastructure, Pedal Power


5 June 2019

ACT Budget does not reflect a climate emergency

Three weeks ago, the ACT Government declared that we are in a state of climate emergency, however, yesterday’s Budget does not make clear how the Government intends to respond to this emergency.

Emissions are now the ACT’s biggest contribution to climate change.

Pedal Power believes that sustained, planned, investment in active travel is the best means for the ACT Government to reduce emissions and to improve population health and wellbeing.

Pedal Power ACT CEO, Mr Ian Ross, welcomed the ACT Budget commitment to expand our cycling network by funding a new path along the eastern side of Flemington Road.

“This path is one of the missing links in our transport network and will be good news to people living in Gungahlin who want to ride south towards the city.

“However, this modest commitment to active travel will not provide the impetus we need to reduce emissions and transform our city’s travel habits.

“To encourage active travel, we not only need to continue to develop our network of paths that are separated from traffic, we need a well-maintained cycle network.

“Our paths, which are crumbling and broken with roots, are a common cause of accidents in the ACT.  Unfortunately, this Budget has no increase in path maintenance funding beyond indexation.

“Continuous underfunding has led to a significant deterioration in the quality and safety of this important public asset. The current level of funding – close to $6 million – is around half the amount required each year to properly maintain the network.

“The longer the paths are allowed to deteriorate the more expensive it will be for them to be repaired.

“The ACT Government has demonstrated a great capacity for vision and tenacity in undertaking major transformational projects.  Our new Metro system is a great example.  The government’s response to the climate change emergency will require the same level of determination. 

“Pedal Power will continue to work with the ACT Government to support the development of high-quality cycling infrastructure in the ACT that supports increased engagement in active travel,” Mr Ross said.