Cycling to work - Speech in Parliament

On Monday morning I, along with the member for Ryan and the member for Melbourne, met with Stephen Hodge and other cyclists from the Cycling Promotion Fund and the Heart Foundation who presented the financial incentives to ride to work survey 2014. As co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities we were meeting with them to recognise the work they do and also the importance of active transport options to building better cities and enabling better and healthier lives.

The survey was an initiative of the National Heart Foundation and the Cycling Promotion Fund. It involved surveying over 2,000 Australians. The results of the survey are compelling. For instance, more than 80 per cent of respondents supported the implementation of a financial incentive to get more people to ride to work. Three incentives were proposed: a direct subsidy, an indirect subsidy and a tax deduction. The direct subsidy was the clear winner, with two-thirds support. When asked whether they would like to cycle to work, more than one in three respondents said that they would. Close to 40 per cent of respondents indicated that they cycle for either fun or exercise, with more than half cycling at least once a month. Of the workers who cycle for fun or exercise, more than half would like to start cycling to work.

This survey shows that there is a hunger for support for cycling and cycling infrastructure. More people cycling means fewer cars on the road and more people getting exercise and getting healthier. I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to meet these aspirations. I commend the report and its recommendations, which warrant further and detailed consideration.

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