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Australian Cyclists Party Announces NSW Election Plans

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Media Release

24 January 2015

Australian Cyclists Party Announces NSW Election Plans

The Australian Cyclists Party (ACP) is seeking to win representation for cyclists and the key areas of transport, health and planning priorities in the the upcoming March 28th NSW elections. With over one million regular cyclists In New South Wales, and yet one of the lowest levels of investment on cycling infrastructure and amenities in the nation, we believe it is time for government to take cycling promotion more seriously by addressing key community concerns.

The ACP is today announcing its approach for how it will contest the NSW election. The ACP will be running 15 candidates for the Legislative Council (Upper House) and contesting for a further 7 in the following Legislative Assembly (Lower House) seats: Balmain, Newtown, Newcastle, Manly, Willoughby, North Shore and Goulburn.

The Lower House seats include those currently held by Premier Michael Baird, Transport for NSW Minister Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Planning Minister Pru Goward. The ACP may decide to contest additional seats as the campaign progresses and more candidates come forward. A list of candidates will be available shortly.

Omar Khalifa, the President and Founder of the ACP states, “The selection of seats was made on the basis of cycling support and the focus on the districts of key ministers who have so far failed to adequately support and promote cycling as part of their responsibilities.

“Cycling can no longer be seen in isolation or as a car vs bicycle debate – we need to see cycling in its greater context as a solution to several difficult challenges we face, not only within NSW but across the nation

“Obesity, diabetes and related heart disease are now recognised as the nation’s leading health problems. Inactivity especially among the young is now seen as a lead cause. Meanwhile, roads are consuming more and more time and financial resources than we can reasonably afford and our governments continue to pay scant attention to proper planning and active transport options. The results are traffic congestion and poor economic, health, and quality of life outcomes.

“We must face the challenge with new solutions that keep us active – whether young or old – and it is essential to promote better health and active transport choices.” Khalifa said. “We cannot afford to maintain the current course of just building more roads to make up for poorly planned cities as our population soars a further 40% by 2050.

“All across Europe, and now the USA, Asia and even South America, governments are moving forward with exciting new approaches to transport and city planning which address these issues in far more cost-effective ways. Just today, the UK is readying legislation to compel ministers to incorporate adequate planning and commit significant spending for cyclists and pedestrians throughout all of its infrastructure projects.

“The NSW Government says that a safe and connected network of bicycle paths is an important part of Sydney’s integrated transport system. Yet for decades there has been insufficient funding allocated, and almost no progress has been made on building one. When the City of Sydney decided to move forward with regards to cycling, the State government dragged its feet and even tried to reverse sensible decisions.

“We represent members and supporters from all ideological alignments and from all walks of life; students, retirees, civic and business leaders and employees; young people; concerned parents, indeed, anyone who just wants to be able to bicycle.  They come from Sydney and across the state and believe government has failed to respond adequately to the critical transport, planning and health issues facing our communities. The lack of progress on cycling issues is in every way an indicator of that failure.”

 

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