Andrew Wilkie

  • What are the benefits of bike riding in moving people around in Tasmania?
  • Bike riding is probably the most cost-effective transport infrastructure available.

  • It is the most environmentally sustainable mode of transport both in terms of the physical environment and social environment.

  • Tasmania would do well to re-orientate its transport priorities around rail, walking and cycling and move further from automobile dependence which is currently dominating our planning strategies.

  • The Denison area is ideally suited for bike lanes due to the close proximity of Hobart with its outer suburbs.

  • Improved cycling infrastructure would decrease the traffic congestion in and around the city and dovetails with cheap and available parking.

  • Improving the availability of bike riding options would give people an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective mode of transport, particularly as fuel prices continue to rise.

  • What are your policies to encourage bike riding in Tasmania?

The Denison area has excellent conditions for cycling and the bicycle network plan needs to be realised to create and encourage bicycle use. Initially the network should be developed as a basic well connected arrangement and then upgrades should be made dependent on demand.

A huge amount of Tasmania’s carbon emissions come from our reliance on cars as a primary source of transport. I believe that state and federal government agencies should transition to low carbon operations and should regularly report on their efforts to reduce carbon emissions from their projects and activities. Government infrastructure projects in particular should be carbon conscious and improved cycling infrastructure would be a key way to address this.

I have been a strong supporter of the Hobart Northern Suburbs Light Rail. I believe that the restoration of passenger rail between Hobart and Brighton would complement improved bicycle infrastructure as it would reduce traffic on busy roads. People would be able to ride and park their bikes to the train station and take bikes on the train so as to cycle in and around the city.

  • Will you pledge to increase bike infrastructure in your local community, if (re)elected? 

I do my best to increase bike infrastructure in the Denison area at every given opportunity. Because I am not a member of a party I do not have the ability to pledge Government money for projects. But I have over the last three years tried hard to win funding for improved bicycle infrastructure in the electorate, including by making the case repeatedly to the Prime Minister personally.

  • Which of the following shovel ready projects do you aim to facilitate if (re)elected, and do you have any other priority bike infrastructure projects? 

I will use every opportunity to continue to speak in support of the named priority bike infrastructure projects in Canberra.

I will also work with Bicycle Tasmania and the Denison community to put pressure on the State Government to make these bike infrastructure projects a key issue, especially for the forthcoming State election.

  • How is the population motivated to use bicycles instead of cars? How will you promote cycling as an attractive form of transportation? 

Schools, universities and employers should be given Government incentive to encourage people to commute on bike. An example of this may be a paid transportation fringe benefit for employees who use bikes as a primary form of transportation.

Improved bicycle infrastructure as mentioned above would make commuting by bike both safer and easier and an increase in secure parking for bicycles in and around the CBD, university campus and schools would complement such infrastructure.

Schools and parents should be encouraged to work together to provide children with a safe and easy way to cycle to and from school. This would teach children from a young age both the health and environmental benefits of commuting by bike.

  • The most recent survey by the Australian Sports Commission indicated that men were two and a half times more likely to commute by bicycle than women. Why do you believe this is, and what is your strategy to encourage women to cycle? 

More accessible and safer cycle ways would be an incentive for women who are travelling with children when commuting to work and schools. Children could ride with the parent and younger children could travel in bike seats and bike trailers safely.

Encouraging employers to have shower facilities at the workplace would be an important incentive for both men and women to cycle to work, particularly for those travelling longer distances.

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