Public pressure required for Ride2School program funding

Update:  on the 22nd December, Minister Rene Hidding requested the Road Safety Advisory Council to continue their funding of the program into 2017. 

“I have written to the chair of the RSAC (Road Safety Advisory Council) asking him to seek council members’ agreement to a one-year extension of funding through the Road Safety Levy funds to allow government to do further analysis of the program,” Mr Hidding said [Examiner,  22 Dec 2016].

We are delighted at this news. 

As at 9 January 2017 we have not heard anything further, but hope to hear confirmation of the renewal of funding soon.


For the past six months, Bicycle Network in Tasmania has been laying out the case for the re-funding by the State Government of our Ride2School program.  With the school year drawing to a close, and the need to plan for next year, we now need a decision.

And we need the backing of you, our members. We need you to get in the ear of your members of parliament so that this vital program can continue.

It is critical to the future health of Tasmanians, the livability factor of Tasmania, safety on our roads, and in building a generation of enthusiastic, fit and competent bike riders.

A total of 76 primary schools have registered in Tasmania since Ride2School launched in September 2015 and 21 schools regularly record data and show an increased rate of active students since our commitment to Tasmania.

This last year’s pilot program was funded by the road safety levy but the Road Safety Advisory Council believes there are not sufficient road safety elements in Ride2School for this to continue.

Now the biggest hurdle to funding is that the $120,000 we need will have to come (it seems) from three or four separate government departments.  We will be meeting with officers of the ministers for Health, Infrastructure, Education and the Premier this week, to that end.   There appears to be acceptance at an adviser level that the program is important in encouraging healthy habits from an early age in our children, and that primary schools are the place to start.   But we have been encouraged to seek multi-department funding, which will emphasise the Government’s whole-of-government approach to our health challenges.

There is also a view in Government that teachers could roll out Ride2School - we believe that view is driven solely by cost considerations.    Ride2School brings an expertise from our organisation that teachers would have neither the time or expertise to take on. You only have to witness our Ride2School coordinator Phil Joughin in action to see the truth of that.   We have also pointed out that the costs in diverting teachers in, say 100 schools, to the task would cost considerably more in teaching time lost.

What we have been saying to the Government is that Ride2School is the ideal vehicle to help deliver on the Government’s target to make Tasmania the healthiest state in the nation by 2025 – and there is no doubt Michael Ferguson is on a mission in that regard.

We have some excellent allies. The RACT has tipped in $20,000 to allow us to complete the year.  The Heart Foundation and the Beacon Foundation are firm friends as Ride2School completely aligns with their own strategies in health and education.

So, please get behind your school community and make these points to your local MP:

  • That Ride2School is a vital part of the State Government’s Healthy Tasmania Strategy, which aims to make Tasmania the healthiest state in the nation by 2025.
  •  That the early years are the best place to start in creating life-long healthy habits and therefore the Ride2School program in Tasmanian primary schools is well targeted.
  •  That better health equals better results on the classroom and helps create a learning environment that benefits both students and teachers.
  •  That shifting the responsibility for a health and wellbeing program to teachers imposes an added burden on their time. Notwithstanding the passion and commitment of teachers in the current program, this would rob such programs of expertise, consistency across schools, and the capacity to measure results.

The past 30 years has seen a rapid decline in children being physically active. In the 1970s more than 80 per cent of students walked or rode to school but that number has fallen to 20 per cent today despite the fact that most primary students still live within two kilometres of their school gate.

More children riding or walking means more physical activity, which contributes to health and wellbeing. That’s in Tasmania’s best interests.

MPs' Contact Details (pick your own)

Archer, The Honourable Elise Nicole

(03) 6212 2210
Fax: (03) 6212 2208
(03) 6212 2214

Bacon, Scott

(03) 6212 2383
(03) 6212 2213

Barnett, The Honourable Guy
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier.
Minister for Resources.
Minister for Building and Construction.

(03) 6165 7678
(03) 6777 1002
(03) 6212 2191

Brooks, Adam Richard

(03) 6477 7530
(03) 6212 2189

Courtney, Sarah
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier.
(Community and Veterans Affairs)

(03) 6777 1013
(03) 6212 2181

Dawkins, Andrea Elizabeth

(03) 6212 2260
(03) 6324 2040

Ferguson, The Honourable Michael Darrel Joseph
Minister for Health.
Minister for Information Technology and
Leader of Government Business

(03) 6165 7701
(03) 6777 1032
(03) 6212 2191

Giddings, Larissa Tahireh, (Lara)

(03) 6212 2361
(03) 6212 2216

Green, The Honourable Bryan Alexander
Leader of the Opposition

(03) 6430 8450
(03) 6212 2127

Groom, The Honourable Matthew Guy
Minister for State Growth.
Minister forEnergy.
Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage.

(03) 6165 7739
(03) 6165 7835
(03) 6212 2191

Gutwein, The Honourable Peter Carl
Minister for Planning and Local Government.

(03) 6165 7670
(03) 6777 1007
(03) 6212 2191

Hidding, The Honourable Marinus Theodoor (Rene)
Minister for Infrastructure.
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency

(03) 6165 7686
(03) 6777 1030
(03) 6165 7840
Fax: (03) 6265 6611
(03) 6212 2191

Hodgman, The Honourable William Edward Felix (Will)
Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events.
Minister for Sport and Recreation.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

(03) 6165 7650
Fax: (03) 6234 1572
(03) 6165 7830
(03) 6212 2191

Jaensch, Roger Charles

Parliamentary Secretary.(Small Business, Trade,
Red Tape Reduction)

(03) 6477 7538
Fax: (03) 6434 6221
(03) 6212 2191

Llewellyn, The Honourable David Edward

(03) 6212 2150
(03) 6212 2362

O’Byrne, Michelle Anne
Deputy Leader of the Opposition

(03) 6324 2020
Fax: (03) 6324 2022
(03) 6212 2215

O’Connor, Cassandra Stanwell (Cassy)

(03) 6212 2228
(03) 6212 2260

Ogilvie, Madeleine Ruth

(03) 6212 2286
(03) 6212 2217

Petrusma, The Honourable Jacqueline Anne (Jacquie)
Minister for Human Services
Minister for Women.

(03) 6165 7770
(03) 6165 7825
(03) 6212 2191

Rockliff, The Honourable Jeremy Page
Deputy Premier
Minister for Education and Training.
Minister for Primary Industries and Water.
Minister for Racing.

(03) 6165 7754
(03) 6478 6050
(03) 6478 9545
(03) 6212 2191

Rylah, Joan Flora
Government Whip.

(03) 6477 7536
(03) 6478 9545
(03) 6212 2191

Shelton, Mark David
Chair of Committees

(03) 6324 2080
Fax: (03) 6324 2085
(03) 6212 2183

Street, Nicholas Adam (Nic)

(03) 6121 7020
(03) 6212 2341

White, Rebecca

(03) 6212 2225
Fax: (03) 6212 2229
(03) 6212 2212

Woodruff, Rosalie

(03) 6212 2228
(03) 6212 2260



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