The 2023 NSW State Budget was released in mid September. But does it improve our streets or is more needed? We analysed if the budget supports better streets.
The 2023 NSW Budget only allocated 0.13% of the transport capital works budget, or $3 per person every year, for walking and cycling infrastructure across the whole state. This is less than a cup of coffee, and is nowhere near enough to increase participation and safety, despite this being the NSW Government’s objective in its Active Transport Strategy.
By comparison, Ireland allocates 20% of its transport budget to active transport while Sweden allocates 18% in line with the UN’s recommendation to prioritize people over cars in the transport system. Greater Manchester in the United Kingdom is spending £54 per person (AU$102 per person) on cycling infrastructure. Such a substantial commitment to active transport is critical to reducing emissions, as well as improving community health and wellbeing outcomes.
Better Streets would like to see the NSW government commit to $55 per person per year for active travel as follows:
What can you do?
As a member of the public, you have a right to ask our politicians for more funding, and influence next year’s budget. By presenting a united front, our message is more powerful.
Your advocacy matters, and together, we can create the change we want to see in our communities.
More is spent on other transport infrastructure every day than on active transport over two years.
$72.3 billion for transport infrastructure: The budget allocates a whopping $72.3 billion for transport capital works over four years, which is $1.5 billion a month, or nearly $50 million a day. In other words, we spend more on transport infrastructure a day than we do for active transport over two years!
$97.9 million for Active Transport capital works: The Active Transport capital works budget is $97.9 million over 4 years. This is just 0.13% of the transport capital budget, or $3 per person every year.
Active Transport funding as operating expenditure: In August 2023 the government announced $39.5 million for the Get Active NSW grants program which will fund 80 walking and cycling projects in 50 councils across NSW. This is reserved in the operating expenditure budget. This is presumably in addition to the $10.5 million that was already allocated, bringing total grant funding to $50 million for this year.
The Next Victorian meeting will be online.
Date: Thursday 16 November 2023
Time: 8pm on Zoom
Call for volunteers to help organise the End of Year catch up in Sydney.
Date: 16 December 2023
Time: 10am to 2pm
Location: Centennial park (exact location to be confirmed)
Bring: Families, Friends, furry friends, music, snacks
Activities: Small group ride, live music, good company and banter
Register on the Facebook invite: link
Better Streets, with our coalition members WalkSydney, Bicycle NSW, 30 Please and Committee for Sydney have had the honour of hosting Marco te Brömmelstroet, the Dutch bicycle professor on several talks and meetings while he is visiting Sydney promoting his latest book "Movement". True to the advice in his book he's out here encouraging people to have conversations with people of power and motivate them to take back our streets and transform our lives.
Critical to his mission was getting him and his family bikes to make sure he could experience first hand Sydney cycleways and the network before attending NSW Parliament to present to the Parliamentary Friends of Active Transport. The meeting was well attended and Marco's presentation was well received by the Hon. Jo Haylen (NSW Transport minister), Kobi Shetty (member for Inner West), Jenny Leong MP, Dr. Marjorie O'Neil MP. Along with Marc Lane (WalkSydney), Lena Huda (30 Please), Sara Stace (Better Streets), Peter McLean (Bicycle NSW), Estelle Grech and Cassie Newman (Committee for Sydney). Thanks Sara and Marty for the critical bikes.
Then thanks to the Committee for Sydney, City of Sydney and AITPM, Marco was invited to do a public talk and a panel discussion with Sara Stace (Better Streets president) and Transport for NSW Executive director Active Transport Anna Bradley, Mayor of Campbelltown Cr George Creiss. In this engaging discussion Marco talks about his experience in NSW, from moving between depressed by the amount of driving he is forced to do in Sydney but positive to see we're entering a new era and there is a huge momentum for change.
He says we are not catering for children, the mobility they need is where they can explore the city autonomously and we should not be penalising them with death by making these choices. Watch him and his logic while he some how weaves the ukulele into his mission on youtube.
Marco te Brömmelstroet's book: Movement on amazon
Committee for Sydney public talk with: youtube presentation
Guardian article with Marco's interview - ‘Moto-normativity’: why cycling professor wants Australians to rethink how we use our roads
Better Streets is delighted that Victoria has appointed Gabrielle Williams MP as Minister for Public and Active Transport.
Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said this week: “We want a focus on those last mile connections that make it easy for kids to get to school, make it easier to get to work - there are many benefits to having a focus on active transport.”
We welcome Minister Williams to their new role and encourage them to engage widely with the Better Streets alliance to help achieve Victoria's vision for safe and healthy streets!
Gabrielle Willams MP. Photo source: Gabrielle Williams website (link)