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.