HomeNews & FeaturesBicycling Advocacy Milestone with the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling...

Bicycling Advocacy Milestone with the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling group.

Supported by We Ride Australia, the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling group has been established with the support of 26 MPs and Senators as a non-partisan group which will allow “Parliamentarians to meet and interact with riding and active transport. This initiative follows a decade of active work by We Ride Australia, a charity which has been dedicated to driving political progress on a national level for cycling advocacy issues.

The Parliamentary Friends of Cycling has been established by Stephen Hodge (photo third) of We Ride Australia and Dave Sharma, the Member for Wentworth (Liberal). The group will be Co-Chaired by Dave Sharma (photo right), Dr Andrew Leigh (photo left), the Member for Fenner (Labor) and Dr Helen Haines (photo second), the Member for Indi (independent).

Glancing back a few years when former Prime Minister Tony Abbot took to office in 2013, the Australian cycling fraternity were hopeful as Abbott was known as a road cyclist (among other things) and this should have marked a catalyst for the nation to make a decisive moved towards a more balanced transport infrastructure. Even with the highly publicise Pollie Pedal rides in Canberra and charity tours, the opportunity for positive transportation outcomes (or even just make cycling safer) was skipped.

In the background, We Ride Australia continued to engage with politicians and interest groups on a federal level (as well as coordinate with State-based cycling advocacy groups). We Ride Australia is a registered charity (Australian Cycling, Environmental and Health Foundation Limited) and was established from the Cycling Promotion Fund in the year 2000 as an Australian Cycling Industry supported group to foster national interests in cycling advocacy.

The establishment of the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling group in 2020 marks a significant milestone for Australia which suggests importance of sustainability and role of cycling) is growing. Bike riding has been traditionally underrepresented or neglected within transport policy in Australia and the role of federal politics in guiding state and local government priorities means that group has the capability to help increase the focus on bicycle riding and move more decisively towards safer and more suitable infrastructure.

The first event for the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling will be held in an upcoming Parliamentary session and showcase the latest e-mobility trends. The latest electric-assist bicycles, family e-bikes and a range of utilitarian and freight bikes will be featured.

The Co-Chairs will work with Stephen to determine topics of interest to MPs and develop the future program of events. All MPs and Senators in Parliament are invited to attend Friendship Group events and hear from subject experts and network with colleagues and invited guests. 

For more information, visit: weride.org.au

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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