Thursday, 7th March 2024

From WeRide Australia


Last week’s announcement that the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) called in liquidators has been devastating news for many in the bicycle sector and has started a broader conversation about what this means for bicycle advocacy across the country.

While the loss of the AGF is a big blow and their focus on safety will leave a hole, there are many organisations across the country who also have this focus as part of the work they do.

Above: part of the fantastic group of Canberrans who helped us shoot the Canberra Transport photo back in 2012.

The importance of effective advocacy – at every level – cannot be overstated. While the AGF achieved the highest public recognition of any bicycle organisation in the nearly two decades since it was founded due to its effective public campaigns, they were part of a much larger picture.


In reflecting on the role of advocacy it’s important to emphasise the depth, expertise and importance of the bicycle advocacy that many have worked on tirelessly for decades.

The bike advocacy scene is diverse with significant expertise built up over many years. Many of these groups have a specific focus, including local bicycle user groups (BUGs), Rail Trails Australia delivering for regions and the state and territory membership organisations – Bicycle Qld, Bicycle Network, Bike SA, Pedal Power ACT and Westcycle.

Nationally, Auscycling leads the sporting conversation and We Ride Australia is leading many federal conversations.

A lot of people are all pushing in the right direction.

Bicycle organisations are active across the country:

  • BUGs talk to their local Councils who own most of the roads we ride on about the issues on the ground where they are
  • Some of AGF’s latest work trained Council engineers to deliver better bike infrastructure in partnership with Safe Systems Solutions, who we hope can continue their great work in the absence of the Foundation’s funding
  • State and local bicycle organisations use membership funding to advocate to your local, state, territory and sometimes federal governments, and
  • AusCycling lobbies for better facilities for sport cycling at all levels.

Great work is happening now:

  • Bicycle Queensland and local BUGs are actively lobbying ahead of the Qld Council elections that are coming next month,
  • Bicycle network and local Tasmanian BUGs are doing the same with their state elections coming up soon as well as Super Tuesday Bike Count, schools programs etc, and
  • All our bicycle organisations are busy meeting government and opposition, Councils and their members.

There are many more advocates nationally across diverse organisations:

  • Academic researchers and professional consultants are deeply involved in building the data and practices that support cycling and active travel
  • Respected academics and researchers, the College of Road Safety and the first recipient of the AGF Scholarship, Dr Marilyn Johnson, a respected researcher in the field, all contribute
  • Professional peak bodies like the Heart Foundation and other health groups, the Australasian Society for Physical Activity,
  • the bus and rail industries, local government associations and Climate Council/ClimateWorks are just some of the allies we work with, and most importantly
  • Council and state government planners, engineers and bureaucrats everywhere are often pushing as hard as they can from inside the system to make cycling happen.

WeRide Australia, as an independent NFP that is principally funded by its bike industry members, invests its membership fees in federal advocacy to make Australia a better place to ride a bike.

Above: the Australian cycling organisations, industry companies, government entities and RACV who supported WeRide’s Australian Cycling and e-Scooter Economy Report – Parliamentary launch on 15 November, 2023.

It’s great to recognise just how many allies we have.


Along with the many individuals and groups investing time and energy into advocacy and WeRide’s focus on federal advocacy allows us to complement the work of others as we work collaboratively across the sector.

The delivery of the WeRide 2023 Cycling Economy Report brought together Government, industry, bicycle organisations and a car group to provide a critical resource for all advocates.

Over the last 15 years, our focus on federal Parliament has delivered:

  • National Economy reports
  • Parliamentary dinners,
  • international study tours,
  • national awards,
  • summits,
  • direct lobbying,
  • cycling events,
  • ministerial advisory panels,
  • submissions,
  • research, and
  • direct lobbying.

We also established a Parliamentary Friends of Cycling Group in 2020, and host regular rides with MP’s and Parliamentary staff each sitting week, a program going for 15 years.

This has resulted in a unique network that allows us to talk directly to federal MPs and Ministers across the board.


Recent events have been the catalyst for a lot of discussion about the value of bicycle advocacy, which is a good thing. We hope these words help us all remember just how many individuals and organisations are delivering for the riding community through infrastructure, policy, programs and safety. So, hop on your bike and:

  • Check out your local BUG,
  • Join your state or territory bicycle organisation, and
  • Make your voice heard when it comes to local, state and national elections.

Because, as we all know, Australia’s a greener, healthier, better place to be because more people are riding bikes!

Peter Bourke – Executive Officer
Stephen Hodge – Director National Advocacy

See below for key information.


Bicycle Organisations


  • Australian children and are some of the least active and overweight in the OECD.
  •  Australian adults are also amongst the least active and most overweight in the OECD,
  • Traffic congestion costs Australians billions and we simply don’t have the space to keep building roads or parking for a population that is growing fast.
  • Our climate targets for transport decarbonisation can’t be met simply by switching all cars to EVs, we need to shift to active travel modes as well,
  • Australia will be a better place if we have more options to ride for short trips.


  • Everyday in Australia there are around 76 million trips for all purposes (pre-COVID).
  • Of these, around 50% are 5 km or less. Around a third are just 3 km or less!
  • The morning peak (which is what all transport systems are built to cope with) is made up of 30% trips to work, 20% trips to school and 50% trips for all other reasons.

WeRide’s latest 2023 Australian Cycling and e-Scooter Economy Report has shown just how big our sector is now and how much it contributes:

  • the economy – $16.9bn
  • jobs – 60,671 FTE
  • the environment – 514,096 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, and
  • regions – $1.9bn through cycle tourism.

In addition, WeRide modelling on e-bike incentives has identified a $10 return for every $1 invested for SA councils.

About WeRide

As the national independent voice for cycling WeRide’s Vision is that Australia’s a greener, healthier, better place to be because more people are riding bikes. Our Mission is to achieve this by building a healthy, sustainable future through advocacy, program development and research around the bicycle’s role in environment, health, infrastructure and safety.

For more on WeRide, see

About Peter

Peter divides his time as Executive Officer of the independent not-for-profit organisation We Ride Australia with the role of General Manager of the peak industry body, Bicycle Industries Australia. In that role he plays a leading role nationally in all technical standards committees for cycling, with LiOn battery issues currently occupying a lot of his time and will be presenting with Bicycle NSW to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Electric and hybrid vehicle batteries.

About Stephen

Stephen was a founding board member of the AGF for six years, a former board member of Cycling Australia, a Grand Tour Rider and Olympian and since 2008 he has been employed as the Director of National Advocacy, responsible for establishing the federal government relations capacity for We Ride Australia.