2022 federal Budget
31 March 2022 | Announcement, Government relations
The 2022-23 Budget announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg* on Tuesday night comes as the economy is showing signs of recovery driven by our resource sector, there is continuing concern for recovery from impacts of both COVID and recent floods, there is a significant focus on defence capabilities, and we have a federal election within weeks.
Looking for good news in our area of active transport and the transition to a low carbon future was somewhat of a challenge, however there are a couple of good outcomes to talk about.
The first is that the Amy Gillett Foundation’s proposals for national training for local government engineers to ensure infrastructure design results in better outcomes for bike riders, a review of road standards and mapping paid dividends with a $6 million commitment under the Priority Regional Infrastructure Developments program. Well done AGF!
Otherwise, several programs promoting community participation in recreation and sport and funding to local government for community infrastructure have been continued.
The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure fund for local government has funded many bikeways, paths and cycling facilities across the country in recent years. A total of $501.7 m is being made available for 3 years from 2022-23.
- The extended Phase 3 program provides $250.7m in both 2023-24 and 2024-25.
The International Sporting Events and Community Sport Participation program includes:
- $79.6m over 3 years for the continuation of the Sporting Schools program, ‘to assist Australian children of all abilities to be more physically active and to establish lifelong healthy behaviours.’
- $10.3m over 2 years to continue the Participation Grant program for ‘community sport and physical activity.’
The National Preventative Health Strategy 2021-30 includes funding of:
- $9.7m over 3 years for community physical activity programs.
Additional funding of $25 million was committed in an earlier announcement to the cycling and pedestrian Causeway Bridge over the Swan River in Perth.
- See details here.
A national platform for action
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is familiar with the significant contribution of cycling after he launched WeRide’s Australian Cycling Economy Report by EY in Parliament late last year (link). It revealed that cycling has a direct industry output of $6.3 billion and a direct value add to our GDP’s bottom line of $3.4 billion with 34,000 full time jobs.
Together with the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling group established by WeRide, the bicycle sector is in a strong position to leverage sensible proposals to all sides of politics. This is the result of our investments over many years and experience working with Parliament, Ministers and MPs as part of our national advocacy.
Tonight’s Budget reply by the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese may provide clues to the direction a future Labor Government will take but will likely focus on the headline measures. In coming weeks however, all parties will have ample opportunity to make further commitments as part of the Election campaign which we’ll track and report on at the time.
The last Election in 2019 saw WeRide support a Labor commitment for $260 million for bicycle infrastructure, see more here: www.weride.org.au/government-relations/wra-applauds-labors-260m-bike-infrastructure-announcement/
We will continue to work with the major parties to gain commitment to support polices, programs and infrastructure that support cycling.