House debates

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Ride Launceston; Bass Electorate: National Bike Paths Projects

8:50 pm

Photo of Jodie CampbellJodie Campbell (Bass, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise in the House this evening to speak on a fantastic community event that happened over the weekend, which highlighted the success of a project funded by the Rudd Labor government. Over the weekend Ride Launceston took place in my electorate. It is a seven-kilometre bike ride that starts at the Inveresk car park. Cyclists travel along the Inveresk, Heritage Forest and University of Tasmania trails. In its sixth year, Ride Launceston was held on Sunday, 7 March, during State Bike Week, to promote the benefits of cycling as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. It is a fantastic event and almost 300 people attended. I might add that a large number of participants were local families making a day of the fabulous safe facilities our area has to offer cyclists.

This brings me to a project that my community and I have been campaigning on for some time within Bass, a project that is an example of the success of the Rudd Labor government’s economic stimulus package. I had the pleasure of announcing nearly $577,000 in funding to construct bike paths in Launceston in my electorate. This is a result of people power. It is the result of the community working effectively together to achieve great things and common goals. In June last year, 150 cyclists rallied at the Launceston Civic Square to launch their campaign for better bike paths in Launceston. This was a joint campaign led by the Tamar Bicycle Users Group and the Launceston City Council Bike Committee.

During my time as Deputy Mayor of the Launceston City Council I was on the Launceston City Council Bike Committee, so I have taken a keen interest in this particular area since being elected to federal parliament. I was more than happy when approached to work with the Launceston City Council, the Launceston Bike Committee and the Tamar Bicycle Users Group—we call them T-BUG—and offer my support with a funding submission.

The Launceston bike paths project was part of the Rudd Labor government’s $40 million National Bike Path Projects fund and a key element of our economic stimulus plan. The project created on-road bike routes in the city of Launceston as part of a 50-kilometre arterial bike path route network. Nine hundred and fifty metres of the bike paths constructed connect commuters between Rocherlea, Mayfield, Mowbray, Newnham and the city as part of the Northern Suburbs Commuter Cycling Trail.

The project also delivers 21 jobs and traineeships, being supported during construction and into the longer term, delivering an outstanding economic boost to Launceston. In total, this project is worth more than $861,000. We are delivering it in partnership with the Launceston City Council. Practical infrastructure of this kind is exactly what the Rudd government’s economic stimulus plan is all about. By building better cycling infrastructure, the Rudd Labor government is also taking cars off roads in Launceston’s CBD, reducing carbon emissions over the longer term and delivering great events in the local area, like the successful Ride Launceston event.

I had the pleasure of announcing funding for this project on national Ride to Work Day and I would also like to note the successful event that was held by Active Launceston in the Brisbane Street mall, which I had the pleasure of attending. The breakfast educated and encouraged the Launceston community about the importance of a healthy lifestyle through displays, demonstrations of cycling and walking advice. This coincides as a major positive aspect of the funding obtained under the National Bike Path Projects fund: to build infrastructure that will encourage healthier lifestyles amongst residents in Bass and create a more sustainable community within my electorate.

Today I wish to congratulate and acknowledge some community members on their contribution to this project, and I do apologise if I miss anybody in particular: Harry Galea, director of infrastructure at the Launceston City Council; Nigel Coates, roads and traffic engineer at the council and also the coordinator of the wonderful submission that was put together; the Launceston City Council Bike Committee; T-BUG, particularly the T-BUG executive committee and its president, Malcolm Cowan, and secretary, Anna Povey; and Launceston City Councillor Jeremy Ball, who has worked extremely effectively with me and the community in seeing that this project comes to fruition.

I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Minister Anthony Albanese, who has ensured that this project, which has been a vision of the Launceston community for some time, has become a reality. This project delivers new and improved cycling facilities for Launceston residents and commuters, as well as the thousands of visitors and tourists that we welcome each year.


Roger Coates
Posted on 19 Mar 2010 6:55 pm

Whilst it's wonderful to see my brother mentioned in such high places, sadly the Wikipedia link goes to some other fakers.
Maybe my Nigel will have his own entry soon, but he isn't an Australian admiral or a British architect, just a humble traffic engineer, and mad keen cyclist.