The Bicycle Network Bicycle Expenditure Index (BiXE) has been released for 2016. It shows Maribyrnong is amongst the lowest spending councils per person in the country, at just $2.56 per person. This compares very poorly to many inner city suburbs, such as Moonee Valley and Melbourne, which are spending $10.25 and $13.32, respectively.
Maribyrnong City Council’s draft 2016/17 budget contains just a single item of bike infrastructure expenditure. $350,000 is committed to bike and river trail upgrades, but half of this is money rolled over from council’s 2015/16 budget.
“There are many bike lane black holes in Maribyrnong for cyclists, which put them at risk, yet the council is investing very little,” said Colleen Hartland, Greens MP for the Western Suburbs.
“The Greens have been campaigning for investment not just in recreational paths, but in bike lanes to keep commuting cyclists or those travelling to the local shops safe.”
“The lack of funding for bicycle infrastructure in Maribyrnong Council’s draft budget this year is very disappointing. Council infrastructure spending this year will top $31 million, yet there is just $175,00 in new money for cycling.”
“Maribyrnong is so close to the city and so many entertainment areas. It should be a cyclists dream. Instead the lack of bike lanes makes it really unsafe and discourages riders.”
“The West has a long way to go to catch up with council areas in the inner North and East, which have made long term investments in improving bike infrastructure and safety for locals.”
“The benefits of getting more people on their bikes are clear. If we want a less congested, healthier and more efficient transport system, we need to be investing in cycling at all levels of Government,” said Ms Hartland.