Greens slap down Budget’s $100m active transport fund

Next week’s federal budget will contain $100 million to build more bicycle and walking paths, but the Greens say distributed nationally, that will amount to little more than a few painted lines.

Elizabeth Watson-Brown: not buying it

 In a pre-budget media release on Friday, infrastructure minister Catherine King said the new national Active Transport Fund will ensure Australia’s cities and regional cities are more liveable, active and connected.

The program guidelines will be developed in consultation with states and territories, and are expected to be made public ahead of a July 2025 start.

“Safe and accessible active transport options, like walking and cycling, help boost social connection, promote healthy choices and make our cities and regions more vibrant places to live,” the minster said.

“We want communities to thrive whether they be in cities or in the regions.

“We are investing to build economic opportunity and also the opportunity for people to enjoy the spaces and places they live in, building connection and improving safety.”

But the Greens say the money, which amounts to $25 million a year for active transport, won’t go far enough.

Spread between Australia’s 86 cities and regional centres, it will equate to just over $290,000 a year each for active transport infrastructure, while roads get $10 billion a year, transport and sustainable cities spokeswoman Elizabeth Watson-Brown says.

Ms Watson-Brown says it also falls far short of the 20 per cent of federal transport funding for active transport called for by the Climate Council in its 2023 Shifting Gear report, which argues that figure is necessary to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement obligations to combat urban traffic congestion.

“Labor’s new fund will not see a meaningful decrease in cars on the road,” Ms Watson-Brown said. “We need an Active Transport Fund that can deliver the infrastructure our growing cities need.”

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will hand down the federal budget on Tuesday.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required