2016 Federal Election
The ACP has qualified as a national party and will be putting forward Senate candidates for the next Federal Election. But why would we bother to contest for federal seats?
Federal government policy and funding influences the state’s investment in infrastructure and health and establishes independent statutory bodies, such as Infrastructure Australia, which are set up by law and authorised to enact legislation on behalf of the relevant country or state.
Infrastructure Australia’s priority list identifies “problem categories” and mentions “urban congestion” seventeen times (as at 25 March 2016), yet mentions cycling as the “proposed initiative” as the solution just once, to improve active transport for inner city access to Sydney’s CBD. All other projects to address urban congestion mention rail, light rail, bus and road.
Where are the integrated cyclepaths, separate cycleways, ramps, secure bike-storage at public transport destinations and shopping centres? Why does the Black Spot program not include improving cycling safety? Why are there no dedicated programs to help get people walking and cycling in urban and regional areas? We are contesting federal seats to have cycling included in major projects across our nation.
When our Prime Minister fails to mention (on ABC radio in March 2016) cycling infrastructure as part of the solution for urban congestion, reducing air pollution and increasing exercise to address our obesity epidemic – then we need to take a seat in federal parliament.
To realise our goal we face two major challenges:
1. Identifying at least one qualified candidate from each state.
2. Raising sufficient funds for the ongoing functioning of the ACP and for our election preparation expenses.
What can you do to help?
1. If you are not already a member, please consider becoming one – you can sign up now (you need to be enrolled to vote in Australia).
2. Whether you are a member or a potential donor, please respond positively to our upcoming funding drives.
3. If you or someone you know may be interested in being a candidate, you can learn more about the role and then send a brief CV, relevant qualifications and your personal motivation for being a candidate to firstname.lastname@example.org
How did we arrive at our decisions on policy and candidates? It is based on what we see as the ongoing pressing need to use direct political leverage to improve policy decisions that not only affect cycling but also the liveability of our cities and communities. Whether you walk, cycle, take public transport or use a motor vehicle the ACP believes we need to fundamentally change our transport priorities and available choices.
These policies are directly linked to health, planning and the proper functioning of our economy. Federal policy plays a key role in priority setting and funding of major projects. Our policy approach is evidence – not ideologically – based.
Our decision is also based on the positive response from our involvement in two state elections and the strong support of over 2000 members, 37 candidates and the dedication of our Committee and Advisory and Reference Panel.
While we did not secure a seat in parliament in our first round of elections, we did earn a seat a the table with other parties and had a direct impact on their policies. Even now we have been in discussions with minor and major parties about the next elections and the development of policies we can support.
With so much at stake, we feel compelled to keep going.