Question No. 439
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, upon notice, on 16 March 2011:
With reference to travel behaviour change programs:
(1) How many positions are currently employed within the department specifically related to encouraging active transport, such as walking and cycling.
(2) Can information be provided outlining the history of funding and the national approach to travel behaviour change programs.
(3) Can an outline be provided of the current pool of funding and resources for a nationally coordinated approach to travel behaviour change programs, for example: (a) are there dedicated TravelSmart behaviour change programs within each state and territory; and (b) how does the Commonwealth invest in them.
(4) To what extent is investment in active transport infrastructure, as a conditional requirement of all Commonwealth funded urban road and passenger transport projects, being promoted within the department, including, for example, shared/cycling paths, end of trip facilities and public transport nodes.
(5) Transport behaviour change programs bring together a range of mutual benefits for our transport and health systems - with the new Australian National Preventive Health Agency established in 2010, has there been any effort to link these common agendas; if so, how; if not, why not.
Senator Carr - The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
(1) The Major Cities Unit is responsible for the Department's activities within cities such as active travel. As of 31 March 2011, it had an average staff level of 6.8.
(2) The Department has not funded any specific travel behaviour change programs. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport launched the National Urban Policy on 18 May 2011. This included a $20 million Liveable Cities program, announced as part of the 2011-12 Budget, to support projects that improve the quality of life in our cities, including those that promote active travel through walking and cycling.
(3) Various states and territories provide their own TravelSmart (or equivalent) behaviour change programs. The Australian Government does not currently provide funding to these programs. In 2008-09, the Government invested $40 million for the construction of cycling infrastructure under the National Bike Paths Projects component of the Jobs Fund.
(4) There is currently no formal conditional requirement for active transport infrastructure in Commonwealth funded urban road and passenger transport projects.
(5) There is no formal link between the Department and the Australian National Preventative Health Agency in relation to transport behaviour change programs.