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National cycling award to ACT Chief Minister

National cycling award to ACT Chief Minister
March 21, 2012

ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, has won an Australian Bicycling Achievement Award for her active support to transform key areas of Canberra into bicycle and walking friendly precincts.

The Chief Minister was presented with the Achievement Award for Contribution by a Politician who has, by their own example or by the support for investments and programs, advanced cycling during 2011.

With support of the ACT Government, Canberra is further enhancing its reputation as a cycling hub, with on and off road facilities, cycling precincts and upgrades to cycle ways that already have high numbers of bicycle users.

Speaking at the ceremony Chief Minister Gallagher said she was pleased to accept the award on behalf of her government, stating "the ACT is one of Australia's leaders in adult cycling, in bike ownership and cycling as a way of getting to work. The ACT Government recognises that living in a city where it is easy to get out and be active walking or cycling means a lot to Canberrans.

"The ACT has over 2,400 kilometres of footpaths and cycle paths, and the ACT Government increases this on average by 30km every year. This all helps in increasing the amount of travel by cycling to work with our aim to see more than double the number of people choosing bikes instead of cars from 2.5% (2006) to 6% by 2016."

The Transport for Canberra Strategy released this week will also see more bike and ride facilities delivered across the city.

Chief Minister Gallagher added "while itï¾s great to be acknowledged today, the real reward is in knowing that Canberra is embracing the investments we have made in our cycling network and has the highest participation in bicycling of any capital city."

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, in providing the key note address at the Awards, endorsed the importance of providing attractive options to reduce car use for short trips, adding "the choice to cycle or walk for our short trips instead of taking the car gives us an opportunity to get our daily dose of exercise and often saves us time along with money.

"Some of the other benefits that are not so apparent are the economic and environmental benefits from a reduction in road congestion and carbon pollutionï¾.

"It is a privilege to be able to support these Awards which recognise leading achievements in bicycling promotion by people, communities, businesses and governments."

Heart Foundation Chief Executive Tony Stubbs congratulated "the Chief Minister for her work to re-orient Canberra planning to favour walking, cycling and public transport to form part of the policy cure to combat obesity and chronic disease."

Over the last decade, the Bicycling Achievement Awards have played a key role in recognising achievements in getting more Australians on their bikes making Australian communities more liveable, productive and sustainable.

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