Shadow Minister for Active Transport, Jo Haylen MP today met with cycling and walking advocates from across the Byron Shire to discuss active transport across the Northern Rivers.

The Shadow Minister was joined by representatives from Byron Bay Shire Council, Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Byron Bay Runners and Byron Bay Cycle Club, at the Byron Bay Community Centre.

While it is estimated that congestion will cost $15 billion by 2031, only 0.38% of the budget for new transport infrastructure in NSW is allocated to active transport projects ($7.20 per person compared to $35 in the ACT, $15.08 in QLD and $9.17 in Tas.).

While Byron Bay supports millions of visitors each year, it receives minimal state funding in active transport infrastructure.

Active domestic tourism has also seen steady increase in popularity, noting the popularity of rail trails across both Victoria and also New Zealand.

Shadow Minister for Active Transport, Jo Haylen MP said:

 “The Liberals and Nationals have failed to invest in cycling and walking links across not just our cities but our regions.

“Towns like right here in Byron Bay have been abandoned by a Liberal National Government that is failing to provide the support people need to get out of their cars, and walking and riding around.

“Providing safe active transport links, does not just provide health benefits for those using it, but also takes cars off our roads, reducing congestion.

“Through investing in active transport, we won’t just get our communities moving, we can further boost tourism opportunities across our region.

“We must listen to the locals who know what their communities need to make it easier to walk and ride, as well as to further support tourism opportunities.”

Byron Bay Branch Spokesperson, Asren Pugh said:

“Byron Shire is busting at the seams and we need to get cars off the road. More walking and biking is not only good for our health, but also good for the environment.

“Our local towns need investment in their town centres but also connecting them to each other.

“The Nationals have refused to support our community to fund local projects and this is just not good enough.”