26 May 2021
The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: The motion that I am moving today is calling on the Marshall government to allocate the $3 million that had been promised for the east-west bikeway to cycling infrastructure in the city, because we know that the Adelaide City Council, under the leadership of the failed Team Adelaide faction, resolved not to deliver the east-west bikeway.
I am relieved to note, though, that recently the state government have announced they will be spending this money on cycling infrastructure in the city, and the Greens certainly welcome that commitment. Might I say that it is a disappointing turn of events that we have seen in Town Hall over the last few years where we have seen backflip after backflip, U-turn after U-turn, when it comes to laying down basic cycling infrastructure in our city. It really is a travesty, when you consider what has unfolded in the Adelaide City Council when it comes to transport infrastructure.
I refer to a question that was asked by Councillor Phillip Martin about the costs associated with the investigations of the east-west bikeway project for the years 2016-17 to 2020-21, and the response is on the public record. He asked the council how much money was spent on planning this east-west bikeway, the east-west bikeway that was felled by the Team Adelaide faction, under the leadership of Alex Hyde, who is at the far right of the Liberal Party and works for Nicolle Flint.
He asked the council how much money was wasted by the Adelaide City Council in terms of its failure to progress cycling infrastructure. The answer he got back was staggering: $422,000. That is $422,000 of ratepayer funds thrown into the wind because of the ideological opposition of the hard right of the Liberal Party that dominates Town Hall. It is an embarrassing failure of leadership at this time of climate crisis that the council has failed to deliver the east-west bikeway. We have countries around the world rolling out cycling infrastructure, from Paris to Berlin, Melbourne and Sydney, and yet it is all too hard in Adelaide. That smacks of a failure of leadership.
Whilst I welcome the fact that the government has said they are going to spend this money on cycling infrastructure, it is vital that they ensure that the money is actually spent and that we have a meaningful investment in cycling infrastructure in our city, so that we can deal appropriately with the climate crisis, so that we can protect the safety of cyclists and so that we can promote health and wellbeing. I think residents in the City of Adelaide expect this but also residents in our state more broadly want to see this kind of leadership. I call on the Marshall government to step up here and ensure that this project gets back on track.