New bikeways could bring Coast economic boost

BUILDING new bikeways and shared paths has been billed as the best way the Fraser Coast can spend the Federal Government's post pandemic stimulus money.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo said bikeways and shared paths will give a massive economic, health and sustainability benefit to Queensland's local authorities which are now eligible to receive their share of $500 million of Federal stimulus money.

The Federal Government's Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program has made $1,912,057 available to Fraser Coast Regional Council, to be spent in the 20-21 financial year.

All councils need to do is submit a work schedule outlining the projects.

Cycling and walking paths are specifically listed as eligible community infrastructure for this program.

The State Government's own assessment program for bicycle infrastructure has demonstrated that each dollar spent on bikeways can return up to $5 in benefit to the community.

"Thousands of Queenslanders started riding their bikes more during the pandemic, and many more were walking more for exercise," Ms Randazzo said.

"A survey commissioned by Bicycle Queensland of more than 3000 people across the state found that 81 per cent of the respondents wanted to keep riding their bikes after the pandemic.

"More people cycling and walking makes for a healthier community.

"It helps address our national obesity crisis. It contributes to lowering pollution and carbon emissions.

"And best of all, if we plan the paths wisely, it has a 500% return on investment. Surely every local government in Queensland wants to be part of that," Ms Randazzo said.

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