A strong fourth quarter has resulted in a record of over 1.4 million bicycle imports for the 2012-13 financial year, reports Bicycle Industries Australia. Bicycle imports continue to exceed car sales as they have done for over a decade.
Imports for adult bikes have increased by 21 percent since 2010/11, but children’s imports have recorded a 7 percent fall over the same period.
"Children today are suffering from a crisis of physical inactivity and obesity," said BIA’s Peter Bourne. "We need to invest in appropriate infrastructure, education and programs to get our children riding and walking again."
However, the national Australian Government does little to support cycling.
"The federal government has a AU$0 budget for bike infrastructure," Bourne told BikeBiz. "States vary, between a couple of million and about AU$50 million as the leading amount per year."
However, as is the case in the UK, there’s a new rush to spend huge sums on mega road projects, which will lead to increased congestion thanks to ‘induced demand’.
"There’s lots of spending on cars," said Bourne. "Our state government has just committed to spending AU$8 billion on a new road tunnel, for example. In the rush to commit to billions in new road infrastructure, much cheaper investment in getting our kids active again is being ignored."