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Cricket is in the doldrums downunder, but cycling is on the up and up, reports Australia's Cycling Promotion Fund.

Oz bike biz in bounceback

Selling over 1.3 million bikes in 2010, the Australian bicycle industry grew by 12 percent year on year, although has yet to reach the heights of 2007 when 1.4 million bicycles were sold.

The sales of bicycles are supported by figures released by the Australian Government indicating a 32 percent increase in people choosing to ride a bike in 2010.

A statement from Australia’s industry-run Cycling Promotion Fund (the Oz equivalent of Bike Hub in the UK) said: "With the community’s support for and participation in cycling and the benefits extending to the economic, health, environmental and social arenas, there are strong arguments for the government to do more to support it."

The Australian Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport recently published the National Cycling Strategy 2011-2016. Signed by all federal, state and territory transport ministers the National Cycling Strategy aims to double the rate of cycling by 2016.

Australia’s equivalent to Bikeability – AustCycle – is also supported by the Australian Government. 

Peter Bourke, general manager for the Cycling Promotion Fund, said:

"The Australian Government is facing critical decisions on key transport issues. In 2005 the cost in lost productivity through transport congestion was $9billion per year, forecast to grow to $20billion per year by 2020.

"We are facing an obesity crisis, the average Australian would get their daily requirements of physical activity if they walked, rode a bicycle or caught public transport to work.

"The use of bicycles for transport, recreation and fitness continues to have increasing benefits to the Australian economy and these will continue to increase as bicycle sales continue to grow. The Cycling Promotion Fund calls on the Federal government to invest in support of the increasing numbers of Australians who are voting with their feet and choosing to ride a bicycle."

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