Delegates from Europe, USA, Asia and Oceania converged upon the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the opening day of presentations at the 1st APAC Cycle Congress.
The four day congress, which concluded September 21st, brought together a diverse group of experts to discuss maximising cycling mode share. The extensive program covered cycleway planning, innovation and infrastructure, cycling promotion and tourism, and community aspects of cycling. Queensland’s state government contributed AUD150,000 to the event.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Multicultural Affairs, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, opened proceedings by underlining the state’s emerging status as a cycling-centric region. “Queensland, with its sunshine and warmth, is made for cycling. The Bligh government has committed AUD600m until 2031 for cycling infrastructure as part of our transport budget. When major state transportation infrastructure is built now in Queensland, cycling infrastructure is required to be built in conjunction with it under this government.”
Several years into a seemingly unlimited mining boom – fuelled by Chinese demand – Queensland is ideally positioned to establish an enviable cycle network program which Australia’s other resource-poor states may have difficulty matching.
Phillip Darnton, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association of Great Britain, cautioned in his keynote address that Australia must be committed to a long-term investment in cycling over 30-40 years, citing the Netherlands as an example.
Underpinning the congress’ Asia-Pacific regional focus, Professor Haixiao Pan of Tongji University in China, presented compelling data on the success and challenges of Hangzhou’s bike-sharing scheme.
The second and third days of the congress began early for those delegates electing to ride the 40km Brisbane ‘river loop’, departing at 5:30am.