Doctors call on Baillieu Government to restore spending on bicycle infrastructure as a public health measure
Medical organisation, Doctors for the Environment Australia, has today lent its support to Bicycle Network Victoria’s protest against the Victorian Government’s drastic reduction in bicycle infrastructure spending.
“Cycling is a key preventative health measure” said DEA spokesperson and GP, Dr Dimity Williams.
“By promoting activity, cycling protects us against diseases like diabetes and heart disease- both enormous public health burdens”.
In Australia, it is estimated that the direct gross costs (2006/7) to the Australian economy of physical inactivity are $1.49 billion.
The Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Environmental Design and Public Health recommended promoting cycling activities, provision and maintenance of cycling infrastructure and retrofitting cycling paths.
“It is ludicrous that the Victorian Government is not following its own report’s recommendations regarding the health advantages of cycling” said Dr Williams.
“Ditching the car to commute by bike helps improve air quality and so reduce lung diseases like asthma in children” said Dr Williams.
“Just last week the World Health Organisation declared that diesel exhaust was a cause of lung cancer, like passive smoking. This means we should be doing all we can to get people out of their cars and supporting cycling is one way of doing this” said Dr Williams, who cycles 8km to her practice.
It has been estimated that in the year 2000, motor-vehicle-related ambient air pollution accounted for between 900 and 2000 premature deaths in Australia. This is more than deaths from road traffic accidents.
Media contact: Dr Dimity Williams 0417580804
Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) is a voluntary organisation of medical doctors working to prevent ill health caused by environmental damage.
Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) provided input into the Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Environmental Design and Public Health:
read DEA’s submission here: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/documents/council/SCEP/EDPH/Subs/No.51_DFE.pdf
Bicycle Network Victoria’s ‘Bike Budget – Bring it Back!’ rally
7.30-8.30am, Thursday 21 June
Victorian Parliament steps (Spring Street, Melbourne)