Commitment to cyclist safety on display in Cairns

18 Sep 2023

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Carol Brown, joined the family of Luke Azzopardi and the Amy Gillett Foundation to inspect the Luke Azzopardi bikeway today.

Amy Gillett and Luke Azzopardi were tragically killed while cycling and their legacy is helping to improve safety for other cyclists on our roads.

The Australian Government supports their legacy and is committed to road safety and keeping cyclists safe through a number of programs and initiatives.

The Luke Azzopardi bikeway, a dedicated off-road high-speed path for cyclists to use from Riverstone Road to the existing pathway at Thompson Road, was delivered as part of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor, to which the Australian Government has committed $46.4 million.

And the Safe Roads for Safe Cycling Program, being delivered by the Amy Gillett Foundation, supports long-term road safety benefits by improving cycling safety knowledge, resources and tools thanks to $6 million in funding from the Australian Government.

The Amy Gillett Foundation is one of Australia’s leading cycling safety organisation driven by a core mission to reduce the death and injury of cyclists.

Assistant Minister Brown and members of the Amy Gillett Foundation are in Cairns to attend the Australasian Road Safety Conference. The Australian Government is a Gold Sponsor of this event and also supports participants from low and middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa to participate in the Conference.

The Amy Gillett Foundation will run a cycling safety workshop at the conference thanks to funding provided through the Safe Roads for Safe Cycling Program.

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Quotes attributable to Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Carol Brown:

“We know Australians love to cycle, whether recreationally, for sport or to commute and we want to incorporate safe cycling options into our road infrastructure projects across Australia.

“Australia has committed to a goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050, and we can honour the legacy of Amy Gillett and Luke Azzopardi to ensure every cyclist gets home safely.

“The Australian Government is helping to fund infrastructure like the Luke Azzopardi bikeway and providing funding for innovative programs like the Safe Roads for Safe Cycling Program.

“And our National Road Safety Action Grants Program provides grants to organisations between $20,000 and $1.5 million to reduce risks to vulnerable road users including cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders as part of our commitment to reducing deaths and serious injury on our roads as set out in the National Road Safety Strategy.

“While I am here in Cairns, I’ll be attending the Australasian College of Road Safety conference where leading road safety and injury prevention researchers, practitioners and policy makers will collaborate and share information.

“By working together, we can achieve improved road safety for all.”

Quotes attributable to Senator Nita Green:

 “We have the lifestyle and weather for cycling here in Cairns so I’m thrilled we are investing in programs and infrastructure that will enable cyclists and road users to co-exist safely.

“The cycling community were devastating to lose Luke, and the Luke Azzopardi Bikeway is a wonderful way to honour his legacy and to create a safe space not just for high-speed cyclists but for the school commute and leisure cycling too.

“I have no doubt locals will make great use of this bikeway and we will continue to work towards making cycling safe for all.”

Quotes attributable to Dan Kneipp, CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation:

 “Every Australian should be able to ride their bike safely, but every nine days a cyclist is killed in a crash on Australian roads. This is a tragedy, and it’s also preventable.

“The Amy Gillett Foundation is so pleased to have the support of the Australian Government in our mission to keep cyclists safe on our streets.

“Bike riding is part of being Australian. It’s a rite of passage for our kids to learn how to ride a bike, and when they go off and start riding to school they should be safe. Everyone in our community should be able to ride around town and make it home alive.

“We know that separated bike paths work. Cyclists feel safe, and it’s less stressful for drivers. It is fantastic to have the Australian Government’s commitment to fund projects like these, so we can keep everyone in our community safe while cycling.

"The Luke Azzopardi Bikeway is not just a great example of how we can keep people safe on their bikes, it's also an enduring legacy in memory of Luke who loved riding his bike and giving back to his community. Thanks to his mother Sue and her advocacy, along with the support of the Australian Government, bike riders in Cairns will have a safe way to get around town and enjoy cycling.”