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Minister Backs Two Wheels

Statement from the Minister for Transport backs future research into scooters and motorcycle use.

Allen Drysdale/



It was refreshing to read in the media this week a statement from the Transport Minister. Mr Albanese suggested that two wheeled vehicles like scooters and motorcycles can form part of the solution when it comes to our overcrowded road networks.

What this all means for motorcycles and scooters is anyone's guess. These are all nice broad statements below and with an election looming this could well be an attempt to grab votes from a particular cross section of the community. Yes, cynical I know.

Whilst there has been a change in the types of motorcycles purchased, the industry to a large degree is not growing. There needs to be further incentive to get people out of cars and thinking two wheels. Things like tax breaks and a reduction in registration and insurance costs would be a good first step.

As they say, any press is good press. As riders we already clearly see and know the benefits of riding, educating the broader community is the bigger challenge.

Below were the statements made by Mr Albanese as reported this week by 


"Scooters and commuter bikes now dominate sales growth. Twenty years ago, dealers in Australia were lucky to move 700 scooters in a year - these days they sell a 1000 a month," the minister said today.

"And lightweight commuter bikes are usually the bestsellers among motorcycles."

Mr Albanese pledged to maximise those benefits from motorbikes and to make two-wheeled travel easier for more people to take up. Already some 700,000 Australians have licences for motorcycles.

"The other unarguable fact is that motorcycles and scooters are the most fuel-efficient motorised personal transport mode," Mr Albanese told a group of riders including MPs and members of the Australian Motorcycle Council.

"They have less embodied energy, only about a fifth of that involved in producing the rubber and steel and various parts that make up a car. Compared to the car, they also cause much less damage to roads - not to mention lower emissions.

"The surge in demand for cycles and scooters has created a major challenge."

He said the Government would after the election:

  • Beef up research into the benefits motorcycles bring to urban transport systems;
  • Measures to ensure motorcycles are part of planning for urban transport;
  • Expanding the statistical analysis of motorcycle use "beyond mortality rates" to take in behavioural and environmental factors;
  • Work with states for nationally uniform regulations such as those dealing with safety standards for helmets.

Mr Albanese said there already was evidence that powered two-wheeled travel was helping make cities better places in which to live.

"They are space efficient at a time when space is at a premium in our major cities. Every day we see five or more scooters parked in a single car space," Mr Albanese said.

He said: "Space-efficient transport modes like motorbikes and scooters can help more people reach their city centres helping entire cities function better.

"Motorcycles and scooters can fill the crucial gap in cities between walking and cycling, and taking the car. Too far for the push bike? Wheel out the Vespa, hit the starter button and you're halfway there."



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