Pedal power on the rise

Adam Beetham and Matt Thornton share a rental house in Wurtulla.
Adam Beetham and Matt Thornton share a rental house in Wurtulla. Barry Leddicoat

CATCHING public transport or hopping on the bike more often? Turning off the lights when you leave the room?

Welcome to conservation and cost-conscious Australian city life in the 21st century.

The State of Australian Cities 2011 report, released yesterday, details the progress of the nation's 18 biggest cities and conurbations, including the Sunshine Coast.

Wurtulla's Adam Beetham, 23, is part of the significant shift to public transport, cycling and walking highlighted by the Federal Government report.

He said depending on timing and weather, he would opt for the bus or his bike over his car when attending classes at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The report's finding that housing affordability was pushing young people to either stay living in the family home longer or join share houses also struck a chord with Mr Beetham.

"It's just cheaper to live with a bunch of mates," he said.

"I really enjoy it. There is always something to do, there is someone you can hang out with and it saves you going out because your friends are at home."

The report also showed the Coast had experienced higher percentage growth than the larger capital cities.

Between 2009 and 2010, Sunshine experienced a population growth of 2.4%, to a total in excess of 330,900. Brisbane was 1.9% and Sydney 1.7%.

The $20m federal Liveable Cities Program includes grant funding for innovative government or council planning and design initiatives.

Growing interest

  • In Australia, more than 11.5 million bicycles were sold in the period between 2001 and 2010 - two million more than cars.
  • 66% of Sunshine Coast households own a bicycle.
  • Sunshine Coast experienced a population growth of 2.4%, tied second with the Gold Coast, and just behind Cairns (2.6%) between 2009 and 2010.
  • Public transport trips in the TransLink area of South East Queensland (Brisbane/Gold Coast/ Sunshine Coast) increased from 100.8 million in 1998-99 to more than 171 million trips in 2007-08.

Source: State of Australian Cities 2011

Topics:  bike ride cities conservation

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