INFLUENTIALS PROGRAMME AUSTRALIA – CYCLING STUDY VISIT (Sept 7 -12) 1. Reason The reason for the visit is to initiate contact between Australian influentials and the Netherlands preliminary to the Sydney Rides Festival in October 2014. This gives opportunity to construct a relationship between Dutch bicycle culture experts and the Australian influentials in this area. In the long-term, Australian National Cycling Strategy aims to double the amount of people cycling in Australia by 2016, which provides the opportunity for the Dutch cycling industry to export knowledge and technology to Australia. 2. Goal The goal of the visit is to actively inform Australian influentials about the Dutch bicycle expertise, culture, safety, policy and regulation and provide the opportunity to let the Australians really ‘feel’ how it is to have cycling totally organized within your infrastructure. This will also include gaining an understanding of the impacts of a transport system that promotes bicycles on health, congestion and economics. 3. When In September. Sydney Rides Festival, where we will brand the Netherlands as a cycling country, will take place in October. Besides joining the cycle tour through Sydney with the Netherlands as partner of this tour, we will organize a seminar where the content of biking in the Netherlands will be discussed. Ideally we can present findings from this IP during this seminar as well. 4. Topics Topics considering the bicycle culture, safety, transport planning, initiatives, policy and regulations in the Netherlands. The subjects have to match the problems that Australia is facing. The various priorities the Australian government is targeting on , are mentioned in the National Cycling Strategy (NCS), attached to this proposal. Especially underrepresented groups (children, elderly) have to be encouraged to start cycling. A suggested topic would therefore be the Cycling Exam which is held among children each year. A list of other possible topics: - National, regional & local policy and competences - Funding - Cycle infrastructure – Urban Design - Health outcomes - Cycle Parking Policy - Long term results for local economies (cycling versus car use) - OV-fiets and other biking facilities at NS - Traffic education at primary schools - Road Safety - All hot topics that are related to the cycling industry. Besides all formal parts, we should include really biking itself as main part of the program as well, to let them feel how it is to bike in a country where all is organized for biking, in order to convince and stimulate them to further tackle issues regarding biking in Australia. Infrastructure is one of the key areas of the Consulate-General (as is health and the creative industry). Biking really is a mix of all three: - Obviously biking is a way of transport for which you need the right infrastructure. Congestion is a major problem in Sydney, where cycling could help with - Cycling is healthy. Since Australia has about 50% of the people who are obese, Australia is keen to learn on this topic - Creative industry: design of the bikes is part of this area, as well as urban design 5. Participants The selected Influentials are chosen by their interest and dedication towards cycling culture in Australia as well as their influential position in the Australian society. All delegates are active in politics, in infrastructure – cycling industry in Australia and are familiar with the various topics, except from the OV-bike and the exam. 6. Preparation and follow up The Consulate-General will organize a briefing. Because the participants come from different parts of Australia, it will be hard to gather all delegates at the CG. Regarding the follow-up: A. On October 13, a seminar will take place in Sydney where the delegates will present their findings of their Cycling Programme in the Netherlands. B. In October, the (2 weeks) Sydney Rides Festival takes place, starting October 19. A yearly festival where over 25 events regarding cycling are organized. One of the events is the Spring Cycle, a biking tour through Sydney, where we will brand the Netherlands as a cycling country. During this Festival we will include a seminar where the content of cycling in the Netherlands will be presented as well. Ideally, findings from this program could be presented. We are in discussion with PR to give our events during this festival national attention. Sydney Morning Herald and a famous radio station are main sponsors of the event.
The Dutch Cycling Embassy supported the Agency of Enterprise in organizing an Influentials Program for Australian cities. They visited the Netherlands for a week and attended a program about cycling in the Netherlands.