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Minister for Emissions Reductions, Shane Rattenbury, today launched “Make the Move”, a new active travel initiative that has been developed by the Conservation Council ACT Region in partnership with the Canberra Environment Centre.

Make the Move aims to lead Canberra businesses and commuters into the future of sustainable transport by helping them overcome barriers and discover the benefits of transitioning from car-based to active travel.

The core of the project is a 6-week program for workplaces, including a tailored workshop and the loan of electric bikes and scooters, enabling employees to try replacing their car commutes with active travel.

The workplace program is complemented by the new website, which is packed with practical information about how to plan trips, use alternative modes of travel, and get set up to change daily travel habits.

“Canberrans travel around the city daily for employment, social, recreational, and household activities, clocking up a staggering 11 million kilometres a day. Of that, over 9 million kilometres are in private vehicles mostly carrying just one person. All that driving has significant impacts on our health, our climate and the city’s amenity” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director of the Conservation Council ACT Region.

“As Canberra’s population grows, we’ll need to reduce the rate of car ownership to ensure we don’t grow congestion at the same time.

“The good news is that there are many other ways for people to move around the city using active travel that can improve physical and mental health, save money, reduce pollution and contribute to a more liveable city for everyone.

“The new Make the Move website has everything Canberans need to know about shifting to active travel and public transport. People will find all their questions answered with practical suggestions about how to overcome the common obstacles to active travel, such as not feeling fit enough, not knowing how to carry all your gear or figuring out how to use active travel while picking up young children.

“By switching regular work commuting out of cars and into a range of different transport options, we’re keen to help two-car families realise the cost savings and health benefits of running just a single family car

“With around a quarter of all travel undertaken to get to and from work, employers have the opportunity to make a significant contribution towards changing Canberrans’ travel habits while reducing their organisation’s carbon emissions and reaping the benefits of a healthier and more active workforce” said Ms Oakey.

Canberra Environment Centre Executive Director, Ryan Lungu said ‘This program will allow commuters to “try before they buy” to see what will work best for them. We can’t wait to see how workplaces across Canberra will tackle the challenge of zero-emissions travel to and from work over the next few months.

Four local workplaces were selected to take part in the Make the Move program: not-for-profit Early Childhood Australia, utilities provider Icon Water, digital agency Annex and barbershop Truefitt & Hill.

John Murphy, Regional Manager of Truefitt & Hill, said “Truefitt & Hill are enthusiastic about the Make the Move project, as by helping our staff discover the benefits of active travel, more sustainable transport habits are developed whilst helping to improve their physical and mental health. Truefitt & Hill is committed to continuously trying to be a better and greener corporate citizen and participating in the Make the Move project is another step in that direction.”

Annex signed up to the program as it resonates with their environmentally conscious team. “Wanting to be more environmentally focused is something that each of us care about, and finding new ways to do this allows us to expand on our intent to be socially conscious each and every day, ” said Tim Berman, Principal Consultant.

“We are excited about removing the barriers when it comes to more energy efficient ways of travelling and with the loan of the e-bike and e-scooters it allows us to trial new ways without the excuses!”

“Early Childhood Australia staff are looking forward to trying electric assisted modes of transport”, said Finance and Operations General Manager, Gregory Mowle. “One of the barriers to having a greater uptake of our staff using bikes to get to work is the distance that some staff would have to cycle as well as the distance to local bus stops if staff wanted to catch a bus. Having the ability to trial e-bikes and e-scooters will help eliminate these barriers.

Icon Water Health and Wellness Coordinator, Michael Nolan, pointed to the program’s alignment with the organisation’s wellbeing and environmental strategies. “The Make the Move program aligns with Icon Water’s initiatives and commitments in a number of ways including supporting the Icon Water Live Well Framework – supporting healthier bodies, healthier minds and healthier place, as well as the ACT Government’s target of reaching net zero emissions by 2045.”

Make the Move is a collaboration between the CCACT and the CEC, funded by an ACT Government Community Zero Emissions Grant.

Go to the Make the Move website.