Well known for its comprehensive network of cycle and shared paths as well as mountain bike trails, the ACT is introducing a new salary sacrifice package that will allow its staffer to take full advantage of the “cycling capital”.
As part of the package staffers will able to lease an electric bicycle, otherwise known as an e-bike, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury announced this week.
For staff who take up the option, the feel good factor won’t only be from the exercise – it will also amount to a reduction in carbon emissions if they are swapping their ICE car for an e-bike.
“E-bikes are not only a fun way to exercise, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion,” Rattenbury said in a statement.
“This is a fantastic way to encourage public servants to get their daily 30 minutes of exercise, without being concerned about arriving at the office in a sweat and needing a shower,” he says.
The package forms another part of the ACT’s Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan announced in April that will see the territory action several strategies aimed at reducing its carbon footprint.
“Choosing to travel by electric bike or car is a really significant way Canberrans can contribute to our shared responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change,” says Rattenbury.
“By 2020 these will have low to no-carbon impact, when 100% of the ACT’s electricity will be renewable. Once we have reached this target, transport will be the ACT’s major source of emissions.”
Under the package, staffers will be able to choose from a range of e-bikes available through leasing provider E-Stralian, from classic bicycle frames to cargo, hybrid, touring and even mountain or touring bikes.
Leasing agreements, which will be paid through each staffer’s salary sacrificing agreement for a calculated amount of time out of their pre-tax salary, will also include insurance and maintenance costs.
“They are the fastest growing segment of the bike industry and this salary sacrifice option for ACT Government employees should make them an even more attractive transport choice for commuting to work and meetings,” says Rattenbury.
Are you are one of those ACT staffers interested in the agreement but not sure if it’s right for you?
“A two week trial will be available for staff considering entering into the salary sacrificing agreement, to ensure they can try before they buy,” says Rattenbury.
The ACT government is also urging local councils to join it in purchasing electric vehicles to transition fleets to zero emissions transport as part of its action plan.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.