Canberra's cyclists are involved in an average of four recorded collisions a week, however, many crashes go unreported. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Falling off your bike in Canberra can earn you as much as a year sitting at your desk. Cyclists claiming money from the ACT Insurance Authority after coming off their bikes have been paid as much as $100,000 each, more than the yearly salary of an APS6 public servant.
Three cyclists were paid $45,000, $90,000 and $100,037 respectively.
The money was claimed in the past year from Territory and Municipal Services, which recovered the money from the insurance authority. Total compensation paid by the directorate, which oversees the maintenance of bike paths and roads, totalled $235,037.
The number of cyclists working in the Parliamentary Triangle might be expected to increase with the introduction of paid parking on national land in Parkes, Barton, Russell and Acton, a decision that will require public servants to pay $11 a day. The Department of Human Services has introduced paid parking around its Tuggeranong offices.
It was not known how the three bike riders injured themselves but the executive officer of cycling lobby group Pedal Power, John Armstrong, said there were several cycling facilities in Canberra that needed work.
These included obstructions caused by roadwork along Ginninderra Drive near Lawson
Pedal Power was also appealing to Economic Development Minister Andrew Barr to intervene at Kingston Foreshore, where it said the Land Development Agency had reneged on a promise to provide a thoroughfare for cyclists.
Pedal Power said the promised wide promenade had turned into a shambles as people tried to walk and cycle in an area crowded with outside diners.
''It's a classic case of government instrumentalities not talking to each other,'' Mr Armstrong said.
Canberra's cyclists are involved in an average of four recorded collisions a week, however, many crashes go unreported.
Dozens of crashes have occurred along Northbourne Avenue in the past two years, meaning one of Canberra's busiest roads is also the most hazardous for cyclists.
A total of $1.5 million was paid because of insurance claims in the past year across all of the ACT government.
Territory and Municipal Services was liable for $453,766 claimed by 10 pedestrians who had falls.
This is double the amount paid to bike riders but there are hundreds of thousands of pedestrians in Canberra compared with just thousands of regular cyclists.
One student received $308,000 from the Education Directorate after suffering a fall. A hospital patient claimed $140,000 from ACT Health after taking a tumble, while three pedestrians walking on grounds owned by the same directorate claimed another $176,880 between them. Two public housing tenants received a total of $65,750 from the Community Services directorate.