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Transport Projects To Proceed Rapidly

IA Annual Plan Enables Transport Projects To Proceed Rapidly

Annual and Long Term Funding Plan adopted

Statement by John Robertson, Chairman Infrastructure Auckland

IA today confirmed its Annual Plan for 2003/04. The plan includes a notional allocation of $136 million in capital and interest payments for regional borrowing to fund completion of the regional transport network. Debt funding is seen by the region as the most reliable way of ensuring completion of the Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS). The IA funds will cover the first four years of borrowing.

The initiative has unanimous regional support which was noted today, at the adoption of Infrastructure Auckland’s annual plan and long term funding plan.

The Regional Debt Servicing allocation allows the region time to research and implement longer-term debt-servicing revenue streams without delaying implementation of critical transport projects. These funds from IA are the equivalent of every household in the Auckland region not having to pay an additional $70 per year for four years to fund the borrowing.

Infrastructure Auckland’s final annual plan and long term funding plan tabled today increases the funds it will make available for Auckland’s urgent transport and stormwater needs to $1.18 billion by the year 2008. This is $230 million more than previously planned and brings its granting programme forward by four years.

The new $1.18 billion programme (including grant commitments to date of $184 million) comprises notional allocations to the following:

Passenger Transport gets a 78% increase - from $410 million to $730 million Stormwater gets a 50% increase - from $100 million to $150 million Regional Debt Servicing for urgent implementation of the Regional Land Transport Strategy (a new funding category) gets $136 million Roads remains unchanged at $90 million Travel Demand Management remains unchanged at $75 million.

The largest portion ($730 million) of IA’s $1.18 billion funding is allocated to Passenger Transport. A large part of this $730 million allocation is planned to provide most of the capital component funding for the Regional Rail Upgrade programme.

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