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Fuel tax signals courageous attack on congestion

1 March 2005

Mayor: Fuel tax signals courageous attack on congestion

The new targeted petrol tax for transport projects is good news, the Mayor of Auckland Dick Hubbard said today.

“We’re pleased the Government has kept its commitment on this vital issue,“ Mr Hubbard said.

The tax is one of the measures the Government agreed to during funding negotiations with Auckland’s Mayoral forum in 2003.

Mr Hubbard said the $715.8 million for the Auckland region over the next 10 years was absolutely essential. Along with a road user charges increase, the region would receive up to an extra billion dollars over the next 10 years.

“If you asked Auckland motorists to honk their horns for action on better roads, the noise would be deafening. We’ve taken action at a local level, now something is being done at a national level. I believe the majority of Aucklanders will back that. That a new targeted tax is introduced in an election year speaks both of its necessity and a government having the political courage to act in the national interest.

“This decision implements part of a package which allows the region to get on with its transport policy – involving everything from rail and bus to walking, cycling and motorway and regional road building. It will give contractors certainty. Now they can gear up. Thousands of jobs will directly flow from this over the next decade.”

Mr Hubbard said the Government was signalling it was serious about attacking congestion problems – and this would stiffen the resolve of Auckland City councillors to support a new five per cent targeted transport rate, which would deliver an extra $42 million to vital city transport projects during the next three years. These projects would also attract $17 million in state subsidies.

“At last the foot is to the floor on our number one problem – and the problem Aucklanders most want action on. At the end of the day we know there’s no free ride. When you want action you need to pay for it,” Mr Hubbard said.

ENDS


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