Auckland now needs to sort out its CRL funding
Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Auckland now needs to sort out its CRL funding, not rely on ratepayers
“Auckland Council now needs to get its alternative funding sources sorted for the City Rail Link. So far ratepayers alone have been coughing up. Over the first three financial years of this council, we’ve allocated nearly half a billion dollars on work around protecting the route. It’s time to confirm other practical funding sources,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer, responding to the Government’s statement to advance the City Rail Link.
“Two years ago the Mayor promised the possibility of a public referendum at the 2013 local body elections over the likes of possible toll roads to fund his City Rail Link. With the Government now on board, I call on him to reconsider a referendum on how Aucklanders want to fund their contribution.
“In the meantime how Auckland funds its part of the project remains completely up in the air. That now needs to be addressed as suburban ratepayers alone cannot and should not fund Auckland’s contribution.
“At the very least the Consensus Building Group now needs to step up and next month give some strong recommendations to councillors on how best Auckland achieves this.”
“The new end delivery date won’t actually be too different to what Gerry Brownlee was promoting when he talked about 2030. The council’s start and finish dates of 2015 and 2022 were completely unworkable and unrealistic. Now if the project is to start in 2020, its finish date won’t be too far off the 2030 completion date that some of us thought was much more realistic.
“The Government probably needs to lock down its contribution in dollar terms, as the project costs have reportedly gone up six fold in the past eight years. It’s now time to put a line in the sand. We’ve got to make sure the costs don’t keep running away for the likes of taxpayers and Aucklanders.
“Already this 3km tunnelling project is set to cost nearly $1 million a metre. That’s $10,000 a cm or $1,000 a mm. Auckland and taxpayers now need to get some cost certainty and containment,” says Cameron Brewer.