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Roads not even worth a mention in budget spend-up

New Zealand Media Release

27 May 2004

Roads not even worth a mention in budget spend-up

Improving New Zealand's roads is clearly low priority for Government. AA General Manager, Transport Policy Stephen Selwood said in reaction to the Budget announcement.

"It's extremely disappointing that once again motorists' calls for safe, congestion free roads have been completely ignored. The only provision for road safety in this year's budget is an increased spend of $800 million on hospitals," he said.

"It is no exaggeration to say that people will needlessly die and thousands of lives will be shattered because the only thing separating cars on many of our overstretched roads is a thin strip of paint.

"New Zealand experiences the equivalent in carnage of a Gallipoli campaign every five years through road trauma while the Government continues to increase petrol excise at every turn to inflate its surpluses but does little to improve our road network."

Mr Selwood said that motorists had contributed 5 billion in petrol excise since the Government had been elected, had seen four announcements of fuel tax increases but had little to show for it.

"Driving today is that much more unsafe and congested than it was five years ago. While there have been announcements and new laws and lots of project reviews almost nothing has been built," he said.

ENDS

The New Zealand Automobile Association is an incorporated society with over one million members. It represents the interests of road users who collectively pay almost $2 billion in taxes each year through fuels excise, road user charges and GST.


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