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Fuel Taxes Increase Today But Not Major Roading

Fuel Taxes Increase Today but Major Road Projects not on 10 Year Horizon

Media release, 1 April, 2005

"Transit New Zealand plans show that even with today's fuel tax increase, vital projects like Auckland's Western Ring Route, Tauranga's Strategic Roading Network and the Waikato Expressway will not be fully funded within 10 years" says Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development.

"Major projects like Wellington's Transmission Gully or Centennial Highway or an Auckland Harbour crossing aren't even on the funding horizon and important safety improvement projects like completion of the Mangatawhiri Maramarua expressway on the never never plan."

"The cost to the nation of not completing these works in a more timely way is simply not sustainable. It is demonstrated on a daily basis in driver frustration, congestion costs, lost productivity, increased air pollution and lives lost."

"Meanwhile budget constraints are already delaying start dates of existing projects like the connection between SH 1 and SH20 in Manukau," he said.

"The 5.6 cent per litre increase in petrol tax is clearly not enough by itself to fund New Zealand's transport infrastructure deficit."

"Toll roads can help bridge part of the funding shortfall but Government will also need to consider diverting more of the existing tax on petrol or road users will face further tax increases to advance essential projects." Selwood said.

ENDS

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