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Budget investment in infrastructure essential

Budget investment in infrastructure essential

Media release, 16 May, 2005

Thursday’s budget must advance major investment in roads, rail, energy security and water treatment to ensure NZ’s future economic well being.

This call comes from the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development which is concerned about continued deferral or ongoing funding shortfalls for critical infrastructural upgrades.

“Recent increases in funding for water treatment upgrades and transport are welcome.

But if you compare NZ’s investment in infrastructural development against that of Australia, we are moving at glacial pace, NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood said today.

Sydney’s $2 billion M7 Westlink project and Melbourne’s $4 billion Mitcham Frankston Connect East project are being delivered thorough a public private partnerships within 5 years, from start to finish.

Major investments are also being made in energy supply, railways, health facilities, water treatment plants, stadiums, schools, emergency services and prisons.

Investment in this core infrastructure is helping to drive Australia’s continued prosperity, growth in wages and improved living standards.

In New Zealand, smaller projects take decades to complete. Barely a day goes without some major infrastructure development being deferred, through lack of funding, failure to gain resource consent, or indecision, “The on again off again approach causes business uncertainty and drives up costs.

Thursday’s budget provides the obvious opportunity to address part of this ongoing problem by committing the necessary funding to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

This, combined with the necessary improvements to RMA consent processes would make a dramatic difference to New Zealand’s future prosperity.

NZCID looks forward to Thursday announcements with keen interest.

ENDS

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