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Budget boosts certainty for roading projects

20 May, 2005

Budget boosts certainty for roading projects

Roading New Zealand, the industry body representing roading contractors, has welcomed the Budget announcement that an additional $100 million per year will be injected into roading projects, starting in 2006/07. Chris Olsen, chief executive of Roading New Zealand, says that the $300 million promised over the next three years should overcome fears that some projects might be delayed due to cost increases, mostly in fuel and materials such as pipes and cement.

“The extra funding will not only provide for these increases,” says Mr. Olsen, “it could even allow a number of additional safety and congestion relief projects to proceed.

“We’re pleased to see the Government has stood by its commitment to provide funding certainty, thereby enabling Transit and local authorities to develop their road programmes with confidence. “This will mean roading contractors can continue to invest in people and plant to deliver those national and local projects already scheduled.” Over the past year roading contractors have made substantial investments to meet the challenge of a $3 billion increase in roading work scheduled over the next ten years.

The industry has a target of hiring 2,000 additional employees by 2006 to meet this programme, and a recent survey showed that a net 800 to 900 employees have been added in the past year. “Roading contractors have shown in the past that they can deliver when called on, and the extra funding will help to ensure they are able to do so in the future,” says Mr. Olsen.

ENDS

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