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Transport – Another Step Forward

17 May 2007

Media Release

Transport – Another Step Forward

The Budget’s initiatives to help Auckland transport are all welcome but still fall well short of what’s required, said Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

- The regional petrol tax of up to 10c a litre will kick start electrification of the rail network, progress the Western Ring Route and allow long debated projects like Penlink to get moving.

- The extra $145m for Western Ring Route projects honours Government’s commitment to maintain certainty of a completion by 2015.

- The confirmation that all petrol money raised will be spent on transport and not be diverted to the Consolidated Fund is a long overdue step.

“But no one should see these initiatives as a total fix,” said Mr Barnett.

The regional petrol tax of up to 10c a litre will help service a loan of around $1.5billion, when the problem to be fixed is in the order of $5-7b.

:The decision to split the regional petrol tax 50/50 between Government and regional priority projects is a worrying signal about Government not trusting the region to control its own spending and decide the priority projects,” concluded Mr Barnett.


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