PPP Steering Group toothless unless Act changed
7 February 2008
IPENZ- Government’s PPP Steering Group, toothless tigers unless Act is changed
IPENZ believes Government plans to investigate building the Waterview Connection in Auckland’s Western Ring Route by setting up a public private partnership (PPP) Steering Group will have their hand tied unless the Land Transport Management Act is changed.
“It’s terrific that a PPP Steering Group is being established, but unless the Government makes changes to the Land Transport Management Act 2003 , the $2.3 billion tunnel project may never get off the ground,” says Tim Davin, IPENZ Director of Policy. “The Act states a public roading project cannot be approved unless the ‘activity has a high degree of support from communities.’ We are already hearing in the media today, members of the community opposing the project. Because the Act’s ‘high degree of support’ clause it may make any large roading project difficult to proceed as a lot of communities may take the NIMBY (not in my back yard attitude.) This investigation by the Steering Group option will highlight the flaws in the Act”
“The PPP Steering Group who will deliver a business case to the Government in the middle of the year to assess whether the Waterview Connection is a viable PPP option could find their hands are tied, because of this particular clause in the Land Transport Management Act 2003 – Tolling and Concessions,” says Tim Davin.
“It makes a lot of sense to actively consider the option for the private sector to get involved in large infrastructure projects, overseas examples have seen the private sector building the project and then charging the Government or public via tolls for its use. It can be a very effective way of progressing innovative and important future infrastructure. But we need legislation that will allow it to actually happen,” says Mr Davin.