Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Clifford Bay hots up as issue as investigation gears up

Clifford Bay hots up as issue as investigation gears up

By Pam Graham

Jan. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Marlborough's mayor is hoping meetings early this year will shed light on why the government is seriously considering a $422 million ferry terminal at Clifford Bay which will knock the economy of Picton.

Marlborough District Council Mayor Alistair Sowman says a meeting he has on Thursday with Andrew Robertson, the management consultant running the Clifford Bay project will be an opportunity to find out more.

The council has also initiated public meetings in February and Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee will speak to the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce in March.

"People can't understand why the government wants to do it if it doesn't stack up economically what's the rationale? We're having trouble getting anyone to talk from the government," he said.

The government has assembled a team led by Treasury and transport officials to further investigate building an inter-island road and rail freight port at Clifford Bay in Marlborough. A report is due in the middle of this year and expressions of interest would be called for in 2014.

"I spoke to Gerry Brownlee myself just before Christmas and he was cagey and said wait for the report, " Mr Sowman said.

"I think they really are serious in seeing if it can work or not," he said.

Mr Sowman said the issue had stirred up business people and a lot of families in Picton, where the existing terminal is, were worried because they were reliant on the ferries for their income.

The council-owned Marlborough Port only received $7 million of income a year from the ferries, making the economic rationale for the new terminal hard to understand, he said.

The ministry team is also meeting Strait Shipping, which has said that a revival ferry services from Wellington to Lyttelton Port should be considered because 80 percent of freight goes to Christchurch and beyond.

Moving to Clifford Bay from the existing wharves at Picton could lead to larger ships, while cutting the journey time between Wellington and Christchurch by 80 minutes by ferry/road and 110 minutes by ferry/rail.

The government is considering making the project a private/public partnership, with companies including Infratil expressing interest.

The Clifford Bay project team is also talking to KiwiRail's Interislander and to ports.

Industry observers say Interislander boss Thomas Davies has always been keen on the Clifford Bay project and had been trying to revive it as an idea that could be funded from road transport budgets rather than rail budgets.

The Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce says the terminal would have economic benefits for Wellington.

Road Transport Forum boss Ken Shirley said there were serious constraints with the existing Picton service which were not going to change.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news