"Gully Road Within Five Years," News A Vindication
17 May 2001
"Gully Road Within Five Years," News A Vindication, Says Dunne
United Future leader and Ohariu Belmont MP, Hon Peter Dunne, says Wellington Regional Council chairman Stuart Macaskill's comments that Transmission Gully could be built within five years is great news.
Mr Dunne, Parliament's leading campaigner for the Transmission Gully highway, says Mr Macaskill's comments are a complete vindication of his efforts, including his recent Member's Bill which the government voted down, to fast-track the construction of the highway.
"Mr Macaskill's comments are great news for Wellington, and will be widely welcomed by a public that is frustrated beyond belief at the delay in getting the Transmission Gully go-ahead."
"I just hope he has not been carried away by the Government's spin doctors, trying to repair the damage the inaction of local Labour MPs has caused them on this issue."
"Of course, it puts the ball firmly back in the Government's court to now deliver on its commitments to provide a mechanism for the early construction of Transmission Gully quickly and without further equivocation."
"Its policy package has to be complete and leave no room for ambiguity or further delay."
"In this context, it will be interesting to see what steps the Government will take to overcome the 8 years of environmental delays that Transport Minister Mark Gosche cited as a reason why my plan to fast-track the highway's construction over three years could not be achieved."
"Was that just more puffery from a Government reluctant to acknowledge the greater contribution of others to achieving this project, or does it remain a substantial unresolved question still to be faced."
"Moreover, given the vehement opposition of the Greens and the Alliance, can the Government actually deliver its proposed package?" Mr Dunne asks.
Mr Dunne says he remains ready and willing to work with the Government to achieve the early construction of Transmission Gully, but that despite repeated requests to Mr Gosche for a briefing on the Government's plans he has yet to receive even the courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone any more formal briefing.
"I call on the Government to stop playing petty politics and to start work constructively to achieve an outcome in the bests interests of the whole of Wellington, not just the Labour Party," Mr Dunne says.