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Government Must Resist Railway Blackmail

The Government must not fall for blackmail or closure threats from railway companies, ACT Transport Spokesman MP Penny Webster said today.

"The Government must resist the hysteria being fed by the Green Party," Penny Webster said.

"Tranzrail is a privately owned company that has been run down over a number of years. The company has paid out unrealistic levels of dividends to shareholders instead of focussing on replacing deteriorating assets. The shareholders bought it – they should fix it.

“As is the case with Air New Zealand, any taxpayers’ money pumped into the business would actually only bail out the shareholders - not the business. It’s wholly inappropriate use of taxpayers’ money to give it to shareholders who have influenced businesses to make poor decisions which have put them in trouble.

“Tranzrail shares are at unrealistically high levels at the moment – probably because people think the shareholders will be bailed out. If the share price is allowed to reflect the true value of the company and its assets then the company will become attractive to investors who want to pump money into Tranzrail, enhance services and increase the value of the business.

"The Government must make a clear, unequivocal statement today that it will resist blackmail and ignore the Greens' dogmatic rhetoric about buying back the railways," Penny Webster said.


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