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Land Transport Bill misses the mark


Land Transport Bill misses the mark

The Land Transport Bill is more about political spin than wheel spin and clearly shows it’s been hijacked by the Greens, says National’s Associate Transport spokesman, John Key.

“In its current form, it misses the mark on probably the biggest issue facing the construction of roads in New Zealand, the Resource Management Act approval process.

“If it had any hope of improving the gridlock in Auckland, it would have included provisions for fast tracking the RMA process, including setting in statute a timetable for deliverables including submissions, environment court deliberations, court rulings, and the appeal process.

“As it stands, priority projects such as Auckland’s Eastern Corridor haven’t got a hope of being approved for years, if not decades.

“Frankly, this Bill has been hijacked by the Greens, whose fingerprints are all over it. Anyone in doubt about the role they have played in throwing a spanner in the works should look at the lunacy contained in the Jeanette Fitzsimons’ Road Traffic Reduction Bill. The Government last week supported that Bill and sent it to the transport select committee.

“The inflexibility around private sector funding in the Land Transport Bill is absurd. Section 61 of the Bill sets out a list of conditions that virtually eliminates PPPs for the vast majority of projects and is so prescriptive in nature it will surely eliminate or stifle innovation from private sector financing proposals.

“In addition, instead of considering Auckland’s roads from a holistic perspective, the Bill demands projects are considered on a stand-alone basis. Given that the problem with the Auckland motorway network lies with it being historically constructed in parts, very few of which are linked together, the completion of the network as a whole should surely have been a primary focus.

“The message from this Bill in its current form is clear: if the deal is a knockout winner then sure the private sector can bid, but otherwise we are back to the piecemeal funding stagnation of the last 30 years. “For a Bill that promised so much on an issue demanding innovation and leadership from the Government, this is a very hollow response,” says John Key.


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