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Government On Wrong Track

Government On Wrong Track

ACT New Zealand Transport Spokesman Deborah Coddington today questioned the Government's reported plan to buy the national rail network from Tranz Rail for up to $130 million.

"There is little evidence to suggest that the 1993 privatisation of New Zealand Rail was conducted incorrectly. There is even less evidence to indicate that there should be a division of function - with the Government owning the rail, and the private sector owning the rolling stock," Ms Coddington said.

"Such a plan raises a number of issues - the most notable being the potential problem of who would become liable over safety issues. If the Government fails to adequately maintain the track, leading to accidents for privately owned machinery, then who will pay? Will the taxpayer, ultimately, end up footing the bill?

"In this decision, the Government is doing nothing more than responding to lobbying from big businesses in search of cheaper freight costs," said Ms Coddington.

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