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Baldock applauds PM on roading


For immediate release

Monday, 17 March 2003

Baldock applauds PM on roading

United Future transport spokesman Larry Baldock today applauded Prime Minister Helen Clark for her remark this morning that if New Zealanders want first-world motorways, then maybe it's time to put their hands in their pockets.

"I have no doubt that the economic development of New Zealand needs a significant investment from the taxpayer and it needs it very soon," he said.

"I have long campaigned for road and petrol taxes to be devoted exclusively to the Roading Account and not be siphoned off for other Government activity. Failing this, if the Government wants to raise petrol taxes and would at least commit to spending all the additional revenue on our transport infrastructure, I would be prepared to recommend to the United Future caucus that we support the initiative."

Mr Baldock called on New Zealanders to look at the issue from a broad perspective. "This is not about a Wellington project against some South Island project, nor is it about the whole of the country competing with Auckland.

"The nation's road, rail and energy infrastructure are coming under increasing pressure. If they don't work, then New Zealand doesn't work and we will rapidly slide towards Third World status. Only the Green Party, with its anti-progress, anti-business ideas, would welcome that prospect.

"I am happy to offer the Labour-led Government my support for every effort it makes to fix and improve our roads," said Mr Baldock.

Ends.

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