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Horse and Cart Bill fails to address Road Funding


27 March 2003 PR38/2003

'Horse and Cart' Bill fails to address Road Funding Crisis

The Land Transport Management and Road Traffic Reduction Bills fail to address the critical under funding of New Zealand's roads, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

In a submission to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee Mr Pedersen highlighted the need for Government to take a long term strategic view of national road funding.

"Smarter investment decisions are required for roading. The current mechanism for funding roads is becoming dysfunctional. A fresh modern approach is required.

"If all of the $673m of charges on road users that are siphoned off into the consolidated fund each year were spent on roading and the funding mechanisms were modernised then the problems we are facing would largely disappear.

"We need more and better roads, lessening traffic is not an option.

In particular Mr Pedersen highlighted the significant problems with funding local roads.

"Property based rates mean farmers and other landowners are picking up the roading tab for forestry and tourism.

"An efficient transport system is an essential component of New Zealand's international competitiveness. If agriculture is the heart of the economy then land transport is the veins.

"Land transport links are vital to enable agricultural production to reach international and national markets and to provide access to essential services for rural communities.

"Roading expenditure must be based on long term objective benefit cost criteria based on economic efficiency not short term political expediency."

ENDS

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