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New transport bills not the bogey of business

New transport bills not the bogey of business

The two most significant new pieces of transport law in decades are not the scary bogeymen of business that some pro-road interests are trying to claim, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"Business should not be scared of the Land Transport Management Bill and my Road Traffic Reduction Bill, now before Parliament. The Bills will actually be positive for business," Ms Fitzsimons said.

Some business, farming and trucking lobby groups, have joined forces to fight the Land Transport Management Bill, arguing that the proposed changes will damage business interests.

"It's hard to believe that the business and road transport lobbyists campaigning against the Bill really want to build roads that have little community support and no strategic planning; and that abuse the environment and make money for overseas companies without any corresponding benefit to New Zealand taxpayers. But that is the impression their campaign is giving," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"The Land Transport Management Bill would actually replace conflict, delays and ad hoc decision-making, with an integrated planning system, factoring in all modes of transport, not just cars.

"The Bill will mean better decision-making, including early and full consultation to avoid conflict and delays later on. There will also be a legal requirement to ensure we get value for money - including from any Public Private Partnerships. How can that be bad for business or the economy?" Ms Fitzsimons asked.

"The Bill brings New Zealand into line with most other OECD countries by incorporating social and environmental, as well as economic, effects into a sustainable development approach. This is now mainstream in many businesses, and is yielding significant benefits. The businesses that haven't caught up with it yet shouldn't be afraid of it.

Meanwhile, Ms Fitzsimons said her Road Traffic Reduction Bill would require transport authorities to consider how to manage demand as well as supply.

"By moving some trips out of cars and onto rail, bus, cycles, car pools or walking school buses, it can free up space on the roads for business-related traffic," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"This has the potential to reduce congestion, very much faster and more cheaply than big new road-building projects."

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