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Motorists conned in transport package

Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Transport Spokesman

01 July 2003

Motorists conned in transport package

The Labour Government is again sadly under-estimating the state of our roading infrastructure and now under-funding accordingly, says National Party Transport spokesman Roger Sowry.

"While some of the numbers being thrown around by the Transport Minister sound large, there's a growing chorus of anger among groups who've now had time to examine the package unveiled yesterday.

"Business New Zealand says in terms of specific annual needs the funding package falls short and the Employers and Manufacturers Association says the allocation for Auckland is just a 'start... certainly not the total investment required'.

"Even Local Government New Zealand says 'the programme leaves major State Highway projects with high benefit to cost ratios until 2010/2011'.

"In reality this package is little more than Government spin, presented in a way which didn't give time for those most affected to analyse the full impact," Mr Sowry says.

"Now that Transport Groups have had a chance to look at the papers, they're realising the Government has simply returned a number of items back to the priority list.

"Like McKay's Crossing north of Wellington, they were projects removed in the Government's rush to bribe Auckland ratepayers with grandiose promises of immediate road funding increases," says Mr Sowry.

"What motorists should now be looking out for is another 'sly tax' to pay for regional roading projects.

"The Transport Minister has repeatedly refused to rule out a new 10 cent a litre petrol tax imposed on regional motorists to pay for local roads.

"Watch this space," warns Mr Sowry.

Ends


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