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New Zealand On The Road To Ruin

New Zealand On The Road To Ruin

Monday 13 Oct 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Transport

The Land Transport Management Bill, the result of a deal between Labour and the Greens, will do absolutely nothing to improve this country's prosperity, ACT New Zealand Transport Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Transport Minister Paul Swain calls this an improvement on the Bill originally sent to Select Committee. That's nothing to skite about, considering the original Bill was drafted and pushed by Green party staffers and Heather Simpson. The it was drafted, we all would have been forced on to trains and bicycles - with walking an optional extra," Miss Coddington said.

"We now have a return to parish pump politics. Economic efficiency is out; environmental and social sustainability - whatever that means - is in. Auckland's vehicle emissions problem - Auckland Minister Judith Tizard's pet hate - is largely due to massive, crammed carparks, leading in and out of the city. They're called motorways, but there is little movement on them because Labour's Minister for Auckland issues doesn't give a toss about Aucklanders - unless they invite her to art gallery openings.

"Why so many business groups and local body representatives put so much effort into making submissions beats me. They pleaded for the ability to toll existing infrastructure. What they've received is `only in exceptional circumstances'.

"If the current situation - where New Zealand loses around $5 billion a year in economic growth because of our major transport problems - is not an `exceptional circumstance', then I don't know what is.

"Further, Labour will whack the poor motorist yet again. This Bill allows road user charges to be spent on cycle paths, walkways, coastal shipping (more money for wharfie unions) and Labour's soon-to-be established TrackCo. We can look forward to a repeat of the days when taxpayers poured $90 million a year into the railways, and trucking companies were barred from carrying freight over long distances.

"If this Government were serious about solving New Zealand's - especially Auckland's - transport problems, it would pass legislation now rather than wait until next year.

"The real reason the Government is passing two sets of legislation is so that on the one hand it can favour the Greens and keep their support on the Supreme Court Bill, then in election year they can shower money on Auckland and buy votes up there. What else would we expect from this sleazy, tax-and-bribe Government," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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