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Land Transport Management Bill Passed

6 November 2003
Media Statement

Land Transport Management Bill passed

The Transport Minister Paul Swain says the passage of the Land Transport Management Bill through Parliament this afternoon signals a new era for the planning and operation of the country's transport infrastructure.

The legislation will ensure greater consistency in long-term planning of the networks, a more integrated transport infrastructure, a multi-modal approach to the sector, and will provide new mechanisms for funding roads.

"It is an example of the ongoing collaboration between the Labour-Progressive government and the Green Party on transport issues, signalled in the cooperation agreement between the parties."

"I would also like to acknowledge the input of the United Party, particularly around issues to do with alternative funding transport mechanisms."

"The legislation has been strengthened and improved by the work of the Select committee and the amendments in the Supplementary Order Paper approved by Parliament earlier this week."

Mr Swain says the changes can be grouped into six key areas: -

- Consultation

Consultation requirements have been simplified and clarified.

- Efficiency

Efficiency and effectiveness now appears in the Purpose clause of the bill and is taken into account when Transfund assesses funding applications or activities.

- More flexible tolling arrangements

Tolling is now permissible on new roads or bridges provided there is community support for a project.

The Select Committee has also decided to include a degree of flexibility in the bill in response to submissions.

The project will require the specific approval of the Minister, and civil penalties have been added where any conditions of the project are breached.

- Public Private Partnerships – PPPs (Concession Agreements)

PPPs are arrangements where the private sector and public agencies work together to bring forward projects that are difficult to fund under existing funding arrangements.

The bill now contains a more flexible funding option around lease arrangements, similar to the Melbourne City Link project.

The bill allows for early conditional approval from the Transport Minister, who must be satisfied any conditions are met before the concession agreement is entered into.

- Regional planning

Regional transport planning has been improved by emphasising the strategic focus of Regional Land Transport Strategies, and by clarifying the relationship between various planning organisations.

- Regional councils

Regional Councils will be able to own and operate public transport services and infrastructure. This is a manifesto commitment by Labour.

"This legislation is not the end of the story, and further legislation may be needed next year as a result of ongoing work between central and local government in the Auckland region," says Mr Swain.

"Announcements on this programme of work are due in mid-December," says Mr Swain.


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