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Brash playing air guitar on Auckland transport

Friday, 21 May 2004

Brash playing air guitar on Auckland transport

"Don Brash's promise today to complete Auckland's roading network within 10 years is not backed up by any realistic explanation of where the missing billions will come from," says Transport Minister Pete Hodgson.

"This government has committed an extra $1.6 billion to improving Auckland's land transport system over the next decade. We have put the funding and governance in place to deliver a more integrated and functional transport system for the city.

"After opposing the petrol tax increase that will help fund this, Dr Brash now says he's counting on it to help meet his hollow promise. More than that, he proposes to spend it entirely on new roads, leaving nothing new for public transport. He claims to favour buses over trains, but his road obsession wouldn't leave a cent for anything else.

"For the rest of his missing billions, Dr Brash rambles vaguely about 'perhaps' diverting petrol tax revenue away from services like health and education to pay for motorways. He waffles about tolling, without any clear idea of where and how it could apply.

"Aucklanders are left with nothing but empty posturing from National. The only surprise is that Dr Brash did not conjure a second harbour crossing out of the same thin air as his motorways.

"Dr Brash knows he cannot deliver, so he has proposed a new bulk-funded Auckland transport agency to take the blame. This proposed new body would reunite all the warring factions that have hampered progress on Auckland transport for so long. No doubt Dr Brash would promptly wash his hands of it and wonder aloud why Auckland isn't more like Singapore."


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