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Borrowings for Transmission Gully proposed

Thursday, 21 April 2005

Borrowings for Transmission Gully proposed

Wellington-based United Future list MP Gordon Copeland today called on the Government to borrow to complete the Transmission Gully motorway project

“Frankly the comment from the Greater Wellington Regional Council land transport committee chairman Terry McDavitt that their intention is to have the package implemented within 20 years is unacceptable. Do Wellingtonians really want to wait until 2025 to see Transmission Gully completed?

“Is there no appreciation that the frustration level both for those commuting from the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, and all the rest of us who want to be able to leave and return to our city without long delays, is already at boiling point? The thought of a 20 year delay fills me with gloom and is unacceptable. Nor in my view is it necessary.

“I look at this very differently from the current government. I see the completion of the Transmission Gully motorway as an urgent necessity both from a convenience point of view and from an economic point of view. The annual economic cost of the congestion delays must be factored into the equation.

“Let’s assume that cost is in the order of $200 million per annum and worsening. Over 20 years that amounts to $4 billion or more. Viewed in that way the answer is obvious: government should borrow the funds, get the job done as quickly as possible, and repay the loan over the next 30 - 35 years.

“It’s a simple financial equation: borrow up to $1 billion now (the actual figure may be less than that) to save at least $4 billion over the next 20 years. Really just commonsense; the vital ingredient which looks to have been missing in this whole sorry saga to date.

“The Government should identify the economic cost of continuing congestion over the next 20 years, do the sums, borrow the amount necessary and get on with the job. Wellington businesses could then get on with their job, and the rest of us could get on with our lives based on convenience rather than horrendous delays and inconvenience.”

ENDS

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