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Budget must boost investment in roading

Hon Maurice Williamson - National Party Transport Spokesman

18 May 2005

Budget must boost investment in roading

National Party Transport spokesman Maurice Williamson agrees with the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development in saying that Thursday's Budget must significantly lift the level of investment in roading.

"New Zealand has a poor track record of continued deferrals and ongoing funding shortfalls for critical infrastructural upgrades. We are now facing a national crisis when it comes to our roading network.

"When investment in our infrastructural development is compared with that of Australia, we are moving at a glacial pace.

"There is overwhelming evidence that investment in core infrastructure such as roading is helping to drive Australia's continued prosperity, growth in wages and improved living standards.

"Sadly, here in New Zealand, hardly a day goes by without some major infrastructure development being deferred, through lack of funding, failure to gain resource consent, or indecision. This lack of commitment causes business uncertainty and drives up costs.

"Thursday's Budget provides the obvious opportunity to address part of this on-going problem by committing the necessary funding to fix the nation's crumbling roading infrastructure.

"I challenge Dr Cullen to match National's already announced commitment to 'progressively move all the taxes from the roads to the roads'.

"If Dr Cullen combines this with the necessary improvements to the RMA consent processes he would be making a welcome difference to New Zealand's future economic prosperity," says Mr Williamson.

ENDS

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