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Dunne calls for courage from region’s mayors


Dunne calls for courage and unity from region’s mayors

Tomorrow will be a black day for the Wellington region if local mayors decide to proceed with the Petone to Grenada link road at the expense of continuing to push for Transmission Gully, according to United Future leader and Ohariu-Belmont MP, Peter Dunne.

“Their lack of enthusiasm will have effectively killed the project and with it the chance to make a meaningful contribution to resolving access and egress problems to and from the capital city.

“Mayor Prendergast’s comments to the effect that Transmission Gully is only a goer if central government pays all the bills is short-sighted regional parochialism at its worst, quite unbecoming of the leadership expected of the mayor of a capital city.

“The mayors seem to expect that central government would just make it happen, without any input or contribution from the region, and this is simply naïve.

“Even Aucklanders are contributing substantially to the upgrading of their roading network, along with a government contribution, and Wellington could not have expected to be treated any differently. These are partnerships, after all.

“Transmission Gully has suffered all along because the regional leaders have never been able to get their act together and state unequivocally that they want it to proceed, and are prepared to do what it takes to make that happen.

“If they had been prepared to speak with one voice on the issue, central government would have had no option but to come to the table and talk about a joint financing package, involving a central government contribution; regional input and tolls.

“Even now, it is far from too late – all it requires is some hitherto lacking regional leadership to bring things together.

“If Wellington’s regional leaders are serious about resolving the region’s transport woes in a comprehensive rather than piecemeal way, they will set aside their narrow parochial interests, and engage with central government about a comprehensive plan and joint funding package to resolve, rather than continuing to expect everyone else to do it for them.

“After all, if Wellington’s regional leaders cannot get their act together, and speak with one voice about their priorities, they should not expect central government to do their job for them,” said Mr Dunne.

Ends


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