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Dunne slams roading 'farce'

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Dunne slams roading 'farce'

Wellingtonians are being "stitched up" by the Government and the Wellington Regional Council to accept the coastal highway or nothing, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today in response to the Government's Wellington roading funding announcement.

"This is a dirty deal that puts money up, but effectively holds a gun to Wellingtonians' heads and says 'if you don't go down our path - no dough'.

"It is simply not acceptable. It's outrageous to do a behind-closed-doors deal in favour of the coastal highway and then expect the people to accept that," Mr Dunne said. He said the Government had been quite duplicitous, saying one thing publicly and another privately.

"Basically, they're trying to push Transmission Gully right out of the picture and move for the four-laning of the coastal highway, but it simply doesn't stack up when you look at what Wellington will require from its roading network in the years ahead.

"If the coastal highway goes ahead, we will have many more years of the current sub-standard transport infrastructure while all the myriad consents are ploughed through just so work can be done on a route that will destroy coastline and the Ngati Toa Domain, is flood-prone and vulnerable to earthquakes," he said.

"And Wellington will remain without a second main route in the event of a natural disaster.

"This reeks of short-term thinking by short-sighted people," Mr Dunne said.

He said Greater Wellington Council chairman Ian Buchanan's "part in this charade" goes well beyond any decision his council has ever made.

"It's time for the people of Wellington to have their say. "For years they have been screaming out for Transmission Gully - they do not deserve to be let down by weak regional leadership and Government smoke and mirrors the way they have been today," he said.

ENDS

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