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Williamson's $635 million transport hit list

5 August 2005

Williamson's $635 million transport hit list

National's John Key today made the party's transport spokesman Maurice Williamson responsible for drawing up a list of transport projects to be axed over the next three years.

Key put the heat on Williamson after confirming that National would limit additional transport spending from the Crown Account over the next three years to $600 million, compared to the $1.235 billion that would occur under a Labour-led government.

"Key has given Maurice Williamson the job of identifying $635 million worth of projects to be cut over the next three years. These are projects that would otherwise be funded from the Crown Account with a Labour government," says Transport Minister Pete Hodgson.

"Williamson needs to move fast. Land Transport New Zealand has just updated its plans and Transit will be publishing a revised ten year state highway plan next week. Both these include projects to be paid for from the $1.235 billion from the Crown Account that would be spent with Labour over the next three years.

"Williamson needs to front up. Businesses, contractors, drivers and those that rely on passenger transport in Auckland, Wellington, the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato in particular should be told by Williamson exactly which projects are for the axe in order to comply with John Key's instructions."

***********

John Key on Morning report, Friday 5 August 2005

REPORTER: Included in Labour’s new spending are funding packages specifically tagged to regions, a significant package for Auckland and more recently 885 million for Wellington and 150 million for the Bay of Plenty. National’s John Key says the funding would still be there in essence but he won’t commit to individual projects, saying that would be up to Maurice Williamson as Transport Minister.

KEY: From what I can see the projects look to be ones that are high on the priority list and I see absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t be high on Maurice’s list and therefore completed. But ultimately my role in this as the finance spokesman is to ensure the funding is in place; it’s Maurice’s decision to ensure it goes to the place of most need…

REPORTER: But you’re not committing to them at this stage?

KEY: Well that’s a job for the Minister of Transport to actually commit to individual projects.

ENDS


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