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Greens Hope For Draft National Transport Strategy

10 December 2007

Greens Hopeful On Draft National Transport Strategy

The draft National Transport Strategy, which was released at 5pm today,
shows that the Government is finally listening to Green Party advice on
transport and peak oil issues, Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons
says.

"The draft strategy, which sets out New Zealand's transport goals until
at least 2040 shows some good progress in Government thinking on
transport and peak oil, but has some worrying contradictions in it," Ms
Fitzsimons says.

"The Green Party welcomes the Government's recognition that fuel prices
are only going to go up, as we have been predicting for years.

"Perhaps the Reserve Bank could take note of this and revise its own
forecasts, which just last week predicted that oil would fall to US$72 a
barrel by 2010.

The draft Strategy bases many of its targets on those set out by the
Energy Efficiency Conservation strategy, of which Ms Fitzsimons is the
Government Spokesperson.

"This use of Energy Efficiency Conservation strategy goals is a good
sign for New Zealand's transport problems. Too many people are already
having to cope with the consequences of poor transport planning and
increasing oil prices," Ms Fitzsimons says.

Some aspects of the strategy are worryingly tentative however.

"Why, when Auckland has said it will double public transport use by
2016, has this strategy set the same target for the rest of the country
- but not until 2040?

"I would also ask why, when the strategy predicts that fuel prices are
going to go up even more, does it lay out plans to increase roading in
some urban areas?

"I would suggest that, given that there are no submission questions or
even an address for submitters to send their responses to, the
Government is going to have to listen very carefully for the public's
opinions on their draft document."

ENDS

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