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Let’s see the numbers on road projects Gerry

Let’s see the numbers on road projects Gerry

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee must release the analysis which led the Government to hand-pick 14 regional roading projects over others the regions are desperately crying out for, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“National has form when it comes to choosing projects with little regard for their economic value. In 2008 it committed $12 billion to its urban motorway projects without having done the most basic analysis; and several of them turned out to be very poor value for money.

“New Zealanders have had to cop a 40 per cent increase in petrol tax to pay for those poor investment decisions.

“These regional projects will certainly benefit their local communities. But there is a huge backlog of state highway work after six years of National starving the regions to pay for its big urban motorway projects. There has been no funding left for regional state highways, local road maintenance, or public transport in the cities.

“Labour is committed to restoring the balance in transport funding. We will fund regional highway projects out of the country’s transport budget, the National Land Transport Fund, rather than relying on a one-off windfall from selling profitable public assets. Regions are entitled to a proper funding process for their badly needed roading projects.

“Even the Government’s biggest fan of road spending, trucking lobby spokesperson Ken Shirley, has raised concerns about the apparent lack of analysis behind this announcement, saying: ‘The danger is that it becomes pork barrelled politics and just throwing money into marginal electorates; that's the old days. I thought we moved away from that.’

“Let’s see the numbers Mr Brownlee. How do they stack up?

“If the Minister won’t release the benefit cost ratios on these projects, he could release the polling data the Government based its decisions on,” Phil Twyford says.

ends

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