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Transport Bill Hot Topic at Forum

Transport Bill Hot Topic at Forum

The recently tabled Land Transport Management Bill was the hot topic at today’s Local Government Transport Forum.

Over 160 elected members and management attended the forum and took the opportunity to discuss the Bill.

Peter Winder, Chief Executive of Local Government New Zealand said that the participants were pleased that the Bill recognised transport as being an integral part of society.

“The Bill takes a wider view of the transport needs of communities and an integrated approach to transport, not just roads, and this is good news. The long-term planning requirement that has been included is also something we are pleased about as local government has been doing this over a decade,” Mr Winder said.

The forum also endorsed the introduction of a more strategic and planned approach to transport funding and the inclusion of generic toll provisions.

Some concerns however, were raised particularly in relation to local government’s say in the funding, priority and allocation decision making processes.

“Given that local government owns over 80% of the roads and contributes a large share of the expenditure it is essential that we have a strong say,” Mr Winder said.

The forum also raised concerns about the ‘over the top’ consultation and compliance requirements which will simply over-burden the sector and our communities.

“Under the current legislation councils are required to consult seven or more times before work on a road can even begin so the prospect that increasing seems ludicrous,” Mr Winder said.

“Following the forum, we will begin drafting our submission to the Select Committee and although today’s session was invaluable and the issues raised will be included, there is still much work to be done. With this in mind, we certainly hope that the Government will provide adequate time for the preparation of submissions,” he said.

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