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Land transport budget increase business as usual

Land transport budget increase just business as usual

Media release, 19 May, 2005

The additional $300 million funding for land transport will not result in any major new projects being advanced, NZCID Chief Executive Stephen Selwood said today.

Prior to the budget announcements, increased costs had put at jeopardy a number of projects that were programmed for commencement before 2008.

The additional money announced in the budget will enable Land Transport New Zealand to fund these projects as programmed.

But major new roads like Auckland’s Western Ring route, Wellington’s Transmission Gully, the Waikato Expressway, the Maramarua Expressway, Tauranga Strategic Roading Network, and an additional Auckland harbour crossing still remain well beyond the 10 year horizon and public transport initiatives will still be constrained by lack of funding.

$300 million over 3 years for transport and $130 million over 10 years for water treatment upgrades is welcome.

But if you compare NZ’s investment in infrastructural development against that of Australia, we are moving at glacial pace.

By contrast Sydney’s $2 billion M7 Westlink project and Melbourne’s $4 billion Connect East project are being delivered thorough public private partnerships within 5 years, from start to finish.

Major investments are also being made in energy supply, railways, health facilities, water treatment plants, stadiums, schools, emergency services and prisons in Australia.

That’s the kind of paradigm shift required for New Zealand to secure the nation’s social and economic development, Mr Selwood said.

NZCID had hoped for a clear signal from Government of its commitment to a long term capital investment programme to address New Zealand’s inadequate infrastructure. Unfortunately, no such commitment has been given.

ENDS

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