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Transmission Gully Decision Yet to Be Taken

PRESS RELEASE 1/7/05

Transmission Gully Decision Yet to Be Taken

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce rejects a report on the front page of today’s Dominion Post newspaper which states that the “proposed Transmission Gully motorway is to be dropped”.

“Either the Government is misleading to the region’s Mayors and business leaders, or else the Dominion Post’s sources have it wrong”, says Charles Finny, CEO of the Chamber.

“Our understanding is that no decision has yet been taken on which solution to the Western corridor problems. Just last Friday Minister Paul Swain assured the Chamber and region’s Mayors that the Government was not tagging its money to any one proposal and that no decision had been taken by Government on funding which would preclude the Transmission Gully possibility proceeding. Swain and the region’s MPs told the Chamber and the Mayors that the Government wanted Wellington region to make a decision and unify behind the option that was best for the region. The region has yet to take a decision. The earliest such a decision is possible will be next week at a Regional Land Transport Committee workshop session, and that is unlikely. Formally a decision is not due until the Regional Land Transport Committee meeting on 18 August,” Charles Finny said. “We take heart from the comments made by Minister Hodgson on the radio this morning which also made it clear that Wellington’s Western Corridor issue was being treated separately from those decisions that had already been taken by Government. Other Ministers have today assured us that no decision to drop Transmission Gully has been taken by Government`”

“At our meeting last week with the region’s MPs – including Ministers Swain, King and Hobbs we stressed that while the coastal highway upgrade option might on the surface seem to be the most affordable solution, it is also the solution which carries the highest risks. The business community would not be prepared to accept a decision to drop Transmission Gully unless a decision to fund the coastal highway upgrade was accompanied by a guarantee from the Government that the construction would not be delayed or stalled because of the designation and consents process,” Charles Finny said.

“The Chamber is also yet to be convinced that the coastal highway option is the most affordable option. The last Regional Land Transport Committee workshop saw several requests made for more work to be done on costings and risks associated with both options. We won’t see the results of this further work until next week,” Charles Finny concluded.

ENDS

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