May 15, 2014
Budget reinforces absurdity of KiwiRail turnaround plan
Today’s Budget reinforces the absurdity of having our national rail network in its current commercial structure, the rail union said today.
Budget 2014 allocated additional money for the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan for costs including earthquake strengthening, rail wagons procured from China and infrastructure upgrades.
“The Turnaround Plan is based on the faulty premise that KiwiRail should become self-sufficient and compete in an open market with a road transport industry subsidised to the tune of billions of dollars,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.
“In KiwiRail, we have a transport company being asked to compete with other modes such as rail and sea, but it is expected to bear all the costs of providing the network and facilities.”
“Rather than taking rail forward in New Zealand, the Turnaround plan represents a backward view. The public would be better served with the government owning the network, not creating a false competition where billion dollar subsidised roads will always win,” Wayne Butson said.