A step in the right direction but still not enough
Moving Auckland Forward
Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City
13 October 2003
Government’s ‘tool-box’ a step in the right direction but still not enough tools
“We have half a tool-box but still not enough tools to urgently fix Auckland’s incomplete transport network,” Hon John Banks said today.
The Auckland City Mayor’s comments follow the changes proposed in the Land Transport Management Bill, which was reported back to parliament this afternoon.
Mr Banks said the bill returns from the select committee with a number of changes that are heading in the right direction. However if the Government’s transport strategy is to significantly benefit the Auckland region as soon as possible some key changes are needed.
“The bill needs funding initiatives which would allow Auckland to borrow to debt-fund projects on a network-basis as opposed to a project-by-project basis. It also needs to allow Auckland to toll existing parts of the network to help fund the entire network’s completion.
“The Transport Minister Paul Swain’s confirmation that the broader issue of tolling existing infrastructure will be addressed in a later bill is a hopeful sign and is noted in good faith.
“On public-private partnerships, I welcome the changes to make it easier to finance and undertake them.”
Mr Banks said while the Government has made a commitment to work with Auckland to tackle the region’s transport issues, this bill alone is the not solution. Auckland confronts a massive funding shortfall if it is to have any chance of completing the agreed network in the next ten years.
“Overall, many will be disappointed the appropriate tools have not yet been delivered to enable the region to fund and build its integrated transport network faster.”
Mr Banks said the detailed work under-way between the Government and Auckland continues. He is hopeful the joint officers’ work will be completed by the end of the year.
“The Land Transport Management Bill moves us in the right direction. However I agree with Paul Swain’s comment today that ‘this bill is not the end of the story’,” said the Mayor.