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Call for urgency on future of Gisborne Rail line

13 August 2012

Call for urgency on future of Gisborne Rail line

The Chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Transport Committee has raised serious concerns with the Minister of Transport over the time it is taking to make a decision on the future of the East Coast Rail line.

The line has been closed since March when storms caused severe damage, which is expected to cost close to $4 million to repair.

Earlier this year the Regional Transport Committee, along with Hawke’s Bay’s five councils and several other organisations wrote to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee expressing their strong support for retention of the line, but are still waiting for a decision.

In a letter dated 8 August 2012 to Gerry Brownlee, Regional Transport Committee Chairman Alan Dick said the matter needed to be urgently resolved to allow time for repairs prior to summer when freight demand peaks.

“In the unfortunate event of support not proceeding, freight dependent businesses in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay need time to plan alternative transport options,” says Councillor Dick.

“This relatively isolated part of New Zealand is an engine room of our primary industry dominated national economy and so must retain a strategically effective transportation system.”

Councillor Alan Dick has requested the Minister’s urgent advice on the matter.

A copy of the letter to Transport Minister, Gerry Brownlee from Hawke’s Bay Regional Transport Committee is available here.

ENDS

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