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Goff Transport Policy Fails "Show Me The Money" Test

Goff Transport Policy Fails "Show Me The Money" Test

Labour MP Phil Goff's just released Auckland transport policy is unfunded, irresponsible and incomplete says Auckland Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas.

"After nine months of campaigning, Goff has produced an unfinished wish list of billion transport dollar projects with no specific funding confirmed but a big bill on its way to government."

"He fails the "Show me the money" test again. His 1,700 word policy statement contains not one dollar figure."

Thomas said the Pakuranga to Panmure busway project Goff wants to bring forward is $550m and the Papakura to Pukekohe electrification "priority" he supports could be up to $100m. Yet these and other costs are absent from his policy.

"Of the alternative funding identified, three of his four ideas require government permission: a petrol tax, sharing the GST take and increasing the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

"He has no direct experience in his fourth idea of Pubic Private Partnerships which his Labour party generally opposed when in government."

"Goff's hope is that government will turn the funding tap on. Yet when he claimed on TV3's The Nation that he had government agreement to introducing a petrol tax, the Prime Minister scoffed."

Thomas will reverse Len Brown's $110 million transport budget cut through cost savings and reprioritising, and will defund Auckland Transport's 'gold plated' asset replacement approach.

Thomas says Goff's enthusiasm for light rail in central Auckland is irresponsible as it is not based on any business case or agreed funding plan. It is also not based on where the significant future growth is taking place in Auckland.

"The Auckland Transport Alignment Project's (ATAP) June Interim Report highlighted addressing congestion and substantial future growth in the west and south were top priorities, rather than spending $1.3 billion on light rail in central Auckland."

Auckland Transport Chair Dr Lester Levy effectively confirmed this when he presented the CCO's fourth quarter update to council yesterday.

Thomas has said he will resuscitate the City Centre Future Access Study work undertaken in 2012 which dismissed light rail as extremely difficult to justify and implement. The report did not even progress light rail to short-listing analysis.

"Instead it said taking an integrated approach using the City Rail Link option and moving to best-practice with the surface bus fleet will effectively address transport issues for the next 30 years and beyond across Auckland. This is what I will advance."

"Finally, Goff's transport plan is incomplete. He ignores pressing transport demands in other parts of the city including Penlink on the Whangaparoa peninsula, Auckland's most congested suburban road Lake Road on the Devonport Peninsula and the need to fast-track the extension of Mill Road in the south to relieve growing southern motorway congestion."

Thomas said nine days from voting beginning, Goff's 'Sorting Our Transport' plan fails to sort both the funding and the projects needed to deliver an Auckland that works."


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