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Irish Invest $60 Bil in Transport Infrastructure

Irish Invest $60 Billion in Transport Infrastructure

Media release, 2 November 2005

The Irish Government yesterday announced its largest ever infrastructure plan which earmarks a headline grabbing $34.4bn ($NZ60bn) for transport projects in Greater Dublin over a 10-year period. Funding for Transport 21 is expected to be principally from central treasury contributing $26.4bn, $6bn in private finance from PPP initiatives and $2bn from existing toll road PPPs.

Announcing the plan, Finance Minister Brian Cowen said "top class infrastructure is vital to Ireland's future competitiveness ... Unless we make further improvements our competitiveness will be eroded. The government has already committed to spend just under 5% of gross national product (GNP) on capital projects - equivalent to around 6bn euros a year."

"This puts into perspective the comparative low level of infrastructural investment in New Zealand", says NZCID CEO Stephen Selwood.

"Ireland is often used as a comparative nation to New Zealand. While our Government has significantly increased funding for transport in recent years, the projection for the whole of the country for the next ten years is $22bn - roughly a third of that now committed by the Irish Government."

"Major transport projects for Auckland, Wellington and the growth regions of Bay of Plenty, Waikato will not be completed within 10 years, despite the extra funds."

"Government has clearly signalled its desire to lift NZ's economic performance. It this is to be achieved, a significant increase in New Zealand's infrastructural assets is required," Selwood said.

The Irish Blueprint:

Motorway/dual carriageway links from Dublin to Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford by 2010.

Metro lines in Dublin, one linking city centre to Dublin Airport, and an orbital route linking airport line and

Commuter rail services from Galway to Athenry, reopening of Cork-Midleton line and commuter stations between Cork and Mallow.

More frequent intercity rail services.

850km of improved roads on other national primary routes from 2010-2015, major upgrade of secondary roads.

An Atlantic Road Corridor, linking Letterkenny to Waterford, through Sligo, Galway, Limerick and Cork.

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