INDEPENDENT NEWS

No Room For Compromise On Transport Debate

Published: Thu 13 Nov 2003 02:20 PM
13 November 2003
AUCKLAND MAYORAL FORUM STATEMENT –
'No room for compromise on transport debate'
Chair of the Auckland Mayoral Forum and Mayor of Rodney District, John Law, says there is plenty of time for robust debate in the region over the issues around transport funding and is encouraging people to voice their views.
"But I am disappointed over the leak of the Joint Officials Group report on transport funding and strategy before we have had a chance to come to some final conclusions on it. This report is not a policy document and is merely a review of technical options. It also talks about factors constraining the speed of implementing transport solutions.
"We are still negotiating with the Government over this and no decisions have been made. We were hoping to launch this debate when we had come to a firm set of recommendations to put in the public arena," he says.
Mayor Law says the report was only a summary of the findings by the member officers of the joint Auckland and Government officials group.
"They were tasked with undertaking a review of the funding and transport alternatives to solve Auckland's traffic and congestion issues.
"It was always understood that the report would serve as an objective set of findings from which robust debate and negotiation will occur between elected members - both locally and nationally," Mayor Law said. "Those negotiations are ongoing."
The report will be reviewed at an Auckland Mayoral Forum meeting next Friday November 21.
A final report and set of recommendations will then be released to all Auckland councillors and members of the Regional Land Transport Committee at a special regional presentation at Eden Park on December 12.
"These recommendations can then be debated across the region, with all councils being asked to vote on their position by early February next year," says Mayor Law.
"It is time for the region to have this debate because there is a real opportunity here for us to finally address Auckland's transport issues and get some sustainable funding and a long term strategy in place. The Government recognises this is a priority.
"I am confident that our elected members are up to the task and that people realise we have to find the funding for this work. It is up to us to give our residents the confidence that we will then use the money we raise to make a real difference to solving Auckland's transport problems," Mayor Law says.
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