INDEPENDENT NEWS

ATAP - How will it be funded?

Published: Thu 15 Sep 2016 04:48 PM
ATAP - How will it be funded?
Source: EMA
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Today’s Auckland Transport Alignment Project announcement sets out a clear programme of work, but still leaves open the question of funding.
The much awaited final report outlined the schedule of transport projects the city desperately needs. While it is good to have Government and Auckland Council agree on the priorities, the funding options outlined are not enough, in EMA’s view.
"There is still a four billion dollar funding gap that needs to be addressed," says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.
"Rates won’t fund this programme, especially with current mayoral candidate promises of capping rates at two percent, so how will the multi-billion shortfall be funded?
"Today, the proposal referred to smarter transport pricing in 10 years time as a solution for this funding shortfall. That sounds a lot like tolls or congestion charging to me, and what happens in the interim?
"Our members would need assurance that there will be long term productivity gains, for this pain. We need to see the vision for how we will move around the city in the next 10, 20 and 30 years. If we can understand what the roading and transport network will look like, how it will ease congestion, then I think we can take the hit in the short term. But I’m yet to be convinced of the vision.
"Furthermore, there still seems to be a political block to realistically looking at alternative funding models to bridge the gap. Missing in action was the role of tools such as public private partnerships, or infrastructure bonds or asset divestment in today’s announcement," says Mr Campbell.
He said it was pleasing to see that ATAP lined up with the Auckland Plan.
However, he had hoped key initiatives outlined for the Auckland port and airport would have been included in the first decade of priorities, instead of being pushed out to the second.
ENDS

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