INDEPENDENT NEWS

Additional $500 million good news for road users

Published: Thu 23 Jun 2005 04:56 PM
June 23 2005
Additional $500 million good news for road users
The Government is to be congratulated for its decision to invest a windfall tax gain of $500 million in transport infrastructure, the AA said today.
“This use of additional and unexpected revenue in transport infrastructure is extremely wise. Analysis by Allen Consulting and Infometrics released last year by the AA, demonstrated that transport infrastructure provides an economic return on capital that would generate more revenue for the Government in the long run,” said George Fairbairn, AA Public Affairs Director
Mr Fairbairn said the additional funding on top of the $300 million over three years already announced would almost certainly speed up much needed roading projects –especially in Auckland.
“This is a large sum of money, no matter how one looks at it, and it will make a significant difference,” he said.
Mr Fairbairn said the highest priority for spending would have to be on speeding up the completion of the State Highway 20 and State Highway 18 ring route around Auckland, closely followed by the major safety projects such as four-laning of the Waikato Expressway and State Highway 2 to Maramarua. While this fresh injection of capital will not fund all of these projects it could significantly advance their construction.
“The AA has been concerned for some time that many of the most important transport projects in the country have been left outside the ten-year planning window of the National Land Transport Programme. This has hidden the size of the roading infrastructure deficit facing the country over the next twenty to thirty years.“ he said.
Infrastructure construction is not something that can be turned on and off at a whim. In order to spend this additional revenue well it will be essential to accelerate the current slow processes to get projects completed.
ENDS

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