2 October 2008
Peak oil and public transport: Cullen's revelation
The Green Party have challenged Labour to redirect the billions of dollars earmarked for New Zealand's largest ever
roading programme into public transport, following Dr Cullen's admission yesterday that people will choose public
transport if it is provided and that Peak Oil is real.
In a speech yesterday, Dr Cullen admitted both that "we have to come to terms with a new set of circumstances - the
emerging reality of Peak Oil," and that "we can get people out of cars and onto public transport."
Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says: "This is a significant turnaround from Cullen's comments to me in the
House just last year that "One thing I do not share with the member, I suspect, is a view that higher oil prices will
lead to an
abandonment of the private motorcar".
"The Greens - and most of New Zealand - welcome the extra $121 million for rail, but this figure is peanuts compared to
$2 billion going on a single tunnel in Auckland, and the $1 billion going on a new motorway in Wellington - as Dr Cullen
himself admitted yesterday.
"I challenge Dr Cullen to be consistent in his views and actions on transport. He must redirect the billions about to be
flushed away on new roads into the affordable, reliable public transport system people desperately need, and which he
now admits will alleviate the traffic problems around the country.
"It is a significant breakthrough for Dr Cullen to admit that expensive new motorways won't be needed in an oil-scarce
world, and that better public transport and rail will.
"Now he needs to change his behaviour to fit his better-informed views," Ms Fitzsimmons says.