INDEPENDENT NEWS

School Strike AKL horrified at 4 billion spend on roads

Published: Wed 29 Jan 2020 12:56 PM
Wednesday 29th of Jan
School Strike AKL horrified at 4 billion to be spent on roads
School Strike 4 Climate Auckland is incredibly disappointed with the Labour Government’s transport announcement to spend 8 billion dollars on short-term fix and environmentally destructive motorway extensions in unnecessary places.
To spin a plan for four-way highways in low-transit areas as transformational, sustainable, or as climate action is utter rubbish.
We congratulate them on the 200 million for decarbonisation. But 4 times as much is being spent on the Otaki to North Levin bypass alone.
Otaki to North Levin a four-lane bypass will cost over 800 million dollars with a cost to benefit ratio of less than one. Which means that the economic cost is less than the even the economic benefits. To to mention the tons of avoidable CO2 emissions, these costs far outweigh the benefits.
The Mill Rd project, for example, is a 1.4 billion project to create more car depencing by breaking up suburbs in South Auckland. These two motorway projects cost more than all the sustainable projects combined. The government frames this as transformative climate action.
We appreciate and acknowledge those who fought hard for the small wins, such as the sky path and rail. However, it doesn’t matter what angle you look at this; traffic control, the economic boost, or the effect on the climate. This is a terrible plan.
School Strike 4 Climate Auckland former organiser Luke Wijohn says, “These projects sound like something ripped straight out of the National Party's handbook, and it’s because they are. Only last week a National Party candidate called for a four-lane bypass in Levin - how can Labour present a plan with projects born out of the Nat’s climate denialism as transformational?”
“This is a betrayal of the more than 170,000 Kiwis who took to the streets of Aotearoa in September and the people who voted them into power in the name of change.” says Wijohn. “Personally, I think Twyford should be resigning, he is implementing old national party policy when the people voted for change.”
With up to 200 species going extinct every single day, every hour of inaction costs lives and we have no time to waste. As well as plants and animals, people are also dying everyday due to climate change. Wijohn says “That blood is on the hands of every government that isn’t moving fast enough to lower emissions - or in our case only pretending they are.”
It appears that this Government's Minister of Transport Phil Twyford is either unwilling or unable to deliver on Labour’s promises and is instead delivering National’s environmentally backwards plan for them.
New Zealand deserves, the planet needs, and the Labour Party promised us Ministers who can deliver us transformative action to fight climate change, not spin and status quo.
“Building more lanes won’t ease traffic in the long run, getting people out of their cars and onto their bikes, trains, and buses will. Extra lanes are like the royal family: they don’t work and they cost too much.” says Wijohn.
Scientific consensus is that climate change will threaten billions of peoples’ lives if we do not limit warming to 1.5 degrees. For a 50% chance of avoiding 1.5°C warming, we have six years left at our current emission rates (IPCC).Would you let your kid get on a plane with a 50/50 chance of landing safely?
My Question to Phil and Jacinda is: is our nuclear-free moment really to build more motorways?
ENDS

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