Thursday, May 23, 2024

Brown: Labour has no credibility on transport

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National’s entire $24 billion transport package is less than the $30b phantom light rail project for Auckland that Labour said would open in 2021.

National’s costings for its 10-year Transport for the Future package announced today are robust, the funding sources are known, and a National Government will deliver every project, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“It’s rich for Labour’s transport spokesperson David Parker to today suggest there’s a shortfall in National’s costings. National used the upper figures of the Government’s own range of costings that are publicly available, and we have set aside a significant contingency of $1.4 billion. We will also invite private partners to contribute to some projects, as happens regularly overseas, so the total tab does not fall on taxpayers.

“Just weeks ago, the Transport Minister told National the latest cost estimate for a Cambridge to Piarere highway was $605 million to $721m. National responsibly used the top of that range for its costings. Today, the minister claims the estimated cost has roughly doubled.

“Either the minister hid the cost of the project at the start of this month when we asked for it, or he’s tasked officials to change the numbers to desperately justify his partisan attack.

“The Labour Government has utterly no credibility on transport project delivery, or sticking to a budget.

“National’s entire $24b package is less than the $30b phantom light rail project for Auckland that Labour said would open in 2021. Six years later and with more than $140 million already down the drain, not one metre of light rail exists. National will can this hopeless project.

“In six years, Labour has not stuck to its spending allowance in its annual Budget and it’s now spending more than $1b a week more than National was spending six years ago, but there’s nothing to show for it.

“National doesn’t just talk. We get things built.

“We don’t need Mr Parker to point out that there’s inflation. That’s about the only thing that Labour has created.”

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