Monday, May 20, 2024

Brown: Labour’s Light Rail gravy train gathers speed

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The proposed Auckland Light Rail Route Map (left); Auckland Light Rail visual of Sandringham Station. Photo/image supplied

New figures show the Government is now spending over $1.2 million a week on consultants for Auckland Light Rail, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Light Rail has become an expensive gravy train for consultants under Labour, with more than $1.2 million a week of taxpayers’ money now being spent on consultants for a project that has gone nowhere during Labour’s six years in office,” says Brown, the MP for Pakuranga.

“The reality is Labour promised Auckland Light Rail – from the Central Business District to Mt Roskill – would be completed by 2021, however construction is now not expected to begin until 2025.

“In a desperate attempt to try and justify their $30 billion Light Rail project, Labour is spending significant amounts of taxpayers’ money on consultants that are working on producing more reports to spin Auckland Light Rail’s feasibility.

“To make things worse, Treasury’s latest Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update says the project is at risk of further cost blowouts.

“Transport Minister Michael Wood must slam the brakes on this irresponsible spending and reprioritise funding towards the regions still dealing with the devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on our roads.

“A National Government will put a stop to Labour’s wasteful spending on Light Rail consultants – scrapping the $30 billion project all together.

“We will refocus taxpayers’ money on the transport projects that Kiwis actually want and deserve, especially in our cyclone-ravaged regions.”

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