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The debate over the funding options required to develop Auckland’s transport should cut straight to the chase, says the chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, Kim Campbell.
“Several of the so called funding options in the Mayor’s paper are simply not going to happen and should be discarded right away,” Mr Campbell said.
“These include more taxes just for Auckland which the council can’t implement anyway. Its simply alarmist and unhelpful to the discussion.
“But it is important for Auckland to have such a process as this so we can all pool our ideas.
“The city needs all the projects identified and the community has to accept the only way they will be built is to agree to fund some extra contribution.
“Business favours a low level toll to apply to the whole of our highway network and for the projects funded to be across all modes and for both public and private transport.
“Important for the debate too is that Aucklanders understand the major transport project priorities for where and when the funding will be invested.
“Without this understanding its difficult to see Auckland willing to invest in developing the new transport assets that are nevertheless urgently needed.
“So we call on the Mayor to state the priorities and timelines for the investment projects envisaged.
“Business already has such a list, strictly in the following priority order:
1. Completing the Waterview project – though underway this needs more urgency – the return on investment is well over $4 for every dollar invested
2. Developing an eastern transport corridor connecting through to a four lane east/west highway from East Tamaki to Onehunga.
3. The central rail loop provided it is justified by a sound business case.
4. The third harbour crossing – a wide ranging debate is needed as there’s no business case for a tunnel.
“A funding omission is the possible sale of council selling non- core assets. This needs to be added for serious debate as part of the funding options.