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Friday, August 2

Government all talk, no commitment on City Rail Link

The National Government needs to make good on its promise to build the City Rail Link and commit to funding at least 50 percent of the project, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

During Question Time today, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee failed to reiterate the Prime Minister’s promise that half of the City Rail Link would be funded by central government and wouldn’t commit to any specific figure. In answers to written questions from the Greens, Minister Brownlee has confirmed that, of the projects in the Auckland transport plan announced the Government, the City Rail Link produces the most benefits.

“It’s all well and good for National to promise to build the City Rail Link but it’s a hollow promise unless they put up the cash,” said Ms Genter.
“The City Rail Link is the lynchpin of Auckland’s transport future. Official figures show it will produce greater benefits than any of the other projects in the Auckland transport plan.

“When he announced the National Government’s flip-flop on building the City Rail Link, John Key told Auckland Mayor Len Brown that central government would provide half the funding for the project. Today, we learn that there is no guarantee of how much money central government will put up.

“National has been obstructing the City Rail Link for years. Now, it seems that their apparent change of heart might be just an illusion. Without any committed funding, National’s promise to begin building the City Rail Link in 2020 isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

“There’s plenty of money in the transport budget for central government to start construction in 2015-16 rather than waiting until 2020. It’s just a matter of priorities. National should drop its uneconomic motorway projects and stump up the money for the City Rail Link to get Auckland moving,” said Ms Genter.