Government Shows It Has No Vision With Rail Loop Decision

Press Release – Greenpeace New Zealand

Despite what it says to the contrary, the Government is not interested in true economic prosperity, as shown by today’s announcement not to support the building of Auckland’s rail loop, says Greenpeace New Zealand.Government Shows It Has No Vision With Rail Loop Decision

Auckland Tuesday May 31 2011: Despite what it says to the contrary, the Government is not interested in true economic prosperity, as shown by today’s announcement not to support the building of Auckland’s rail loop, says Greenpeace New Zealand.

“The economic benefits of the rail loop have been thoroughly assessed by the likes of the UC Berkeley Transportation Centre, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers,” says Greenpeace NZ Senior Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer.

“But the Government has ignored the Loop’s potential, instead opting to progress those pet projects that are consistent with its narrow-minded, old-fashioned ‘dig and burn’ approach to economic development: deep sea oil, new coal mines in national parks, and more motorways, which will only increase the economy’s exposure to the volatile world oil market, and of course just make the climate crisis worse,” says Boxer.

“It’s this type of thinking that’s driving the oil industry to open up its final frontiers in the pristine Arctic, and in the deep waters off New Zealand’s coast,” Boxer says.

“The Loop is an urgent and essential piece of transport infrastructure to make Auckland a functioning modern city and begin to de-couple our economy from the daily costs of fossil fuel dependence.

“This is a major setback for Auckland economically and in terms of the quality of life in our biggest city. It maintains the decades-old, government approach towards transport decisions being about roads versus rail. We are all suffering at the petrol pump but the alternative modes of transport – whilst improving – are still woefully under funded.

“As usual, Auckland is being held back by a lack of forward thinking by Central Government, which only listens to groups like Federated Farmers, Fonterra, the Road Transport Forum, and overseas oil companies.

“Why not listen to what Aucklanders want?

“The Government is always talking about belt-tightening, but it’s already spent $30 million of taxpayer’s money on subsidising the international oil industry’s activities, and plans to spend $400 million on damming the South Island’s rivers, as a giant subsidy for industrial dairy farming,” says Boxer.

ENDS

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