Southern Auckland Councillors were split
Just in from Auckland Council:
On Thursday 31 May Auckland Council agreed to implement a Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) unlocking more than $4 billion of critical investment in Auckland’s transport network.
Mayor Phil Goff said, “This is a good day for Auckland. We’ve agreed not only $1.5 billion in extra spending on our transport network, but unlocked more than $4 billion additional investment in transformative transport projects right across Auckland.
“This is investment that will benefit all of Auckland, increasing the provision of public transport, improving our roads, cycleways and walkways, and making Auckland less congested and safer.
“Fixing transport in Auckland is a priority. Without the Regional Fuel Tax we would be able to do little more than fund the operation and renewal of the existing transport system and projects which have already been committed to.
“To raise the equivalent sum through rates would have resulted in an average rates increase of around 13 per cent this year. Alternatively, to do nothing would see Auckland gridlocked in a short period of time.
$28 billion to improve transport
“The government and the council are addressing congestion with $28 billion of transformative investment in our transport network.
“We cannot expect the rest of New Zealand to subsidise Auckland. The council has increased investment in our transport network to $12 billion over the next 10 years and Aucklanders will contribute their fair share through a regional fuel tax (RFT) at 10 cents per litre plus GST.
“Thank you to all those Aucklanders who took time to have their say on the Regional Fuel Tax. The consultation showed that Aucklanders recognise the underinvestment in our transport network, want us to do something about it and are prepared to contribute to efforts to change the way we travel in Auckland,” Phil Goff said.
The RFT proposal will now be submitted to the government for approval and its introduction is conditional on legislation being passed with a targeted introduction of 1 July this year.
Source: Our Auckland
The vote passed 13-7 with Councillors Newman and Collins both saying No to the Regional Fuel Tax in which I understand Collin’s rational extremely well. That said and as I have blogged before the RFT enables $4 BILLION worth of transport investment including $500m giving Mill Road a basic safety upgrade and new interchange at Drury South, and stage one of the Southern Airport Line (Stage 1 being Puhinui Station to the Airport with some extensions to Manukau Bus/Rail Station). Both projects major wins for the South.
Th 14% Rate Rise against Housing New Zealand homes (existing and new builds) as Newman wanted is extremely inequitable given it is our poorest that would be slugged with the cost (even if they do not use a car) as well as the New Zealand Taxpayer given rents can be income related (that is a subsidy will be provided to the tenant).
Finally part of the $28b Auckland Transport Alignment Project can be started while Government works out the rest of the details including how the Light Rail lines will be delivered.
A good day for Auckland.