Another testy exchange in parliament yesterday between Phil Twyford and transport minister Gerry Brownlee over transport matters in Auckland:
Firstly, it seems pretty obvious that the government is unlikely to support any scheme to raise additional funding through congestion charging mechanisms, regional fuel taxes and so forth. But what really caught my mind is the very end of the exchange, which can also be read in the transcript:
Phil Twyford: Is it not arrogant to be ruling options in or out when it was his Government that abolished the regional fuel tax, which would have funded much of Auckland’s transport plans, when it forced Auckland Council to borrow half a billion dollars to pay for the electric trains, when it went cap in hand to Auckland Council asking for bridging finance, because the Government’s own funding for Auckland’s roads ran out, all the while refusing to support the popular and essential city rail link?
Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I take big issue with the suggestion that the city rail link is useful or popular.
I’m becoming more and more convinced this government will never stump up any money for the CRL and the only way we have a hope of seeing the project built is if there’s a change of government.