Transport is a high profile political issue at the moment, with a lot of news happening all at once. We have the release of ATAP, the Regional Land Transport Plan and the Regional Fuel Tax proposal, hot on the heels of the Government Policy Statement. While that means there’s a lot for us to write about, it also means that some of the political debate on transport is either poorly informed or really really misleading. Take last week’s tweet by Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown:

It’s very surprising that the MP for Pakuranga has seemingly never heard of the AMETI Eastern Busway project that, unlike light-rail, is actually proposed to be part funded by the proposed Regional Fuel Tax. This busway runs right along Lagoon Drive and through his electorate. It is designed to address this very problem by giving people the option of avoiding congestion through travelling on a high-quality busway.

Something else that’s got lost in the political discussion seems to be the 2017 ATAP, which was completed under the previous government. National MPs have been pointing to it to say that this latest ATAP is just their plan repackaged. There is some truth to that because the debate about previous ATAPs was largely not about what the projects were but the relative timing of them and how everything would be funded. The last iteration of ATAP also had a funding gap of $5.9 billion, increased to $10 billion once inflation was added in.

The 2017 ATAP also formed the starting point for the most recent work. It is this 2017 ATAP, in particular what it discussed about light-rail, which I want to delve into a bit more detail as part of this post.

The general purpose of the 2017 ATAP was to update work done the previous year to reflect updated growth projections – the reality that Auckland was growing much faster than previously expected and that most of this extra growth was projected to happen within the existing urban area (the Unitary Plan had been approved after the first ATAP:

Unsurprisingly, the faster growth translated into more pressure on the transport network generally, including on key bus corridors accessing the city centre. This is picked up and explained in more detail later in the report:

City Centre Access

Since 2010, the number of jobs in the city centre has increased from 88,000 to 116,000 and the population has grown from 30,000 to nearly 53,000. Tertiary student numbers, a major contributor to travel demand, have also grown. This rapid growth is projected to continue, increasing pressure on transport networks serving New Zealand’s largest employment area. Constrained access to the city centre and high competition for street space means growing demand needs to be accommodated through an ongoing modal shift to public transport, walking and cycling.

The City Rail Link and associated further rail improvements will cater for a substantial proportion of increased trip demand into the city for the parts of Auckland served by rail. However major catchment areas, particularly parts of the isthmus and the North Shore, are not served by rail and continue to be reliant on bus services to meet growing travel demand.

Modelling outputs indicate bus ridership on corridors accessing the city centre is now projected to grow more rapidly. These increases combine on the two highest volume access routes: Symonds Street and Fanshawe Street, which are already under significant strain at peak times. Faster population and employment growth means bus ridership on Symonds Street, Auckland’s busiest bus corridor, is tracking 3-4 years ahead of previous projections.

ATAP highlighted the challenge of meet growing demand on Symonds Street beyond the mid-2020s through bus efficiency improvements including double-decker buses, route optimisation, bus priority measures and bus terminus facilities. Business case analysis of this issue undertaken by Auckland Transport and NZTA highlights that as the corridor’s capacity is reached and exceeded, major delays and poor reliability will be experienced across large parts of Auckland’s bus network, ultimately making the city centre harder to access.

A mass transit solution (advanced bus or light rail) costing up to $1.2 billion was therefore identified by ATAP as being necessary early in the second decade. $500 million was allocated in the first decade to fund route protection and early stages of construction. Faster bus ridership growth on this corridor now indicates completion of this investment should be brought forward by 3-4 years into the first decade.

So, the previous government agreed that an investment of around $1.2 billion (in 2015 dollars, which equates to around $1.5 billion in the inflated dollars the recently released ATAP uses) on “mass transit” was necessary to address these city centre bus constraints. Furthermore, the previous government agreed that this investment was needed in the next 10 years.

While the paragraphs above note that “mass transit” could be in the form of light-rail or “advanced bus”, following further investigation into the advanced bus option, there was general agreement that the long-term solution would need to be light-rail. Simon Bridges even said this himself in March 2017.

“In the medium to long term, this will make it possible for a staged, integrated transition to light rail along the preferred ‘Airport to City’ route based on future demand and capacity.”

So the last government supported spending $1.5 billion on the Dominion Road corridor over the next decade, which is only slightly less than the $1.8 billion the recently released ATAP dedicates to light-rail to the airport and Northwest (with the intention that this will be leveraged through financing and third-party funding arrangements). They supported light-rail as the medium to long term solution along the corridor – with the details of a transition from bus to light-rail to be worked out through detailed analysis. By the way, I’m sure that detailed analysis would have confirmed that it would be pointless to spend $1.5 billion to go from current bus lanes to a major new bus corridor only to then dig it up again 10-years later to convert to light rail when you could jump straight to light rail.

Therefore, it is surprising to see such strong opposition from the National Party to the City-Airport light rail, particularly in terms of identifying this project as one they would cut to save enough money so no there longer need to be a Regional Fuel Tax:

Ultimately we will never know how serious the previous government was about closing Auckland’s transport funding gap, which had ballooned to nearly $10 billion by the start of the most recent ATAP. But they certainly had no issue with spending $1.5 billion on a “Dominion Road trolley service” in August last year.

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  1. Just the wolves taking off the sheep outfits now that playing the game of ‘supporting’ real transformational PT didn’t help them stay in government. Now its back to shouting and ignoring well researched reports to stir up the base sitting in their cars tuned to talk back radio.

  2. I want to know what the Nat MPs propose happens on SH16. If they’re so keen to bag trams, what do they say to West Aucklanders who are shouldering the bulk of the urban development but were receiving precisely zero new infra to alleviate the traffic under their watch? Like, come on lads, show your working on this one.

    1. National didn’t start a single public transport project in their 9 years other than the CRL which they were by far the last party to support, and they think a NEX extension and AMETI should be enough for the foreseeable future. The only future National can see involves thousands more gridlocked cars.

  3. It’s just internal National party politics playing out. Collins supporters like Brown and Ross having a dig at Bridges.

      1. I assume it’s similar to Australia’s Liberal NBN promises. “Quicker” referring to deployment time (ie building bus lanes vs rails) not actually the performance of the end product.

    1. Nail on the head there. Simeon Brown isn’t worried about getting into government in 2020, he’s playing the long game making sure he is influential when the get back into government in 2023 or 2026.

  4. Those Nat MPs don’t care. They are happy to be in a Post Truth environment where they just appeal to the uninformed.

  5. National’s aim appears to be to stir up a culture war that politicises PT and (They assume) will win them votes in the Auckland car centric, commuter land bible belt.

    National MP’s constantly pepper their rhetoric with culture war dog whistles. It’s a fight between clean living, God fearing, church going hard working Kiwi families who dream of a mortgage free, detached brand new four bedroom and two and a half bathroom home in a new sub-division with attendant boat and BMW SUV in the driveway and the effette, latte sipping (possibly foreign) apartment dwelling (probably gay) and unnaturally childless PT and cycling inner city enemy within.

    It’s reckless opportunism from a party that still seems to be mainly driven by resentment at the manner in which it lost office. Jamie Lee Ross just today in the paper seems to be implying that Auckland can fund it’s PT by flogging off council assets like the airport shares and the port; This is a return to tired and failed thinking of the 1990s which Auckland votes have already rejected numerous times.

    National needs to grow up on public transport issues.

    1. But why risk alienating potential voters to appease existing voters. I doubt there is a car loving PT hating person in Auckland that didn’t vote National at the last election and they still lost.

    2. “flogging off council assets like the airport shares and the port;”

      This is great work by National. They have discovered that there are other ways to fund public transport. It’s just a real shame that they have not identified the best assets to sell and that is the AT car park buildings. We are aware of the tremendous growth story that is Auckland Airport and similarly the port has big volume increases predicted. Why would we sell assets that are going to return tremendous wealth for all Aucklanders?

      AT car parks are a completely different story. The net operating surplus on all of the car parks is average or below. The Auckland Transport Parking Strategy ensures that they will continue to make similar returns. One requirement is to “charge the lowest rates possible to achieve occupancy targets.” There also seems little political will to charge market rates so let’s flog them off.

      There is little evidence to suggest that the financial welfare of city business is dependent on AT operating parking buildings. They only represent 17% of the total spaces available. Sale of these will produce $240 million if current book value is achieved.

      I think I will write to Auckland National MP’s and offer this helpful suggestion. What’s the bet that not a single one even bothers to reply? We will quickly see whether National’s transport policy is about making a difference, or simply making mischief.

  6. Ben Elton had the caption Simeon Brown should have used for the Lagoon Drive pic: ‘ “You’re trying to tell me that they’re all going in the same direction, travelling to much the same destinations and yet they’re all deliberately impeding the progress of each other by covering six square metres of space with a large, almost completely empty tin box?”…”You’re drunk!” ‘

    1. Is this what we’re getting on Dominion Rd, Judith?

      Top work Heidi! So the story has broken, this is exactly what National is promising for Dominion Road. As you can see it is a PPP with Crusher Collins brother in law and I have heard that it comes in within the budget that they had allocated to the project.

  7. From Simeon Brown’s maiden speech in November last year. “Two such projects close to my electorate’s heart are the East West Link and AMETI. I am tremendously disappointed to hear the new Government intends to put the brakes on this kind of growth and I will do everything I can to encourage them away from this myopic decision. Traffic congestion is a huge issue in Pakuranga, for people who live there and businesses which operate in East Auckland. These transport projects must be progressed, and I will champion them, and others like them, during my time in this place.” Righteo, Simeon.

    1. He has no issue with AMETI, although he loves the crappy fly over, he claims the issue is the funding. He opposes the fuel tax, instead he wants to pay for it with magical money from nowhere.

      He told me directly it was fully funded in the 2017 ATAP which is a lie.

      1. I just love how he puts AMETI and EWL in the same sentence. What causes traffic congestion is induced traffic from road building. So since “traffic congestion is a huge issue in Pakuranga” why is he with the RoNPS party? Magical money from nowhere indeed.

  8. All this criticism of ‘trams’ from people you’d think would at some point have traveled to Melbourne and seen how great trams can be.

    1. This is my biggest bug bear . Kiwis by and large are well travelled, visiting or even living in Europe (or Melbourne) with decent public transport, no doubt use it regularly to get around then return to nz and scream build more roads, don’t take away my car parks etc. Like WTF?!

      My last trip to Europe the only times I sat in a motor vehicle for 4 weeks were when it mate dropped me off and picked me up from the airport at home. Through a combination of walking, buses, light and heavy rail I got around no problems It actually felt weird sitting in a car when I got back.

      1. I’m with you there. We spent 5 weeks in Europe last year and travelled extensively by train, tram and bus including to some out of the way places. All easy and simple. Now we’re home in Paeroa and I have to drive 90km to Papakura to get to the closest train station!

  9. It should come as no surprise that a National MP, namely Simeon Brown this time, totally bypasses the truth for political gains.

    And clearly their focus grouping sees the vague possibility of gain from spouting pure bullshit to wind up gridlocked motorists by making the light rail project, they agreed to albeit 2045, the bogie man. Hence Judith’s mimicking tweet.

    They are an ugly party geared toward being elected at any cost by saying anything.

    The truth is out there somewhere, just nowhere National HQ!

  10. What I do not see is some common sense budgeting going on with this process.
    Every picture of a tram network GA puts up is a double tracked gold plated tram system.
    I do question is this really necessary, our forefathers learnt to run trams on a single track network with passing tracks. Can we do the same.

    Puhinui to airport could largely be single track with a couple of planned passing bays.
    Likewise down Puhinui to Botany could be single track with passing bays with a return track via a Flatbush loop. A two track under harbour tunnel with a single tram track up to Albany on the existing bus way right of way with a few passing tracks at stations.
    A single track down Dominion Road would help get the automobile crowd happy.
    1) Remember a tram way has most movements in one direction in the morning and opposite in the afternoon.
    2) if the tram route is proving to be very popular then we add the second rail.

    I just think we have added to many zero’s to the bill by gold plating it as ‘double track required’… lets do some budgeting.

    1. Agree, we have a long habit of gold plating things. I always thought it would have been better to have built a single lane tunnel at Waterview with cars running south in the morning and north in the afternoon. In the off chance demand exceeded expectation then we could have gone back in a few years, redone the roadworks again and put in a bigger tunnel with three lanes in each direction.

      1. You know, something like that could probably have been kept on the surface, Jezza, which would have been much cheaper. And if it had been a buslane, wouldn’t the people flowrate have been high? Indeed, it would have increased options for people rather than inducing the traffic in adjacent suburbs like Pt Chev. Pity. Maybe when the motorway network is converted to a bus and cycle network we’ll see a point to all that waste. 🙂

    2. In the 50’s we under budgeted the Harbour Bridge, severely, and since then have religiously failed to take into account growth for virtually every major project.

      As recently as the 21st century Auckland’s 2 dollar shop mentality completely stuffed up Britomart by giving it too few access lines and too few platforms of such a length that it forever hamstrung the network to no more than 6 cars at a time. All that meant inflexibility and limited growth potential.

      Auckland has an appalling history of poor vision and going cheap on major projects. Anyone who has lived here knows it!

      1. Why do we have all this planning its a bit like the Soviet Union 5 year plans or the great leep forward in communist China. Just start laying the tracks up Queen Street and make it up as the money becomes available. I am sure when they built the old network they didn”t start out with the idea of finishing up in Onehunga but they did. Small projects which are manageable physically, financially and politically are the way to go. Big projects ate just a red rag to a national party bull. Under the radar.

      2. The harbour bridge was delivered the best way it could have been, we got an eight lane bridge by 1965 for cheaper than building a six lane bridge in 1955.

        Likewise with Britomart, if they had build it with eight platforms and four tracks they would have had to borrow hundreds of millions more to demolish or underpin all the buildings down one side… and we would definitely not be building the CRL today.

        Doing successive increments of capacity and performance is the best way to deliver infrastructure.

        Borrowing heaps more money to build two or three times what you need so that it’s empty and available two decades later is the worst way to do it.

        1. It is a pretty bad way to do it. Worse is building roads at huge cost, while trying to reduce traffic volumes and increase safety elsewhere. Labour is at least trying to do the latter, but because they’re still building roads, they’re still wasting our money.

        2. I’m sorry but no. Britomart has been utterly handicapped by the two lines in or one in or out for years. Both the ARC and AT have juggled the supreme inflexibility that this design cock up is. And worse, one troublesome set of points and the whole house of cards falls over.

          There was also supposed to be a bus terminal as part of the original design. Now we have…..nothing! The cost of doing that in 2018 would be phenomenal.

          And the Harbour Bridge was too small right from the get go. Quite how factoring in inflation makes something more beneficial 10 years later, whilst being restricted to an outmoded design, (motor vehicles only) makes no sense, financially or otherwise at all.

        3. Britomart has not been utterly handicapped, it’s worked amazingly and spearheaded the renaissance of rapid transit in Auckland. Here we are 15 years later with electric trains running every ten minutes on the main lines.

          The cost of building the bus terminal originally was phenomenal. In fact that first scheme was so expensive and risky it got cancelled. Which proves my point. Demanding the huge thing up front only costs money you don’t have and cancelled the whole scheme. For more evidence see the first ten attempts at rail revival in Auckland that all tried to do a CRL, double tracking, electrification, resignalling and new fleet all in one go. None of them got off the drawing board.

          The Harbour Bridge was not too small right from the get go, it had plenty of capacity on opening day as the North Shore was nothing but Northcote, Takapuna and farmland. Ten years later it was starting to get busy, after ten years of growth enabled by the first bridge.

          It makes a lot of sense when you realise that the city borrowed all the money to build the bridge, and had to make all the payments on that money every year. They saved themselves ten years of double payments on lanes they didn’t need, which means they weren’t completely broke ten years later when they needed to do other things.

        4. And if we had of got straight onto the light rail project immediately after Britormart we would have trams running up Queens street and passenger would be happily transferring from train to trams at Mount Eden station and we would be laying track up Dominion road now. Instead we have got a hole in the ground half way up Albert street and another huge political fight over another mega project which may well lead to the demise of the coalition government before the light rail is even started.

        5. Bravo, Nick! This is a concept, nay reality as misunderstood as the depth of preparation undertaken to provide all these wondrous facilities to a growing city. I think the same of Robbie’s Rapid Rail – Had that been delivered in the mid 1970s, it would have been overpriced and underused and ultimately torn to pieces by the end of the eighties in the political revolutions of the time. We may never have got to a place where we’d be looking forward to a superior outcome such as is on the table with the CRL and its ongoing works.

    3. @ Don (above): “Remember a tram way has most movements in one direction in the morning and opposite in the afternoon.”.

      There’s one snag with this Don. Although “people flow” will be mostly in one direction in the morning and opposite direction in the afternoon, the *tram flow* will be pretty-much the same. How do you suppose all those empty trams which have just unloaded their rush-hour passengers will get back to the start of the run to pick up the next load? Or do you imagine there being a large pool of empty trams just sitting at the terminus for one journey into town a.m. and one journey back p.m, and that’s it?

      1. Can you imagine driving a car or truck down one of these tram routes in modern traffic, never really sure whether the next tram would be coming with you or at you!?

        I’m willing to bet that the cost of double tracking light rail routes is no more than that of a complex arrangement of points and crossing loops with fleet sized stabling yards at either end.

    4. Don’t think single track would work with units coming both directions every 10 mins each way, in reality of timings they would always end up waiting for each other etc.

  11. National have a huge war chest of “donated” money. This money has been largely donated by astute businesses who have got ahead by making astute investments, not by giving money away. These businesses will be looking for a profitable return on these “donations” They will be constantly reminding the party campaign management and “friendly” MPs of their expectations to ensure the continuation of this investment in donations.
    The party is thus heavily indebted to its donors and its need to maintain these industry donations to pursue electoral advantage, hence their irrational opposition, or if that fails, delaying tactics, to any major bus and rail enhancements.
    Every full railway carriage, light rail vehicle, or bus significantly reduces the need for replacement cars, with a corresponding effect on the supply business. Round Figures, Lets say every 10 people who commute daily by public transport takes 8 cars off the road.. With an expected 8 year life of each car before replacement , then this amounts to 1 less new car required per year per every 10 people carried. I am sure the significance of this is not lost on the principals of the motor trade and roading industries as they see the lost opportunity of the full buses and railway carriages passing by. For them spending on marketing only determines how the market is shared b but astute lobbying, backed with donation spending, determines the the total size of the market.

    1. i have no doubt you are correct, as always follow the moneytrail. Politicians are but puppets really.

    2. The fanaticism of the road lobby in New Zealand is comparable to that of the gun lobby in America. I say that because the same “cultural” arguments are made in support of both. Mike Hosking’s cry of “don’t take my car away from me” and others arguing that “Aucklanders do not want to take public transport”, “we grew up taking the car”, “the car is freedom, public transport is socialism”, is very similar to the arguments made by the NRA in the US for guns.

      1. Fortunately we don’t have a constitution so car use doesn’t require a 2/3rds majority to overturn!

      2. I believe there is a significant element of ideological opposition to anything government run or operated. However I think the main funding of this opposition is from businesses who are simply protecting “their” market.
        8000? people commuting daily on the Northern Busway means about 600 less new cars per year for the North Shore . Rail improvements will have had a similar effect south of the bridge and Light Rail threatens more. What these industries are very aware of is that successful public transport projects are likely to be contagious. This industry will therefore continue to politically actively resist all public transport initiatives nationally and internationally.
        These industries must be rueing the day that they didn’t quite manage to totally kill off suburban rail in Auckland.
        I recall some years ago the Auckland Chamber of Commerce hosted a transport consultancy from the USA that advocated killing off the remnant rail in favour off more roading.
        A few months later I was in Adelaide when their Chamber of Commerce also hosted a transport consultancy from the USA. This consultancy recognised that Adelaide had a substantial suburban rail network but advised that because the train sets were getting old again it would be more cost effective to upgrade roads.

        1. I find it odd that these industries don’t also donate to Labour, as the reality is they will be in government half the time (or near enough to it). These appear to be alienating themselves from government for significant periods of time, the smart businesses donate to all parties.

          Fortunately in NZ the amount of funding a party gets doesn’t have a strong correlation with the vote they receive.

        2. Perhaps it isn’t so odd when you consider that the road lobby is part of a larger economic paradigm that is not so well aligned with Labour.

  12. Uses photo of congested road to bag out bus way that doesn’t even take up any space on said road The mind boggles. And then some hysterical sheep will pick up and run with it… Joy

  13. National party is funded in part by the road lobby. Hence their ideological hatred of trains or public transport.

        1. I am a sad creature. I come in from some physical labour and am delighted to see there are four more comments. And then I read them. 🙂

        2. I was labouring under an allusion, Heidi…but I do enjoy a whimsical digression onto the sunlight grammatical uplands from time to time.

        3. I was labouring under a very upright prune tree yesterday. Which fruit tree family is an allusion from?

        4. Indeed. The sort of plum used for drying. My variety: ahipara. Germans use them in pies. Dallies called them sugar prunes. Very very sweet plum.

    1. Interesting. So if whatever they get offered in terms of an income stream makes financial sense to them… it would to the public if the Ministry funded the project too? The difference being there will be more people taking their cut via the NZ Super Fund, and it doesn’t have to be discussed as an upfront cost for the public. Long term, what can an “owner” do or not do? I can’t see it improving our ability to make decisions on upgrades as required by the network.

      1. It would depend on how the contract is written, of course the more flexibility the customer has the more the owner will want in financial return.

        This looks pretty much like a PPP, the only difference being the profits benefit future pensioners, rather than existing shareholders. Basically we are passing the costs from today’s road users to the future road users (or whoever funds the NLTF at that stage). I think there is some logic to this as future road users will have a lot more options than we do.

        1. Future road users might have a whole lot fewer options than we do, Jezza. They will already be saddled with the costs of fixing everything else we’re failing to maintain, in a world we’re failing to protect from exploitation and pollution. They’ll have the costs of climate change to deal with, and oil will be more expensive.

          You’ve summed it up well that “Basically we are passing the costs from today’s road users to the future road users” but I disagree that this is logical or equitable.

          The only benefit is that the projects are worth doing. I agree with Greg’s enthusiasm. But I think we should be paying for it directly.

        2. They will at the very least have the option of catching LR, that current drivers do not. Future fuel tax (or road user charges) will be much more voluntary than they are currently as there will be many more PT and hopefully cycling options.

          The choice it basically between asking today’s 1.5m Aucklanders to pay towards a future LR system they may not use as they might be dead or have moved out of Auckland or to get a future 2.5m Aucklanders who will be around to use it to pay for it.

          The catch of course is that future Aucklanders would have to pay more due to PPP costs, although that might not be more per person once population growth and economic gains from having LR in place are accounted for.

        3. Thanks for the insight into your thinking.

          How would we like to be paying for the motorways built over the last few decades? And the stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. After all, we are more people now than we were then, so we can afford it, yes? Particularly as we’re the ones using it. But I suppose we “know” what’s best for the future better than people in the past “knew” what’s best for us now?

        4. We have done it before in a slightly different way with tolls for the Harbour Bridge and the Lyttelton Tunnel, they were paid for by the users rather than just the people alive at the time of construction.

          In general I think the pay-as-we-go model works well and I don’t support the widespread use of PPPs, especially for roading projects where there is no real chance of them boosting the economy. However, I think there are exceptions. At the moment we are really stretching current fuel taxpayers to make up for an infrastructure deficit with projects that will benefit people in the future.

    2. Best news all day. Or Month.

      When I read that I seriously had to check the date on the story to check it wasn’t April 1st!

      I think its a really deep disturbance in the force.

      You can hear thousands of voices cry out at once all saying “Nooooooo!”.

      These of course being myriads of consultants, planners and other AT staffers that have just seen their food bowl broken into a million shards by this announcement.

      AT being sidelined? Best thing that can happen, AT clearly can’t organise a piss up in a brewery with PT. Too much focus on not disturbing the dark side of the force (aka car drivers).

      So why trust them to plan, build and run a light rail service. Let alone 2! and both at once!

      Far better they offload the whole she bang – the Build, Own, Operate with no Transfer model aka “BOO!” as thats exactly what AT needed. A good scare.

      Now, AT can focus on its outcomes [the what] and not the funding and build process [the how] or the Why do we need it.

      As such AT will become a customer of the process – deciding what it wants within the overall budget, NZ Super Fund et al get on and make it happen. We all get a PT system we’re proud of, for less money than we would have spent, and we have a NZ operator that reports to the Government in some fashion, whose arse we can collectively kick when and if they fuck it up.

      AT gets an outsourced “PTOM” delivered light rail service delivered like it would be for any other PT such as if were some rapid bus services.

      Whats not to like here?

      So its great that our Super fund is investing in NZ’s future and helping us out of the mess, instead of investing overseas while Auckland grinds to a halt.

      Charity begins at home, and so there should be more like this.

      1. I generally agree, however I have a couple of comments.

        The Super Fund is investing for itself, it is not charity, they will be anticipating a decent return on investment as they are mandated to.

        It will likely cost us more in the long run as it is effectively a PPP, much like a loan there a finance costs as well as infrastructure costs. That is not necessarily a bad thing, it means those who benefit from this in the future will contribute to the costs not just today’s road users who have little other option.

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