The Government trumpeted today its impressive sounding $225 million transport package for Wellington. However as one comes to expect the substance differs from the spin.
First of all dear readers this is $225 million over ten years. Adjusting for inflation this will be under $20 million per year. Hey just $5 million more than the Christchurch Polytech CD scam.
And of course not all the money is for roading. Nearly one third is for public transport. Now in cities like Wellington public transport works quite well (unlike Aickland where it is a disaster) so this is not a bad thing, but one does have to realise that in fact this is just $14 million a year for roads.
And we should also note the Government takes over $600 million a year from petrol tax and sticks it into the consolidated fund (so it can give it to Dick Hubbard, hip hop tours and treaty education campaigns), with Wellingtonians contributing around $60 million a year from petrol tax to this.
Anyway back to the extra $14 million a year for Wellington roads. How many kms of new motorway does this get you? Well Transmission Gully would cost $830 million for 27 km so it is $30 million/km, so the funding may get us an extra 500 metres of motorway a year. If one spends it all on nothing but Transmission Gully it would be finished when I am 97 years old!!
Now Jordan is upset that Mr Blumsky has been suspicious of the package timing being two days after Don Brash’s Orewa speech. I never realised Jordan was quite so naive as to think the Government does not schedule news. You know Don’s big speech is on Tuesday, so you keep your major announcement to a couple of days afterwards, and hope that will distract the media (not always a difficult task) from focusing all week on Orewa.
Jordan also points out that the Government has admitted it has ignored Transmission Gully in this announcement and will do another announcement down the track. Well why was this announced seperately rather than doing an integrated package?
I did laugh at the Government taking credit for the inner city bypass which has just started to be built. The local Labour MP is on the record as opposing the bypass.